The wheels came off on the Allen Americans in Idaho last night as the Steelheads scored early and often to win the game 6-3 and force a winner take all game seven tonight. Every key to victory fell to Idaho as they scored first, led 3-2 after the first period, 5-2 after the second period, scored two power play goals (2-8) and allowed no power play goals (0-5).
- Allen has now squandered a 3-0 series lead and allowed the Steelheads to become the fourth team in the 30 year history of the ECHL to force a game seven after trailing 3-0. Idaho will be battling long odds if they are to win the series tonight. In the history of the NHL there have been 187 series where one team has taken a 3-0 series lead and just four times (2.1%) has a team comeback to win the series.
- Here is the full game recap from the Idaho Steelheads: http://www.idahosteelheads.com/events/allen-americans-vs-idaho-steelheads-12/#gametab-2
- The goal scorers for Allen were Joel Chouinard (1), David Makowski (4) and Spencer Asuchak (1). Here are the video highlights where you can check out the Allen goals and the numerous defensive breakdowns on the Idaho goals.
- I exchanged messages with coach Martinson this morning and he said, "We didn't play good enough. The positive is they are not beating us at our best. We need to bring our best tonight."
ALLEN VS IDAHO GAME SEVEN PREVIEW
- There is not much to be said when it comes to game seven other than the series is now at that point where it is win or go home for both teams. It really doesn't matter how it got to this point the fact of the matter it is one game for the right to continue to chase the Kelly Cup. Stats don't matter, percentages don't matter, what matters is which team is going to impose their will on the other. If you have followed coach Steve Martinson's coaching career you know that in 21 years of playoff hockey he has lost just one game seven. He will have his team ready to go tonight and it will be up to them to put themselves in the position to win.
- Special teams was the Achilles heel once again last night for the Americans as it has been all series and much of the regular season. Allen gave up two power play goals last night and has allowed a power play goal in five of the six games in this series. Allen was unable to score a power play goal in five opportunities last night including a five-on-three for over a minute early in the second period. Of the 16 teams in the playoffs Allen is ranked #14 on the power play at 9.5% and #15 on the penalty kill at 80.0%. If the Americans can't turn around their special teams play and win the battle tonight they will not win the game.
- Here is the ECHL Today with their take on game seven tonight along with the winningest playoff coaches in ECHL history. With a win tonight Steve Martinson will be tied for #2 all-time with 50 playoff wins. https://www.echl.com/echl-today-april-25-2018
- Maybe the Allen Americans can take some inspiration from former Allen Americans forward Josh Brittain who I wrote about yesterday. His team (Banksa Bystrica) blew a 3-0 series lead and after they lost game six at home disgruntled fans berated the team and started a brawl. The story has a happy ending because Josh's team came through yesterday in game seven, winning 5-1 on the road to claim the Slovakian championship.
DID YOU KNOW: Only one time in the history of the ECHL has a team comeback from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven game playoff series. It was the 2010 Cincinnati Cyclones who accomplished the feat in the third round (conference finals). Here are a few facts from that series:
- Cincinnati accomplished the historic comeback against the Reading Royals
- One player on each team in that series would go on to play for the Allen Americans. Scott Langdon was playing for Reading and Mathieu Aubin was playing for Cincinnati.
- Cincinnati won game six in that series at home by the same score Idaho won last night (6-3).
- Cincinnati won game seven by a score of 1-0 to move on to the Kelly Cup finals.
- Cincinnati played the Idaho Steelheads in the finals and won the series and the Kelly Cup 4-1.