Monday, March 19, 2018

Allen Finishes Road Trip With OT Loss in Colorado, Game Recap, Road Trip Review, Four Teams for Two Spots - Down the Stretch They Come, Free Tickets & More

The Allen Americans were able to salvage one point in Colorado last night with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Eagles before a crowd of 5109 at Budweiser Event Center. The game was similar to the Friday night loss to Colorado in that the Americans gave up the first goal of the game, were trailing 1-0 after the first period but came back to take the lead. Just like Friday night the Americans couldn't hold the lead. Last night the Eagles tied the score 3-3 with just under four minutes remaining and won the game 47 seconds into overtime. Colorado forward Ryan Olson, who played junior hockey with Dalton Thrower, was the hero for the Eagles scoring the goal that tied the game and the overtime game winner. Olsen also had an assist and a fight with Alex Guptill for the Gordie Howe hat trick.

- While it was disappointing to lose twice in Colorado and see Allen's all time regular season record when visiting the Eagles drop to 1-4-1-0 the one point earned last night may turn out to be crucial and there is no doubt the six game road trip was a huge success. To garner nine of 12 points while going 4-1-1-0 over the last two weeks on the road has put Allen in position to control their own destiny as the season winds down. Allen will spend the rest of the season at home with the exception of one game in Wichita. With eight of their last nine games at home the Americans have a realistic chance of finishing third in the Mountain Division if they play well down the stretch.

- Goal scorers for Allen last night were Tyler Poulsen who scored his first professional goal in front of his family and friends in his hometown, Zach Pochiro (16) and Bryan Moore (18). Here are the video highlights from ECHL Rewind:

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans:

- Here is the game recap from the Colorado Eagles:


- As the Americans head home on the 850 mile trip from Colorado on the bus that is now officially known as "White Lightning" (I doubt it will ever be as well known as "Big Red") let's look back at the longest road trip of the season.

- If coach Martinson would have been offered nine points before this road trip started and not gone on the trip I am sure he would have taken that deal in a heartbeat. After all, Allen's road record prior to this trip was 12-16-0-1. To finish with a record of 4-1-1-0 on the road trip with a bunch of new players in the lineup and playing shorthanded for some of the games was huge.

- To put the road trip in perspective and show how big of a turnaround it represents, Allen's nine points on the road trip is more points than they earned in the entire month of January (six points). It also ties their points earned in the month of February. Allen hasn't accomplished anything yet but if the Americans make the playoffs everyone will look back at this road trip as the key.

- The Allen special teams play has been much maligned and deservedly so but came to life in the last six games on the road. The power play was 6-24 (25%) and the penalty kill was 2-25 (92%). Something to build on down the stretch.

- The Americans picked up their scoring pace on the road trip averaging 4.33 goals per game but they allowed 3.67 goals per game and gave up four or more goals in five of the six games. Allen was out shot 202-168 on the road trip but the big shot differential came from the first game in Idaho when Allen was out shot 48-25 and the game last night in Colorado when the Americans were out shot 40-28. Improved defensive play will be a must over the last nine games of the season.


- The battle for playoff positions remains very close between Wichita, Allen, Tulsa and Utah. Colorado is pretty much locked in as the #1 seed and Idaho has an eight point lead for the #2 seed. The other two spots will probably go down to the last day of the season. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses.  

90 points - Colorado (64 games)
81 points - Idaho (64 games)
73 points - Wichita (64 games)
68 points - Allen (63 games)
67 points - Tulsa (63 games) 
64 points - Utah (64 games)
47 points - Rapid City (64 games)

- Here is the remaining schedule for Allen, Wichita, Tulsa and Utah:

Allen (9 games - 8 home 1 away) - Tulsa (H), Kansas City (H), Kansas City (H), Wichita (H), Colorado (H), Colorado (H), Wichita (A), Idaho (H), Idaho (H)

Wichita (8 game - 2 home 6 away) - Kansas City (A), Kalamazoo (A), Fort Wayne (A), Allen (A), Tulsa (H), Allen (H), Colorado (A), Colorado (A)

Tulsa (9 games - 6 home 3 away) - Allen (A), Quad City (H), Quad City (H), Quad City (H), Wichita (A), Kansas City (A), Idaho (H), Rapid City (H), Rapid City (H)

Utah (8 games - 5 home 3 away) - Colorado (H), Colorado (H), Colorado (H), Idaho (A), Idaho (A), Colorado (A), Kansas City (H), Kansas City (H)

- There are several ways to slice and dice the remaining schedule. Allen has the best schedule when looking at home versus road games with eight of nine at home. Wichita has the worst home versus road schedule with only two of eight at home. In terms of ease of schedule Tulsa is the winner with five games at home against the two worst teams in the league (Quad City & Rapid City). Utah has by far the toughest schedule with five of their remaining eight games against Colorado and Idaho.

- Coach Martinson has mentioned he will be adding players this week and I assume that means players coming out of college or juniors. Players could come from anywhere but there always seems to be a lot of Western Hockey League (WHL) guys on the radar screen. The one thing Martinson has said is the guys he is bringing in are top scorers on their team. Should be an interesting week.

- The other thing to look for this week is the possibility of  some of the players currently in the AHL returning to Allen.

- I have a pair of tickets for the game on Wednesday (March 21) at 7:05 PM. I will have a drawing for these free tickets tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon, notify the winner and leave the tickets at will call. If you are interested let me know by email ( All I need is your name. The tickets are in the second row in Section 100 which is at the end of the rink Allen goes on offense twice. Good luck!

DID YOU KNOW: With four teams (Allen, Tulsa, Utah & Wichita) competing for two playoff spots there is going to be two disappointed teams in a couple of weeks. Here is how the four teams have fared in the playoffs the last three season. Allen joined the ECHL in 2014-15 along with Tulsa and Wichita and has made the playoffs every year, won two Kelly Cups and was eliminated in the second round last season. Tulsa has not made the playoffs the last two years but did make the playoffs in 2015 losing 4-1 to Allen in the first round. Wichita has not made the playoffs since joining the ECHL. Utah has made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. They were eliminated in the second round in 2015 and 2016. Last season Allen defeated Utah in the first round of the playoffs 4-1. 

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