Saturday, February 17, 2018

Allen Loses to Utah 5-4, Game Recap, Steve Martinson's Comments, Rematch Preview & Odd Stat of the Day

The Allen Americans have been plagued by inconsistent play all season and that inconsistency showed up again last night. The Americans fell to the Utah Grizzlies 5-4 before 3805 disappointed fans at the Allen Event Center (AEC) in a game that was not as close as the score indicates.

- Former Allen forward, Jake Marchment, playing his first game for Utah, scored the only goal of the first period and that was an ominous sign since the Americans have not shown the ability to come from behind. Their record when trailing after the first period now stands at  2-10-2-0.

- To the Americans credit they did manage to score two second period goals to tie the score 2-2 but then gave up three unanswered goals to Utah and the game was out of reach. After the Grizzlies had a 5-2 lead the Americans scored the final two goals of the game including one with the goalie pulled at the 19:19 mark.

- In addition to Marchment, another former Allen American played a big role in the victory. Goalie Joel Rumpel, who was just acquired by Utah in a trade, was starting his second game for the Grizzlies and came up with his first win.

- It was in many ways a new look for Utah last night. Rumpel was playing in his second game, Marchment was in a group of four players playing in their first game for the Grizzlies and they had two other players in the line up who have been out with injuries for over a month.

- The typical stats in a losing cause all showed up last night. Allen failed to score the first goal of the game, they trailed after the first period, they got out shot (36-29), they gave up a power play goal (1-6), they failed to score on the power play (0-4) and they allowed a shorthanded goal.

- Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans with quotes from captain Joel Chouinard.

- Here is the game recap issued by the Utah Grizzlies:

- Goal scorers for Allen were David Makowski (9 & 10), Alex Guptill (20) and Zach Pochiro (12). There is a video highlight package at ECHL Rewind of the goals, the Moore vs Melindy scrum/fight and another monster Vincent Arseneau check.

- Here are the Sporfie highlights on three of Allen's goals:

Alex Guptill - Alex scored his team leading 20th goal of the season on a great individual effort using the defender as a screen.

 David Makowski - David gets his second goal of the game and 10th of the season. It was an unassisted goal but watch the job Bryan Moore does to screen the goalie.

Zach Pochiro - With the goalie pulled and an extra attacker on the ice Zach scores his 12th goal of the season on a tip in. Makowski passes the puck to the point and Chouinard takes the shot.


- Steve Martinson thought the team had a good week of practice and was ready for a good game against Utah. Here is his pregame interview with Kayla McLain:

Here are coach Martinson's post game comments. When I stopped by his office after the game, to no surprise, he was already in the process of reviewing video to see where the defensive breakdowns occurred on the goals allowed, taking a video clip of six men on the ice on one of the Utah goals and making plans for the rematch on Saturday. Sure he was frustrated and it was as he often says painful to watch some of the goals allowed but his focus was on what he can do to make the team better for the next game. His hatred of losing, passion for the game and attention to detail is always evident.   

"Too many soft plays that ended up giving them quality scoring chances."

"They didn't have to work too hard on the plays they scored on."

"We turned the puck over way too many times. On their fourth goal we had full possession of the puck, turned it over and they scored. The fifth goal we had full possession of the puck, turned it over and they scored."

"On their power play goal Utah brings the puck to the net and the next thing you know is we have all of our guys laying on the ice or at the side of the net. Marchment is all alone in front of the net and nobody takes him.

"It is most frustrating when we have full possession turnovers. We don't get a shot and it turns into a shot for them. That is why we are getting out shot. That seems to be our Achilles heel."


- Allen has scored one power play goal in the last six games with a power play percentage of 3.6% (1-28). Add in the short handed goal the power play unit allowed last night and the group has given up as many goals as they have scored over six games. You are not going to win many games with a power play as anemic as that. Over the same six games the penalty kill is at 80.8% (5-26). A big key tonight for Allen is to stay away from stick penalties and they must score a power play goal if they expect to win.

-  Allen is ranked #23 in the ECHL allowing their opponents an average of almost 37 shots on goal per game. As coach Martinson mentioned in his post game comments when they give up full possession turnovers it is a lost shot opportunity for the Americans and additional shot opportunity for the opponent. Utah has out shot Allen 111-81 in three games this season. This by a team with a .451 winning percentage who had lost six of their last seven games prior to last night. It is obviously important to win puck battles but if Allen expects to win tonight they must cut down on the full possession turnovers.

- As for roster changes tonight coach Martinson made it clear with just six games in three weeks his only consideration on who plays is who gives the team the best chance of winning. It is not about rest, rotation or anything else.

- Despite their struggles this season, Allen is still a pretty good home team. It is hard to believe overall the Americans have lost more games (27) than they have won (21). However, if you look at just their home record since December 1st it is 9-5-2-0. Look for a big effort from the team tonight before a big crowd. It should be a big and enthusiastic crowd with free red Allen Americans youth jerseys going to the first 1500 children (12 and under) through the doors. 

- If you didn't like the officiating crew last night you won't like the one tonight because it is exactly the same. Officials scheduled for the game are referee Andrew Bruggeman (#25) and linesmen Brian Bull (#95) and Aaron Schacht (#31).


- Zach Pochiro scored his 12th goal of the season last night in just his 22nd game of the season for the Americans. Quite an improvement over last season when he had three goals in 42 games.

- All of the teams around Allen in the Mountain Division standings won last night. Tulsa beat Florida 3-1, Wichita beat Rapid City 3-1 and Idaho shutout Colorado 3-0. Allen is in sole possession of fourth in the division five points ahead of fifth place Tulsa, two points behind third place Wichita and eight points behind second place Idaho.

- The Americans will be wearing the "winter sports" specialty jersey tonight and it is a sharp looking jersey. Just a reminder if you are interested in owning one of these jerseys the online auction is currently underway and will end tomorrow (Sunday) at 9:00 pm. There are still eight jerseys with no starting bid ($249). Here is the website:

- I get asked almost every day when Olivier Archambault might return to Allen. While nobody knows with any certainty, the answer to that question is it won't be any time soon based on how Olivier has performed since joining the Syracuse Crunch. Archambault has played in nine games with Syracuse and has five points (3 goals 2 assists) and his plus/minus is +4. He has not had a minus game yet. The Crunch play at Charlotte tonight and again Sunday afternoon.  

DID YOU KNOW: Have to put this one in the odd stat of the day category. With his two goals and an assist last night David Makowski has tied Matt Register for the ECHL lead in points by defensemen with 44. They are not only tied in points (44), they are tied in goals (10), assists (34) and plus/minus (+24). They are not tied in games played however, Register has played in 50 games while Makowski has played in only 45.    

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