There was no back door to the playoffs for the Allen Americans as they marched right through the front door with a dramatic 5-4 overtime win over the Idaho Steelheads last night. A crowd of 4005 excited fans watched the Americans defy the odds with a great third period comeback just like the old days and advance to the playoffs for the ninth time in the nine year history of the franchise. How did Allen defy the odds? Let me count the ways.
1. Allen gave up the first goal of the game - Allen's record when they don't score first is 9-23-5-2.
2. Allen trailed 1-0 after the first period - Prior to last night Idaho's record when leading after one period was 19-2-0-1.
3. Allen trailed 2-1 after the second period - Prior to last night Idaho's record when leading after two periods was 29-1-0-1.
4. Allen was outshot in every period for a game total of 52-25
5. Allen gave up the game tying goal on a penalty shot with 3.6 seconds remaining in the game.
- There were big contributions from young and old alike in the game. Allen was being outplayed badly in the first half of the game but the score was just 1-0 largely because of the outstanding play of goalie Jake Paterson. David Makowski, playing in his first game after missing the last seven because of a call up to San Jose (AHL), got the Americans on the board at the 12:43 mark of the second period. At the time of Makowski's goal Allen was being outshot 25-12. After Idaho took a 3-1 lead early in the third period it looked like Allen's hope for the playoffs rested with Rapid City beating Tulsa. But an old fashioned Allen Americans third period comeback, something this team has done many times in the Martinson era, happened with three goals in a span of four minutes between 11:39 and 15:46. The Americans were coasting to a win with a 4-3 lead until a penalty shot goal by Idaho with 3.6 seconds remaining threatened to spoil the comeback. The threat was averted when the newest member of the Allen Americans, Matt Foget, scored with 34 seconds remaining in overtime. What a nice memory for Foget to get his first professional goal in his first pro game, it is an overtime game winner and it clinches a playoff spot for his team.
- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans with a quote from Matt Foget on his first pro goal: https://allenamericans.com/clinched/
- Here is the complete game recap issued by the Idaho Steelheads: http://www.idahosteelheads.com/events/idaho-steelheads-vs-allen-americans-9/#gametab-2
- Goal scorers for Allen were David Makowski (11), Bryan Moore (21), Spencer Asuchak (13), Braylon Shmyr (2), Matt Foget (1).
- Here are the Sporfie highlights of the five Allen goals. A couple of highlight reel goals in these highlights.
David Makowski - The timing of this goal was most important as David tied the score 1-1 and gave Allen some momentum after being outplayed for the first half of the game. Notice David gets his first shot blocked but gathers the rebound and places the puck perfectly in the top corner of the net. A great example of pucks to the net with guys in front. Bethune and Frazee make sure the goalie can't see the shot from Makowski. https://sporfie.app.link/INBJEmG6UL
Bryan Moore - Another shot from outside with guys in front. Mike Gunn with a shot from the point off the end boards with Moore and Bethune in front of the net. I bet if you ask Gunn he was intentionally shooting wide of the net. Notice Moore get his stick on the puck just as he was being knocked down. https://sporfie.app.link/vNYMlFAvUL
Spencer Asuchak - A third goal with a shot from outside and players in front. Spencer Asuchak in great position where he makes his living right at the goal mouth. Also a nice shot from Joel Chouinard from the point. Braylon Shmyr starts the play with a pass to Chouinard. https://sporfie.app.link/GkyriZGvUL
Braylon Shmyr - The young guys took over on the last two goals and you will want to watch this one by Braylon a few times. Give credit to Zach Pochiro for a subtle short pass to Shmyr on the side wall. Then marvel at the move Braylon makes in a tight space to get around the defenseman. It was a good example of why he led his junior team with 37 goals. https://sporfie.app.link/pcygvkLvUL
Matt Foget - Shmyr also led his junior team in assists (51) and this is why. It was the Foget to Shmyr to Foget show for the overtime game winner. There is a lot to admire on this goal. Foget stops on the side boards and gives a pass to Shymr and moves toward the net bringing his man with him. Shmyr circles out by the blueline and drags his man into the middle and then heads where Foget had just vacated. He beats his man and goes for the wrap around which causes Foget's man to leave him to intercept Shmyr on the wrap around. The wrap around shot goes high in the air. Foget is all alone and has time to choke up on his stick and hit the puck in the net out of midair with the blade of his stick. Great plays by both guys. Maybe the best move was after the goal and the big celly commences who thinks to retrieve the puck out of the net before joining the celebration to make sure Foget has the puck/memory from his first pro game. It was the guy with close to 250 pro goals, veteran Casey Pierro-Zabotel. https://sporfie.app.link/QB9apmMwUL
- It is clear from watching the game last night the four players on amateur tryout contracts (ATO's) have brought speed and energy to the team. David Makowski referred to them as the water bugs in his between periods interview after the second period. David said the team needed to get the puck to them more in the third period, Mission accomplished.
