Saturday, March 24, 2018

Big Win for Allen Over Kansas City, Game Recap, Martinson's Comments, Video Highlights, Rematch Preview, Hanson & Costello Join Forces in Germany, Ludwig Night and More

It was a big game and the Allen Americans earned a big win last night beating the Kansas City Mavericks 3-2 before a crowd of 4465 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). A lot went right for the Americans that was predictive of a win. They scored the first goal of the game and their record when scoring first is 25-5-1-0. Allen had a 2-0 lead after the first period and their record when leading at home after the first period is 11-1-0-1. They were leading 3-1 after the second period and their record when leading after the second period at home is 13-1-0-1. Nobody bothered to tell the Mavericks their odds of winning going into the third period were slim as the Americans had to hang on to get the victory. Kansas City out shot Allen in the third period 13-5, closed within one goal (3-2) at the 17:41 mark and had some good chances for the game tying goal after pulling their goalie. With help from Allen goalie Jeremy Brodeur, who made some great saves down the stretch, the Americans prevailed and now have sole possession of fourth place in the Mountain Division standings.

- Goal scorers for Allen were Spencer Asuchak (12), Alex Guptill (27) and J.C. Campagna (12). Here are the Sporfie highlights of the three goals.

Spencer Asuchak - Spencer is roaming the front of the net as usual and gets a tip in on a shot from the blue line by Eric Roy. Eric is so good at getting shots through in a position where they can be tipped. Great play by Eric and Spencer.

Alex Guptill - You have to watch this replay at least three times to see the greatness of this goal. Alex sees Pochiro trailing the play all alone at the top of the faceoff circle and makes the pass to Zach. It looks like Pochiro is going to shoot but instead he passes back to Guptill who easily deflects the puck past the goalie.

J. C. Campagna - A great individual effort on the game winner by Campagna who a teammate describes as long and strong. J.C. powers by the Mavericks defenseman and goes five hole on the goalie.

 - Here is the highlight package from ECHL Rewind:

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans which includes a post game interview with J.C Campagna: 



- It was a big win for the Allen Americans last night as they were able to gain two points on Tulsa who lost and Wichita who was idle. The big win won't mean much if the Americans don't followup with another win tonight.

- When I talked to coach Martinson after the game and asked what was the difference between the loss to Tulsa on Wednesday and the win last night it wasn't a complicated answer. The guys worked hard and gave a better effort.

- The good start was obviously a key to victory last night and the Americans need to replicate that tonight. With Jake Patterson out with an injury Jeremy Brodeur will be in goal again and Allen will go with an EBUG (emergency backup goalie). Jeremy played great in goal last night stopping 34 of 36 shots for a GAA of 2.02 and save percentage of .944.

- Another key as always will be special teams. Allen was able to score a power play goal last night (1-4) and held the Mavericks scoreless on their three power play opportunities. In their seven previous games the team that scored the most power play goals won the game. That will likely be the case again tonight.

- Props to the Allen penalty kill unit which has been performing at a high level for the last six weeks with little fan fare. While the Americans penalty kill is ranked #20 at 81.6% if you look at season long stats since early February the penalty kill is 5-50 for a 90% penalty kill percentage.

- As much as having a good start is important Allen needs to do a better job in the third period. The Americans haven't won a third period in the last six games and have been outscored 12-7 in the process. Tonight would be the perfect time to break that streak. 

- The referee scheduled for the game tonight is Andy Howard (#2) and the linesmen will be Aaron Schacht (#31) and Lucas Bisbee (#72).


- Allen got all the help they could ask for last night with Tulsa losing at home to Quad City and Utah losing at home to Colorado. The race for the final two playoff spots in the Mountain Division now has Wichita in third place (73 points), Allen in fourth place (71 points), Tulsa in fifth place (69 points) and Utah in sixth place (65 points). Games for scoreboard watching tonight in addition to Kansas City at Allen include Quad City at Tulsa, Colorado at Utah and Wichita at Fort Wayne.

- Alex Guptill had a goal last night to extend his scoring streak to 10 games which is the longest of the season for the Americans. He took a bad spill in the corner and limped off the ice but did return and finished the game. Hoping he is good to go today as he is probably sore this morning.

- The Allen Americans will be honoring the Ludwig family at the game tonight. Tyler and Trevor are a big part of Allen history winning three championships with the Americans.  It should be a fun night having the extended Ludwig family back at the AEC. If you are attending the game tonight arrive early so you can say hi and thank Tyler and Trevor for all they have done for the Americans over the years.

The Ludwig Twins

- For Allen fans dreaming about the return of Chad Costello and Greger Hanson to Allen next season those dreams were dashed yesterday as it was announced they have both signed in Germany for the 2018-19 season. Chad is leaving his team from this season (Iserlohn) and will be joining Greger in Krefeld. The two communities are about 65 miles apart. Chad and Greger will have their work cut out for them as Krefeld finished dead last in the 14 team DEL league this season. Here is part of the press release issued by the Krefeld Penguine (Pengiuns) which is translated from German so it may lose something in translation.

Greger Hanson remains a Penguin. Colleague Chad Costello moves from Iserlohn to the Lower Rhine.
With Greger Hanson, the Penguins could agree on a contract extension. The Swede had dissolved his contract with the San Diego Gulls (AHL) at the turn of the year and arrived in early January in Krefeld. "My wife and I immediately felt at home in Krefeld and are looking forward to the contract extension. Although I learned to play ice hockey in Sweden, at the beginning I had difficulties getting used to the larger ice surface after all these years. It went better from game to game, but I have not been satisfied with my achievements yet. Overall, I have also left too many chances to score. That will change, "says the 30-year-old Swede. In 13 games for the penguins he scored two goals and four assists and showed in the +/- statistics a value of +3.

He will be assisted by his former strike partner Chad Costello in the new season. The 31-year-old forward changes from Iserlohn to Krefeld and scored 8 goals and 19 assists for the Roosters in 37 games in his first season outside North America, as well as a score of +2. "Like Greger, I had to get used to the big ice surface first. In addition, the way of playing in the DEL is different than in the ECHL. All in all, I'm not dissatisfied with my first season in Germany, of course I still see potential for improvement. A knee injury had thrown me back during the season. We both know exactly what to expect. I am looking forward to Krefeld and I am convinced that Greger and I will be playing a strong season," Chad Costello says confidently. 

 Between 2014 and 2017, Greger and Chad had played together for the Allen Americans in the ECHL and won the Kelly Cup twice. Both were once each playoff MVP. The Swede 2015 and the American 2016. During this time Costello scored 98 goals in 216 games and gave 252 assists and a score of +66. There are also 60 games in the playoffs with 19 goals and 57 assists. Hanson has played 146 games over the same period, scoring 77 goals, giving 96 assists and scoring +59. In 59 games in the playoffs add another 30 goals and 30 assists.

DID YOU KNOW: The Ludwig family has 17 championships to their credit from high school to juniors to college to the CHL to the ECHL to the NHL. Did you know Trevor and Tyler were coached by Allen Americans President, Matt Canavan in high school.

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