Saturday, March 31, 2018

Another Overtime Loss to Colorado, Game Recap, Steve Martinson's Comments, Rematch Preview, Playoff Race and One Year Ago Today

The Allen Americans lost to the Colorado Eagles last night but managed to pick up one very important point in a 3-2 overtime loss. There were 4107 fans at the Allen Event Center (AEC) to watch the Americans overcome the odds to get that valuable point. Allen gave up the first goal of the game to their old nemesis and former defenseman Matt Register which is never a good sign. The Americans trailed 1-0 after the first period and that wasn't a good sign since Allen's record when trailing after the first period at home is now 0-4-3-0. The Americans trailed 2-1 after the second period and that wasn't a good sign since Allen's record when trailing after the second period is 1-4-3-0.

- Despite the odds the Americans won the third period by scoring a shorthanded goal to tie the score 2-2 and send the game overtime. Allen beat the odds with their game tying shorthanded goal because Colorado is the best in the league when it comes to shorthanded goals. They were right at the top ranked #2 in shorthanded goals scored (12) and ranked #2 in shorthanded goals allowed (3). Meanwhile Allen was ranked #22 in shorthanded goals scored (6) and #16 in shorthanded goals allowed (10). When Thomas Frazee scored shorthanded early in the third period to tie the score 2-2 it looked like the Americans might overcome all of the odds and win the game.

- Neither team was able to get the game winner in the last 15 minutes of the third period which meant Allen would have to overcome more odds to get the win. Overtime has not been kind to the Americans this season. Allen has the worst overtime record in the ECHL having won twice in overtime while losing six times.  The overtime period started out okay for Allen as Thomas Frazee won the opening faceoff  and the Americans maintained possession but could not get a shot on goal. It didn't take long after Colorado got the puck to end the game as Joey Ratelle beat his man one on one and put the puck past Jake Paterson. It was the first shot of the overtime period and took just 67 seconds. Fittingly, that old nemesis, Matt Register, had the primary assist on the overtime game winner.

- Obviously Allen fans came away disappointed but the Americans worked hard to overcome 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to earn a point and that could turn out to be a big point when all is said and done.

- Thomas Frazee scored both goals for Allen, his 15th and 16th of the season and was the best player on the ice. In addition to scoring goals his net front presence, finishing checks and winning faceoffs were all key. Not being eligible for the playoffs is difficult for Frazee but he is doing everything he can to help Allen make the playoffs.

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans:

- Here is the game recap from the Colorado Eagles:

- Here is a highlight package from Sporfie:

- This is the Sporfie view of the first Allen goal. Notice the nice pass from J.C. Campagna that sets up Thomas Frazee who makes a great shot.

- This is Frazee's shorthanded goal. Allen is making a change but Joel Chouinard and Frazee rush the puck and just outwork three Colorado players. Great work by both players.


Here is coach Martinson's pregame interview with Kayla McLain:

Here are Martinson's Post Game Comments:

- I had a chance to visit briefly with coach Martinson after the game and he reiterated the importance of getting more production from the top lines and veteran guys. He noted that David Makowski sat out as a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game in San Jose and how much help he could provide down the stretch for Allen. Martinson was clear getting one point was big but was also clear the team has to play better in the rematch with the Eagles tonight.


 - Allen was able to earn a point last night even though they allowed the first goal of the game, were out shot 33-23, didn't get a power play goal and lost their sixth (out of eight) overtime game. A better start, more shots on goal and success on the power play will be the keys tonight.

- The officiating crew tonight will be the same as last night. The referee will be Jeremy Tufts (#6 ) and the linesmen will be Michael Houle (#49) and Addison Brush (#80). Tufts called a total of three penalties last night (one on Colorado) and let a lot go so you can assume he will do the same tonight. Have to admit it reminded me of the playoffs last season when Colorado was called for one penalty in game five and no penalties in game six. The key for Allen is to adapt to the way the referee is calling the game.

