Saturday, February 3, 2018

Allen Wins 5-1 Over Colorado, Game Recap, Martinson's Comments, Sporfie Highlights, Allen vs Tulsa Preview, Comparison of Average Goals Per Game for Allen's Top Scorers

The Allen Americans got another big win last night with their second five goal performance in as many nights to sweep the series against the Colorado Eagles. Allen won last night 5-1 before a crowd of 4105 at the Allen Event Center. It is always great to win a game 5-1 but it was not as dominating a performance as the score would indicate.

- There were definitely some bright spots for the Americans. They scored first and they are hard to beat when they get the first goal. Allen's record when scoring first now stands at 18-4-1-0. They won the special teams battle by going 1-2 on the power play while killing all four Colorado power play opportunities. The Americans got outstanding goaltending from Stephon Williams who stopped 39 of 40 shots for a save percentage of .975.

- When you win a game 5-1 it is easy to conclude the team played a complete game but that was not the case last night. Allen scored five goals on just 23 shots which is a save percentage of .783. The last two times they had such a low shot total they lost 5-0 and 4-1.

- Despite outscoring the Eagles in every period the Americans were out shot in every period for a total shot count of 40-23. As coach Martinson shared with the fans after the game the team fell into old habits of too many turnovers and not winning battles for the puck. That creates more puck possession for the opponent which leads to more shots.

- Goal scorers for Allen were Joel Chouinard (9), Alex Guptill (17&18), Zach Pochiro (9) and Vincent Arseneau (12). I wouldn't be surprised if the Chouinard goal gets changed because when you look at the replay it is pretty clear Colby McAuley got a stick on the shot and tipped the puck past the goaltender. The video highlights of all the goals are posted at ECHL Rewind:

- Here are the Sporfie highlights for all five Allen goals. A great way to slow down the play to see exactly what took place on each and every goal. If you haven't tried it you can grab the orange dot and move the reply back and forth to go as slow as frame by frame.

Joel Chouinard - A couple things to notice on this goal. The first is the great cross ice pass Arseneau makes to Chouinard. The second is how it is pretty clear when you go frame by frame and watch both Colby McAuley and the goalie that Colby got a piece of the puck.

Alex Guptill - Bryan Moore makes two great plays on this goal. The first was to get the puck past the defenseman to create a two-on-one and then a great pass to Guptill past a sprawling defender. Notice how Bryan stays wide to keep the goalie further to his side of the net. Guptill, who has been red hot, makes no mistake on the finish.

Zach Pochiro - This is another goal to slow down and take several looks. This is the power play goal and the first thing to notice is Eric Roy in the middle of the ice out at the blue line. Makowski spots Asuchak with a lot of open ice and makes a cross ice pass. Asuchak makes a great play first to catch the pass which was behind him and then skates toward the net (staying wide to draw the goalie) and makes a pass (ala Chad Costello) through the slot right on the tape to Zach Pochiro who was wide open. The goalie didn't have a chance as Zach puts the puck in the back of the net.

Vincent Arseneau - Arseneau makes two great plays on this goal. First he creates the goal scoring opportunity by getting the puck past Eagles defenseman Matt Register and then he uses his wicked snap shot to cleanly beat the goalie. Here are two different views:

Alex Guptill - Lots to watch on this replay. You will see Mike Gunn take a shot, break his stick and head to the bench. Zach Pochiro comes up with the puck and backs off to the side boards, spots Josh Thrower, who you can see calling for the puck. Pochiro makes a cross ice pass to Thrower. Josh makes a great pass to Gutpill in the slot who can't seem to miss the last couple of games and puts a backhand past the goalie.

- Here is the game recap from the Colorado Eagles website:

- Five players had multi point games for Allen last night led by Zach Pochiro who had a goal and two assists, Alex Guptill with two goals including the game winner, Joel Chouinard with a goal and an assist along with a +3, Vincent Arseneau with a goal and assist and David Makowski with two assists.


-  Before the coach's post game quotes here is what he had to say in his pregame interview with Kayla McLain.

- Post Game Quotes:

"I liked that we scored five goals and I liked that we won the game but to watch us give up that goal was painful. It was a three-on-three and our back checking forward leaves the top goal scorer in the league and cheats over to a guy with a much lower probability of scoring."

"After not playing the last few games Stephon Williams comes out and battles like that and does an outstanding job so it was extra painful to watch us give up the lone goal Colorado scored."

"It was good to see some of the goals we scored tonight. Arseneau is playing better each game coming off an injury. That was a typical Arseneau snap shot on his goal which is just a rocket."

"I thought Josh Thrower really stepped up his game tonight. He had more ice time, he made a really nice play on Guptill's second goal, he moved the puck well and he moved his feet well."

"There were some positives but there are still guys turning over the puck and losing puck battles so we are not there yet. We are winning but there are some things we need to improve and some guys need to step up their game. We have some guys playing really strong and some playing a little weak and they have to step it up."

"Tomorrow night is a big game for us."

"The penalty kill was 4-4 but we weren't great up top so there is room for improvement on the PK."

"They made some mistakes and we were able to capitalize. We had two goals on two-on-ones and we haven't seen that too often over the last month."