- Had a lot of questions about the penalty shot at the end of the game. The penalty shot was awarded for deliberately displacing the goal. Rule 63.5 states, "If by reason of insufficient time in the regular playing time, the minor penalty assessed to a player for deliberately displacing his own goal post cannot be served in its entirety within the regular playing time of the game or at any time in overtime, a penalty shot shall be awarded against the offending team."
STEVE MARTINSON'S COMMENTS
- Here is coach Martinson's pregame interview with Kayla McLain:
- Here is the post game interview:
Here are some of the comments coach Martinson made when addressing the season ticket holders after the game.
"The first thing I will say is we got the two points. It wasn't they way we scripted it. I thought we were terrible in the first period."
"The nice thing is if we win tomorrow night we will play Idaho in the first round and we will get four days of practice to work on line combinations."
"We need some of our veteran guys to play better. We are still turning the puck over too much in the neutral zone so we don't get the shot and then the puck is in our zone and they get two or three shots."
"Both teams got most of their goals with pucks to the net with traffic in front. We always work on that but spent extra time at practice on that preparing for this game."
"Their second goal was a laser shot off the faceoff. It was a clean faceoff win right on the guys stick for a one timer in the corner of the net. Sometimes plays happen that are just good plays that end up in the back of your net. That goal was one of those plays. We can't lose the draw that clean but it was just a really good play by them."
"I sure liked the young guys tonight. They are really shifty guys. Shmyr scored in his first game but has been snake bit since. You see he carries the puck well and generates a lot. After the move he made on the fourth goal I put him and Foget out in overtime because they move their feet so well and there is a lot of open ice."
"I told the guys their homework assignment tonight is to figure out how to get yourself to play at the start of the game on Saturday how you played in the last 10 minutes tonight."
"The only player we will be getting back from San Jose is Colby McAuley and I am not sure when he will be joining us. Arseneau is playing every game in Utica so he may stay there until they lose in the playoffs."
"When I looked at that overtime goal in my office the guy that was probably the happiest, the guy that was jumping into that pile was Frazee and the poor guy can't play in the playoffs."
- To Martinson's point about Frazee here is the bench celebration of the Shmyr go ahead goal. Tell me Frazee (#25) isn't the happiest guy on the bench. It is also interesting to note most of the players are watching the action on the video screen rather than live. https://sporfie.app.link/xpddHxRvUL
ALLEN VS IDAHO REMATCH PREVIEW
- The key to the game tonight is like most nights. Allen need to get off to a better start if they expect to win. Even though the Americans have made the playoffs they will become the third seed in the Mountain Division if they can get one point tonight no matter what happens in the Wichita at Colorado game. A win tonight will be important for both teams to set the tone if they play each other in the first round of the playoffs which is likely at this point.
- Special teams were not a factor last night but could be tonight. A power play goal by Allen would go a long way to earning a point tonight.
- The referee scheduled for the game is Mike Sheehan (#11) and the linesmen are Aaron Schacht (#31) and Brian Bull (#95). This is the same crew as last night so if you like the let them play style of officiating look for more of the same tonight.
- Thoughts and prayers go out to the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). The team was involved in a bus crash with a transport truck last night that took the lives of at least 14 people. Former Allen forward Tanner Eberle played a year in the SJHL. Here are the details on this terrible tragedy: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/04/07/bus-carrying-humboldt-broncos-hockey-team-involved-in-crash-fatalities-reported.html
- Don't forget the Americans will be wearing the specialty cancer awareness jerseys tonight and they will be auctioned off at a live auction right after the game with proceeds going to cancer research. So stick around after the game for the charity auction.
- Rick and Marilyn Duncan and the staff at North Dallas Sports took a road trip to Tulsa and put together this 26 minute video to give fans a behind the scenes look. Check it out:
DID YOU KNOW: Had a question from one of my favorite Allen Americans fans who noticed that Jeremy Brodeur doesn't use the door when going on the bench. He closes the door and climbs over. Her question is why does Jeremy do this? Brodeur told me he can't remember when he started climbing over the boards rather than using the door but he always kiddingly tells people he is just trying to get in his workout.