- Allen has proven they can play with the top team in the division but have lost three straight one goal games to Colorado including overtime losses the last two games against the Eagles. Tonight the Americans need to find a way to get over the hump and come away with a victory.

- Jake Paterson played well in goal and has for his last three starts with save percentages of .942, .970 and .909. Coach Martinson has always tended to go with the hot hand at this time of the season so would expect Paterson to get the start again tonight. 

- Here is the game preview from the Allen Americans:


- I tried to find a humorous way to describe how tight the race is in the Mountain Division but have to admit almost all were in reference to body parts. The best "G" rated one I could find is the race for the playoffs between Wichita, Allen and Tulsa is tighter than a peanut butter jar at a squirrel convention. Here is how it looks after the Allen overtime loss to Colorado and the Tulsa win over Wichita last night. Here are two views of how things stand, points with games remaining and winning percentage:

74 points -  Wichita  -   Allen (H), Colorado (A), Colorado (A)
74 points - Allen  -  Colorado (H), Wichita (A), Idaho (H), Idaho (H)
73 points - Tulsa  -   Kansas City (A), Idaho (H), Rapid City (H), Rapid City (H)

Remember the first tiebreaker is wins not including shootout wins. Wichita is at 32, Tulsa is at 31 and Allen is at 30.

Winning percentage
.544 - Allen (four games remaining)
.537 - Tulsa (four games remaining)
.536 - Wichita (three games remaining)

- No need for scoreboard watching tonight because Wichita and Tulsa do not play. With a win Allen will be two points clear of Wichita and three points ahead of Tulsa going into the last week of the season. Seems like every game is the biggest one of the season at this point.

- Allen fans may be watching the AHL scoreboard tonight just to see who is in the lineup. Utica (Vincent Arseneau) and San Jose (David Makowski) both play tonight. Arseneau has sat out the last two games and Makowski the last four. To be fair you never know why players are sitting out as it could be from injury, illness or the fact they are needed for insurance. For example if San Jose only has seven healthy defensemen and Makowski is number seven he may sit out each game but can't be sent back to Allen. It is frustrating for fans and I am sure coach Martinson as well to see players sitting out in the AHL that could be a big help to the Americans. To the uninformed like me it does seem like there are other solutions that would allow Arseneau and Makowski to return to Allen. After all, Utica's NHL affiliate (Vancouver) isn't making the playoffs and the San Jose Barracuda aren't making the playoffs. The hope is one or both may return for the final three games of the regular season next week. I would not count on that however.

- If you have been following along with Kristen Wooten's series about religion in hockey here is part three of the three parts series where Kristen looks at how faith is integrated into today's game:

DID YOU KNOW:  One year ago today this what I wrote in the blog. It took 167 days of the season and 68 games but the Allen Americans have finally made it to the top of the Mountain, that is the Mountain Division. Allen has made quite a push to get to the top spot in the Mountain Division. They are 11-0-1-0 in the last 12 games. Even more impressive is from the end of November when the Americans were 8-11-0-0 and dead last in the Mountain Division their record is 37-6-4-2.

Oh what a difference a year makes!



  1. With the Cuda not having any chance of making the AHL playoffs, I wish they would send our boys home. We are really needing them in this final push at the end of the regular season. I am guessing that as soon as the AHL regular season is done, all our boys out in San Jose will be coming home. I hope that is the same thing for Vinnie as well. We need them here...

    Although I am loving the guys Marty has brought on board. They have added some incredible quickness on the ice and some nice puck handling skills as well!

    I know Frazee isn't eligible for the playoffs since he won't have enough games under his belt, but what about Jake Paterson?? Will he be eligible??

    1. Gilley, Paterson is eligible for the playoffs. Goalies are exempt from that rule. The Barracuda's last game is April 14 and they won't make the playoffs so that would be the latest players would return to Allen. It will get a little complicated as ECHL playoff rosters are due April 9th. I won't talk about that until the Americans clinch a spot in the playoffs.