- Allen has now won three in a row but have no time to rest on their laurels as they will leave early this afternoon for a game tonight against the Tulsa Oilers (7:05 pm). Tulsa played in Wichita last night and lost 4-1.

- Since it is one game up and back to Tulsa coach Martinson will not take everyone on the trip. Who will go is undetermined because of a potential injury from the game last night and the possibility of getting some fresh legs in the lineup with this game being the third in three nights. Defenseman Anthony Celebrese was released yesterday so the roster currently has seven defensemen and 12 forwards (including Zach Hall).

- I would expect Jeremy Brodeur will get the start in goal against Tulsa.

- The game tonight will be the 12th of 13 times Allen plays Tulsa this season. After tonight these teams will not see each other again until March 21 when Tulsa visits Allen for their final regular season game against each other. In the 11 games they have played thus far Allen's record against the Oilers is 5-4-2-0 overall and 2-3 in Tulsa.

- The combined stats for the 11 previous games shows Allen has the edge in goals (36-32) but to no surprise Tulsa has the edge in shots (456-400). Allen has the better power play in the head to head games, 11/51 (21.6%) versus 5/38 (13.2%).

- Here is the match up between Allen and Tulsa:

                                     ALLEN                                TULSA

Team Record               23-18-4-1 (51 points)              20-19-3-5 (49 points)
Division Ranking         4th - Mountain                         5th -Mountain
Conference Ranking   6th - Western                          10th - Western
League Ranking          13th                                        17th
Last Game                  5-1 Win (Colorado)                  4-1 Loss (Wichita)
Goals For                    157                                          139
Goals Against             147                                          152
Power Play                 19.5% (29/200)                        12.9% (25/194
Home Power Play       20.2% (22/109)                        12.9% (11/85)
Road Power Play        18.7% (17/91)                          12.8% (14/109
Penalty Kill                  80.2% (41/207)                        81.7% (36/197)
Home Penalty Kill       85.6% (16/111)                         83.5% (14/85)
Road Penalty Kill        74.0% (25/96)                          80.4% (22/112)    
Leading Scorer           Pierro-Zabotel  (13-37-50)       Sampair (20-16-36)
Most PIM's                  Moore (133)                             Kessy (134)

-  Here is how Allen and Tulsa rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (22.26) - Tulsa 9th (16.28)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 8th (3.41) - Tulsa 20th (2.96)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 16th (3.20) - Tulsa 17th (3.23)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 16th (32.20) - Tulsa 1st (37.43)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 23rd (36.93) - Tulsa 22nd (34.94) 
Power Play Percentage: Allen 7th (19.5%) - Tulsa 26th (12.9%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 22nd (80.2%) - Tulsa 19th (81.7%)

- The most striking stats above are shots on goal. Tulsa leads the ECHL averaging almost 38 shots on goal per game while the Americans are ranked #23 in the ECHL allowing an average of 37 shots on goal per game. Against Allen the Oilers have averaged over 41 shots on goal. Coach Martinson talks about the way to reduce shots on goal is to avoid so many turnovers in the neutral zone and just inside the offensive blue line. If there is no play to be made dump the puck. Puck possession will be key tonight if the Americans expect to win. Allen won last night even though they allowed Colorado 40 shots on goal. The two games prior to last night (both wins) Allen allowed fewer than 30 shots on the goal. Allen doesn't necessarily have to out shoot Tulsa to win tonight but they need to keep the shot differential close.  

- If you look at the special teams stats above, Tulsa struggles on the power play (12.9%) which is ranked #26 in the league. But they will be going up against the worst road power play in the league in Allen's 74.0%. Over the the last four games these teams have faced each other Allen has a big advanatge on special teams. Allen is 8-25 (32%) on the power play while Tulsa is 3-19 (15.8%).  One thing the Allen power play unit has to guard against is shorthanded goals. Tulsa leads the ECHL with 11 shorties this season. 

- It is a good bet the team that scores first tonight will win the game. That has been the case 10 of the 11 games Allen and Tulsa have played this season.

- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Andy Howard (#2) and linesmen Chuck Schamel (#97) and Addison Brush (#80).


- Allen didn't gain any ground on Wichita or Idaho as they both won last night. They are both in action tonight, Wichita is at Quad City and Idaho is at home against Utah.

- In AHL action last night Olivier Archambault's team (Syracuse) lost to Utica 3-1. Archambault did play in the game but had all zeros on the score sheet. The San Jose Barracuda were in Stockton and shutout the Heat 3-0. San Jose is now tied for sixth place in the Pacific Division.

DID YOU KNOW: The top goal scorers for Allen this season are Alex Guptill who is ranked #16 in the ECHL with 18 goals and Bryan Moore who is ranked #48 in the ECHL with 14 goals. Another way to look at goal production is to look at average goals per game which accounts for games missed due to call ups and injuries. Here are the top players from last season and this season when you look at average goals per game.

Last season Allen's top three goal scorers were Greger Hanson (35), Chad Costello (33) and Bryan Moore (27). When you look at their average goals per game it looks like this:

.60 - Hanson
.54 - Moore
.46 - Costello

Here are the averages for this season:

.68 - Archambault
.56 - Pochiro
.52 - Arseneau
.46 - Guptill
.41 - Moore

The numbers for this season show just how potent the offense would be with everyone in the lineup.


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