After two disappointing losses on Friday and Saturday the Allen faithful were rewarded with a 5-4 entertaining win last night. The Americans overtime win over the Reading Royals came before a crowd of 3686 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). The game had a little bit of everything from a lot of goals, several fights, a delay of game penalty called on the fans for throwing underwear on the ice to a dramatic overtime goal for the game winner.
- The Americans gave up the first goal which is never a good sign but Allen came back as they did several times. During the course of the game the Americans trailed 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 but never gave up. When Reading took the lead 4-3 early in the third period I am sure many thought not another third period debacle since the Americans were outscored 5-0 and 3-1 in the third period on Friday and Saturday. Allen tied the score 4-4 on Alex Breton's hat trick goal midway through the third period to send the game to overtime.
- Overtimes have not been Allen's friend. Prior to last night they had lost four overtime games in the last month and you have to go back to October 27 to find the last time the Americans won a game in overtime. It was clear coach Martinson was going for broke when he put out three offensive players (Breton, Bourbonnais, Salituro) to start the overtime. About 45 seconds into the overtime as the Americans were headed into their offensive zone Breton switched out for Makowski. As Makowski and Asuchak, who earlier switched out for Bourbonnais, circled behind the net from different directions the player covering Makowski was picked off by Asuchak and David was able to skate in front of the net unimpeded and bury the puck. If you were at the game you may have noticed Reading coach Kirk MacDonald confront the referee for not calling a penalty on Asuchak. Some folks I talked to thought it was a penalty and others felt it wasn't but the most important person (the referee) thought it was not a penalty. Check out the Sporfie highlights below to get two different angles of the play.
- Two things that worked in Allen's favor were shots and penalties. The Americans out shot Reading 37-34, it was the first time in the five meetings with the Royals that Allen had the edge in shots. In the first four games Reading out shot Allen 144-114. Neither team scored a power play goal but the power plays were five for the Royals and four for Allen. One of the Americans penalties was a delay of game penalty called on the fans. When you consider Allen is ranked #1 with 1146 penalty minutes and leads the league in minor penalties (318) while Reading is ranked #26 with 535 penalty minutes and have taken the fewest minor penalties (190) it is a win for Allen to have power play opportunities basically equal.
UNDIEGATE - It was "Undie Sunday" yesterday and similar to the Teddy Bear Toss game, after the first goal scored by Allen fans threw unopened packages of underwear on the ice which will be donated to Allen Community Outreach. Everything went fine until Allen scored their second goal and more packages of underwear were thrown on the ice. The referee gave the crowd a warning not to throw anymore underwear on the ice, they should give them to an usher, but a few didn't get the message. After Allen scored their third goal a very few packages of underwear were thrown on the ice and the referee immediately called a delay of game on Allen. It seemed a bit harsh to me and there was not any malicious intent involved as fans were contributing to a charity cause and a few didn't understand the process. Luckily Reading did not score on the first power play ever at the Allen Event Center for throwing underwear.
- Alex Breton scored his first professional hat trick and didn't get the usual recognition with fans throwing hats on the ice. After UNDIEGATE fans were afraid to throw hats on the the ice. Wonder if the referee would have given the Allen fans another delay of game penalty if a bunch of hats had been thrown on the ice.
- The goal scorers for Allen were Alex Breton (10, 11, 12) Riley Bourbonnais (15) and David Makowski (10). Here are the Sporfie highlights for all five goals.
Alex Breton (1) - Dante Salituro does a lot of the work on this goal. Notice how he draws all five Reading players toward him as he carried the puck across the blue line and then passes to Breton who beats the goalie cleanly.
Alex Breton (2) - Several things to take note of on this goal. Reading gets caught on a bad shift change that puts three Americans behind the defense. Alex Breton gets a good jump off the bench on Allen's shift change. Adam Miller makes the pass to Breton and Alex puts the puck home for his second goal of the game.
Riley Bourbonnais - A great individual effort by Riley who circles the offensive zone and finds a lane to take a wrist shot. Notice how Salituro and Clark have the goalie completely screened.
Alex Breton (3) - A set play off the face off led to Breton's third goal. The key was Chase Lang winning the face off and getting the puck back to Alex. Mitch Maloney does a good job of preventing the Reading player from getting to Breton. Alex's 12th goal of the season is tied for second among all defensemen and his 35 points is also second.
David Makowski - Here are two views of Makowski's game winning goal. The first is a wide view of the play where you can see Salituro bring the puck up the ice and Breton heading to the bench in exchange for Makowski. The second clip is from behind the goalie where you can see the Royals player and Asuchak collide which opens thing up for Makowski.
Here is a five minute highlight package (no sound) with the goals, the scrums, the fights and some great saves by both goalies.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
"We kept saying shoot the puck high on this goalie and we got it upstairs a few times including on the game winner."
"It was a nice little pick by Asuchak behind the net. It was a legal pick because he was entitled to that ice."
"We have some guys that have to get in a little better shape. We will take Monday off but then we will have three days to practice."
"The plan as of now is we will get Motte back before next weekend."
- The Reading Royals are the only team in the ECHL that have not won an overtime game this season. They are now 0-4 in overtimes this season and have lost their last 13 games decided in overtime. The last time the Royals won a game in overtime was October 26, 2017. Allen's overtime win last night brings their overtime record to 2-4 this season.
- It won't get any easier for the Americans next weekend as they play the Utah Grizzlies three times (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Utah is the top team in the Mountain Division and ranks fourth in the ECHL in points (67) and winning percentage (.670).
- Allen gave up 15 goals in three games this weekend and are the only ECHL team that has given up over 200 goals (202). They are about to pass their season total for goals allowed in 2016-17 (203), 2015-16 (204) and 2014-15 (203). Allen is on pace to allow 265 goals this season.
DID YOU KNOW: Alex Breton's hat trick last night was the 22nd since the Americans joined the ECHL in 2014. Alex is only the second defenseman to accomplish the feat. The other defenseman with a hat trick was Konrad Abeltshauser who got his on April 3, 2015 in an 8-1 win over Brampton at the AEC.