Sunday, March 4, 2018

Allen Wins Overtime Thriller, Sweeps Rapid City, Game Recap, Steve Martinson's Comments, Video Highlights, Makowski and Moore Rise on All-Time PIM's List

It wasn't easy but the Allen Americans swept the weekend series against the Rapid City Rush with a hard earned 3-2 overtime victory last night. A large crowd of 5340 at the Allen Event Center (AEC) witnessed one of the more entertaining games of the season that wasn't decided until Bryan Moore took a great pass from David Makowski and scored the game winner with 25.8 seconds remaining in overtime.

- The first period was scoreless but featured two fights. Mike Gunn got things started dropping gloves with Rush tough guy Anthony Collins two minutes into the game. Gunn finished the fight with a one punch knockdown. Three minutes later Dalton Thrower and Alex Kromm fought and it was toe to toe with both players landing some heavy punches.

- It didn't take long for Allen to take the lead in the second period as Eric Roy got the Americans on the board at the 1:24 mark with his second goal in as many nights. It is always a good sign when Allen scores the first goal of the game. Their record when scoring first is now 22-5-1-0.

- Rapid City scored the equalizer to make the score 1-1 just two minutes after the Roy goal but Alex Guptill got the lead back for Allen at the 7:59 mark and the Americans took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Rapid City scored the only goal in the third period to tie the score 2-2 to set up the dramatic overtime ending. Prior to last night Allen was 1-4 in overtimes this season but they dominated against the Rush with a 6-1 shot advantage. They had several quality scoring chances before the Moore game winner. It was a great way to end a great game.

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans:

- Here is the game recap from the Rapid City Rush:

- Eric Roy scored his 12th goal of the season, Alex Guptill his 23rd and Bryan Moore his 16th. You can check out several views of their goals below.

- You can find a video highlight package at ECHL Rewind with the goals, the fights and the celebration at the end. Here is the link:

- Here are the video highlights courtesy of Sporfie:


- Pregame interview:

- Post game interview:

- I had a chance to touch base with coach Martinson briefly after the game and he was obviously pleased to be able to get all four points this weekend. The team is playing better but still has a ways to go. The power play was scoreless but had only one chance and Martinson was not happy with that fact. The game was over so coach Martinson could relax but general manager Martinson was hard at work when I left his office at 10:30. There is a possibility of two or three new players being added to the roster before the next game and that doesn't include the three Allen players in the AHL. Would expect the team to issue an annoucment sometime today.

- New players could be coming to Allen from several different sources. Allen is owed a player from Wheeling as part of the Marcus Basara trade and that has to be completed by Thursday. Connor Reilly was traded yesterday to Quad City for future considerations. Since Allen has been playing shorthanded up front my guess is Martinson would not trade a forward unless he was getting a forward in return so that future consideration from Quad City is most likely a forward that will be announced today or tomorrow. These aren't the last of the trades in my opinion. Martinson will try and improve the roster all the way to the trade deadline on Thursday. Martinson is also in touch with players that are just finishing their college and junior careers and you never know when the guys in the AHL might return. The motto for the next few days should be as Bob Dylan would say "I Feel Changes Comin' On."
Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Allen received Tristan King from Quad City in the Connor Reilly trade. Mathieu Aubin has been traded to Atlanta for forward Alex Carrier.


- Allen must now prepare for the critical road trip which has them on the road for 15 days with stops in Idaho, Utah (2 games), Rapid City and Colorado (2 games). The trip starts on Tuesday when the team flies to Las Vegas where the will be met by the bus and then drive to Boise for a game with Idaho on Wednesday. The Americans next home came isn't until March 21st.   

- Allen, Tulsa and Utah all won last night so they remain one point apart in the standings. Wichita was idle last night (they play Idaho today) but if you have been tracking the standings you have noticed the Thunder have managed to turn a three way race between Allen, Tulsa and Utah for one playoff position into a four team race for two playoff spots. Wichita has lost six straight games (0-4-0-2). Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses.  

80 points - Colorado (58 games)
72 points - Idaho (57 games)
64 points - Wichita (58 games)
61 points - Tulsa (59 games) 
60 points - Allen (57 games)
59 points - Utah (58 games)
44 points - Rapid City (57 games)

- Here is how the Mountain Division ranks if you look at winning percentage. In parentheses is the current streak for each team.

.690 - Colorado  (0-1-0-0)
.632 - Idaho  (2-0-0-0)
.552 - Wichita  (0-4-0-2)
.526 - Allen  (2-0-0-0)
.517 - Tulsa  1-0-0-0)
.509 - Utah  (7-0-0-1)
.386 - Rapid City (0-1-1-0)

- Worthy of note as Allen, Tulsa, Utah and Wichita battle for the final two playoff spots is the schedule at the end of the season. Wichita is at a distinct disadvantage. Allen finishes the season with eight of their last nine games at home, Tulsa plays six of their last seven games at home and Utah plays five of their last eight games at home. Wichita plays 10 of their last 12 games on the road. After today the Thunder have only three home games remaining the rest of the season.

DID YOU KNOW: When you think of career leaders in penalty minutes for the Allen Americans the names that typically come to mind are guys that do a lot of fighting like Garrett Clarke, Darryl Bootland, Derek Mathers, Kip Brennan and Garrett Klotz who are all in the top ten. Clarke is #1 all-time with 432 penalty minutes and Trevor Hendrikx is #2 with 326 minutes. But climbing up the chart quickly and currently at #3 is David Makowski with 318 penalty minutes and not far behind at #4 is Bryan Moore with 298 penalty minutes. By the end of the season Makowski and Moore will be ranked #2 and #3 all-time in PIM's.

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