Thursday, November 23, 2023

Allen Snaps Losing Streak, Hargrove Injured, Game Recaps, Video Highlights, Costello Comments, Myles Jack Unretires, ECHL Streaks and More


It was a big win and a big loss for the Allen Americans last night in Wichita. The Americans won the game 5-3 but lost their captain, Colton Hargrove to a leg injury. Hargorve needed help getting off the ice and it definitely didn't look good.


-  It was an inspiring win for the Americans who snapped a six game losing streak while playing without their captain for most of the game. The team was reduced to just eight forwards plus defensemen Matt Sredl upfront. Six players took the ice last night with three or fewer games played for the Americans. Defensemen Joe Gatenby and Nolan Oezeck were playing in their first game for Allen.


- Allen gave up the first and only goal on the opening period on a Thunder power play which was not a good sign. Allen had not won a game all season when trailing after the first period (0-4) until last might. The team seemed inspired after Hargrove left with his injury. They outshot Wichita 14-10 in the first period and goalie Mark Sinclair looked great in goal. Allen had two 5-on-3 opportunities in the first period, one was 37 seconds and the other 1:22 (10 seconds carried over to the 2nd period) but could not convert. It was a pattern for Allen throughout the game as the power play was 1-7.


- Facing a 1-0 deficit, Allen fought back in the second period with two unanswered goals to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. The goal scorers were Solag Bakich (2) and Spencer Asuchak (3). The Americans showed a lot of grit in the third period. Allen took a 3-1 lead early in the period when Hank Crone scored his second goal since joining the Americans. He had hit the post twice earlier in the game. Just when it looked like Allen would come away with a big win Wichita scored back to back goals to tie the score 3-3. It did not look good at that point given Allen was playing shorthanded and some players were racking up big minutes. 


- The heroics started with Matt Marcinew stealing the puck and depositing it in the back of the net on a bang-bang play. Marcinew had gone down hard into the boards several times during the game so it was good to see him get the games winner on his team leading seventh goal of the season. Kris Myllari scored an empty net goal that went the length of the ice with 45 seconds remaining to seal the victory. 


- Here are some miscellaneous stats of interest:

  • Allen held Wichita to under 40 shots (34). The fewest shots allowed all season and just the second time the Americans have held an opponent under 40 shots.
  • Allen struggled on the power play 1-7 and didn't convert on two 5-on-3 opportunities.
  • Allen stayed out of the penalty box taking just four penalties and allowing only two power plays. 
  • Allen improved its road record to 4-5-0-0
  • Allen gave up the first goal of the game for the ninth time in 14 games.
  • Mark Sinclair had his fewest saves of the season (31). He is ranked  #9 in the league in minutes played (477) but #1 in the league in saves (360).
  • Kris Myllari had a goal and an assist last night and continues to lead all ECHL players in power play points (11) and assists (9). 
  • Hank Crone has averaged 1.50 points per game since returning to Allen. He has six points (2G, 4A) in four games. 


- Here are the game recaps from both teams:


- Here are the video highlights with all of the goals and some great saves:


- I had a chance to check in with coach Costello after the game to get his thoughts. Here is what he had to say. The first quote is from the Allen Americans game recap but bears repeating: 

"It was a tough way to win the game. It came at a price. Colton Hargrove leaving the game with a serious injury, and knowing he is going to be out for a lengthy period. The win is bittersweet.  

"Sinclair was great and steady in the net which helped a lot."

"I thought their first goal was clearly scored with a kicking motion, but the players did a good job of staying focused after it was ruled a goal."

"With Hargrove's injury we were playing short. Everyone was competing and contributed tonight."

"Will we not know the extent of Hargrove's injury until later in the week."

"It was nice to see smiles in the locker room after the big win."

"Hopefully this will lead to more consistent success going forward."

"Happy Thanksgiving to everyone."   



 - The Americans traveled to Tulsa after the game last night and will have the day off today and enjoy a team Thanksgiving dinner together. Tulsa beat Kansas City 3-2 at home last night and will be waiting for the Americans. Tulsa lost the first two games of the three game series against the Mavericks. Tulsa has been playing good hockey. Last week they swept three game in Rapid City. 

The games against Tulsa tomorrow night and Saturday night will be a real test for Allen to show the team is back on track despite having eight players out with injuries. William Provost (#9) met the team in Tulsa and as I mentioned yesterday, it is possible Coach Costello could add another forward and get a goalie assigned before the weekend is completed.   


 - You probably saw the news that Allen Americans owner Myles Jack unretired and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this week. Here is the story if you haven't seen it.

I have had several questions what this means for the Allen Americans since Myles was very involved with the team. I reached out to team President, Jonny Mydra and this is what he had to say, "Myles will do his best to be involved from a distance, but his mother, LJ, will take an even more active role than already planned. She will take over some of the things Myles was doing. She will be in the office and at the arena often."


 - After the games last night there are just three teams remaining with points percentages above .800 and two of them are in the Mountain Division. Only two teams have point percentages in the .700's and three in the .600's. Here is the list of the top eight teams.

  • .857 - Idaho
  • .857 - Greenville 
  • .800 - Kansas City
  • .769 - Trois Riviéres
  • .750 - Toledo
  • .682 - Adirondack
  • .615 - Atlanta
  • .615 - Iowa

- Four ECHL players have already hit double digits in goals scored. All are on pace to score 40+ goals this season. The top goal scorers:

  • 11 goals - Mark Rassell, Idaho
  • 10 goals - Wade Murphy, Idaho
  • 10 goals - Brandon Hawkins, Toledo
  • 10 goals - Ryan Chyzowski, Reading

- There is one Thanksgiving game on the scheduled today. Iowa, with its seven game win streak, will be in Fort Wayne to take on the Komets. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview:

DID YOU KNOW: Today's ECHL stats post is about streaks. With the win last night Allen avoided being on this list of longest current ECHL winning and losing streaks.. 



- No Surprise: The two best teams in the ECHL, with matching .857 points percentage, Greenville and Idaho, have 5 game win streaks.
- Big Surprise: Iowa lost its first 6 games of the season and was in the all to familiar last place in the division. The Heartlanders are now on a 7 game win streak, longest current win streak in the ECHL. They have climbed from last place to second place in the division.
- Biggest Surprise: Atlanta won its first 8 games of the season, tied for second all-time for wins to start the season. The Gladiators are now on a 5 game losing streak. They have gone from a league best 1.000 points percentage to .615 in just 10 days.

- I want to close today by wishing every one a Happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully you are able to spend time with friends and family. Because my mom was a nurse and daughter is a nurse a special thanks to all those that have to work today like health care workers and first responders. I also hope you take comfort in great memories if you have lost family or friends this year. May your day be filled with great friends, great family, great food and great times. Happy Thanksgiving

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