It was another dominate victory by the Florida Everblades last night as they beat the Allen Americans 4-1 before a crowd of 6343 at Germain Arena. I am sure the Americans were not looking forward to a 300 mile bus ride to Jacksonville after the loss but then again they were probably happy to get out of South Florida after two dismal performances. The Florida Everblades showed why they are the top team in the ECHL by outscoring Allen 8-1 and out shooting the Americans 66-42 over the two games.
- The die was cast when Allen gave up the first goal of the game with 49 seconds left in the first period. Giving up a goal in the last minute of a period is always a momentum killer and it has happened to the Americans a lot this season. To make matters worse the Everblades 1-0 lead after the first period was also a bad sign. They haven't lost a game the entire season when leading after the first period.
- The highlight of the game and as it turned out the highlight of the two games against Florida was a Joel Chouinard power play goal at the 13:19 mark of the second period. It was a great play that made the score 2-1 but that is as close as the Americans got. Florida scored two unanswered third period goals to make the final score 4-1.
- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-fall-everblades-4-1/
- Here is the game recap from the Florida Everblades: http://www.floridaeverblades.com/2018/02/blades-pretty-pink-4-1-win-allen/
- Coach Martinson's comment to me this morning after the two losses in Florida, "They were better than us. We have some work to do before we can beat them."
ALLEN VS JACKSONVILLE GAME PREVIEW
- No rest for the weary Americans as exactly 17 hours and 21 minutes after the final horn in Estero the puck will drop in Jacksonville (2:00 pm CST). My guess is the team didn't get into their hotel rooms in Jacksonville until between 4:00 am - 5:00 am this morning.
- Jacksonville will be the more rested team for sure. They didn't play on Friday and they played last night at home beating Atlanta 3-1. The Icemen are still mired in last place in the South Division but have points in three straight games and a 10 game record of 5-4-0-1 which is better than Allen's record over the last 10 games of 4-5-0-1.
- Inconsistency has been the hallmark of the Allen Americans team this season. Just since January 15 they have lost six straight games, then won four straight and now have lost three straight.
- The Americans only goal in two games in Florida was on the power play but they were 1-13 against the Everblades. Allen still has the best power play percentage in the Mountain Division (18.3%) but have just two power play goals in their last 26 opportunities (7.7%). The power play could be difference in the matinee this afternoon. Jacksonville has the worst power play in the ECHL by far at 9.5%. They have only 19 power play goals all season compared to Allen who has 40 power play goals.
- Allen has given up at least one goal in their last eight periods of play. If they expect to win in Jacksonville they will have to put an end to that streak.
- Reunions with former Allen players continues today. It was Rick Pinkston in Atlanta, Kyle Neuber in Florida and today it is fan favorite Tanner Eberle. Tanner was hot the first part of January with eight points (4 goals 4 assists) in seven games but has been in a slump recently. Eberle had his first point (assist) in eight games in the Icemen's win last night. Keep an eye on #29 this afternoon as I am sure he will have a good game against his old teammates.
- Here is how Allen and Jacksonville rank in the ECHL in major statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (21.77) - Jacksonville 4th (18.69)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 9th (3.37) - Jacksonville 24th (2.72)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 14th (3.29) - Jacksonville 17th (3.39)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 15th (32.45) - Jacksonville 25th (29.02)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 24th (37.61) - Jacksonville 3rd (28.82)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 10th (18.3%) - Jacksonville 27th (9.5%)
Home Power Play %: Allen 7th (20.2%) - Jacksonville 27th (10.4%)
Road Power Play %: Allen 14th (16.4%) - Jacksonville 7th (8.5%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 23rd (80.1%) - Jacksonville 16th (82.1%)
Home Penalty Kill %: Allen 9th (85.6%) - Jacksonville 19th (81.0%)
Road Penalty Kill %: Allen 27th (74.5%) - Jacksonville 9th (83.2%)
- Something will have to give on special teams today as the worst will be going up against the worst. The game will pit the ECHL's worst home power play in Jacksonville's 10.4% against the worst road penalty kill in Allen's 74.5%. I guess it will be the survival of the least worst. Allen's #14 ranked road power play (16.4%) will be facing the #19 ranked home penalty kill (81.0%).
- Not sure if fighting will be part of this game with Allen being exhausted but these two teams are #2 and #3 in the ECHL in fighting majors. Jacksonville has 43 fighting majors while Allen has 42. However, two of the Icemen's top fighters are no longer with the team. Emerson Clark (7 fights) has signed with the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) and Garrett Klotz (5 fights) was released and is now in Kansas City. Klotz started a line brawl in Toledo last night (details below). The one fighter that remains in Jacksonville is Garet Hunt who at 5'9" and 190 pounds is the best pound for pound fighter in the league. The rookies like Josh Thrower and Colby McAuley are hopefully aware that Hunt is a lot tougher than he looks before they drop the gloves against him.
- Allen has not scored the first goal of the game on this trip to the South Division that has resulted in three straight losses. Today would be a good day to break that streak.
- Allen has lost three in a row and is playing their third game in less than 72 hours. Coach Martinson often says in games like today "your best players have to step up and be the best players." David Makowski hasn't had a point in the last three games and is -4. Bryan Moore hasn't scored a goal in 10 games. Eric Roy doesn't have a point in the last 10 games. Casey Pierro-Zabotel has one assist and is -4 in the last three games. Despite being exhausted look for a big game from the team leaders today.
- Here is the game preview from the Jacksonville Icemen: https://www.jacksonvilleicemen.com/news/icemen-host-western-conference-allen-americans/
referee scheduled for the game is Andrew Wilk (#24) and the linesmen are Michael Coleman (#81) and Logan Bellgraph (#52). Wilk was the referee in Allen's game last night against Florida.
- Here is the story and video of the line brawl in Toledo last night started by Garrett Klotz of the Kansas City Mavericks. Toledo won the game 5-0. http://www.wtol.com/story/37477338/line-brawl-inc-goalies-wild-fight-at-saturdays-walleye-game
- Idaho completed a three game sweep in Colorado last night beating the Eagles 3-1. The teams will play three more time in Idaho next week. If you bet the over on the 24 penalty minutes from game three you won again as there were 63 penalty minutes last night. Since the teams will have a few days to cool off and the Steelheads are now within five points of Colorado the under 63 PIMs in game four may be the wiser bet.
- The winners keep winning and the losers keep losing in the Mountain Division. Rapid City and Idaho have won their
last three games but everyone else is losing. Including overtime
and shootout losses Colorado has lost six straight, Tulsa five straight,
Wichita four straight, Allen and Utah have lost their last three
- Because the teams around Allen are also losing the Americans are still in third place (tied with Wichita) in the division and still hold a five point cushion over fifth place Tulsa.
- If you are hoping for help from overseas, like Chad Costello, before the deadline on Thursday that is not going to happen. While there may be a few players return from Europe before the February 15 deadline do not look for any to sign with Allen.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has now lost 26 of 50 games this season, 20 in regulation, four in overtime and two in shootouts. In 72 games last season the Americans only lost 24 games, 17 in regulation, four in overtime and two in shootouts.