ALLEN, TX – It took 167 days of the season and 68 games but the Allen Americans have finally made it to the top of the Mountain, that is the Mountain Division. The Americans beat Missouri 6-4 last night before a crowd of 3936 at the Allen Event Center (AEC) and jumped over idle Colorado to take a one-point lead in the division. Allen hasn’t won anything yet but is now in a position to control their own destiny. It is now Colorado fans doing the scoreboard watching and looking for Tulsa or Wichita (Allen’s remaining opponents) to beat the Americans.
– Bryan Moore scored the first goal of the game, his fourth in two games, at the 8:38 mark of the first period but Missouri tied the score six minutes later. The first period ended with a 1-1 tie.
The first period gave some huge clues on the eventual outcome of the game and from a statistics standpoint was a guaranteed victory. Allen is 36-2-2-1 when scoring the first goal of a game. The Americans are even more impressive when the score is tied after the first period, they are a perfect 14-0. Despite the favorable stats, it was a hard fought game with Allen relinquishing leads of 1-0 and 3-2. The game wasn’t decided until Dyson Stevenson put home an empty-net goal with two seconds remaining in the game. Bryan Moore could have easily scored the empty net goal but unselfishly passed the puck to Dyson.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Bryan Moore (25), Wade MacLeod (4&5), Greger Hanson (34) and Alex Krushelnyski (7).
Here are Steve Martinson‘s post game comments:
– It wasn’t a real pretty win but it puts us in first place. It was different than the win last night. I will have to watch the tape but there were some strange goals tonight including us scoring on our own goalie.
– Missouri was desperate and maybe we underestimated them based on the 7-2 win on Wednesday. We will take tomorrow off and give the guys a little rest and then we just have to keep it going.
– Spencer Asuchak should be cleared to play tomorrow. Since he hasn’t skated for eight or nine days I would expect they would send him back to Allen as soon as he is cleared.
– Alex Krushelnyski made another nice shot tonight. Bryan Moore is a pretty unselfish guy for a young player with 25 goals. On one play he was coming down the slot on the power play and passed to Chad for the one-timer and the goalie made a good save. Then he gave up the empty net goal and passed to Stevenson who scored.
– We don’t want to play the type of game we played tonight going forward. There are some things we need to shore up defensively. We need to learn from the game tonight. I will break down the video and show how the game tonight was different than Wednesday.
– Josh Brittain will be serving his one-game suspension on Saturday against Tulsa. We are getting defenseman Mike Brodzinski from San Jose tomorrow so I will be able to move Stevenson back to forward and put Brodzinski in the lineup on Saturday.
– Jamie Murray will start in goal on Saturday. He has played well his last three starts.
– Allen will have home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs and the first two games of the opening round are now set. They will be on Wednesday, April 12 and Friday, April 14. The rest of the dates and the opponent still has to be determined.
– Allen finished with a record of 10-1-2-0 against Missouri this season. If the Mavericks don’t make the playoffs their inability to get points against the Americans will add to the many frustrations they have faced at the hands of Allen over the years. The good news for Missouri is despite the losses to Allen the last two nights they are still in the playoff hunt. Who knows, a first round playoff series between Allen and Missouri is in the realm of possibilities.
– It was a tough night for Greger Hanson to get any respect even though he scored his 97th goal as an Allen American and is now tied with Bruce Graham for the franchise record for career goals. Greger accidentally put a puck in his own net and then for some reason the Americans misspelled his name as they live tweeted the game and posted info on Facebook. The Missouri Mavericks followed the Americans lead and misspelled his name in their press release recapping the game. For the record, it is Greger, not Gregor.
– It was a record night for tying records last night. In addition to Hanson tying Bruce Graham for the all-time goals record (97), Chad Costello tied himself for the single-season assist record as he now has 84 assists. Finally, Joel Chouinard was a +2 in the game and is now tied with Costello for the all-time single season plus/minus record at +43.
– Derek Mathers had his 29th fight last night which is by far the all-time record for fights in a season in Allen franchise history. Mathers is now third all-time in single-season penalty minutes with 252 trailing only Brett Lyon (256) and Garrett Klotz (257). He will soon own this record.
– A reminder on the tiebreakers should Colorado and Allen end up in a tie at the end of the regular season. The first tie breaker is regular season wins excluding shootout wins. Right now they are tied with 43. The second tiebreaker is goal differential and if it comes down to this tiebreaker Allen is the clear winner. Allen’s goal differential is +80 as they have scored 276 goals and allowed 196. Colorado’s has scored 257 goals and allowed 196 for a goal differential of +61.
– I stopped by coach Martinson’s office after the game and it didn’t take him long to chirp me in good fun about my prediction after the overtime loss in Missouri on March 22nd. As if I haven’t eaten enough crow on this prediction here what I said after that loss.
“Allen’s overtime loss last night was probably the death knell in their quest to win the Mountain Division. Colorado won again last night beating Rapid City 3-2 and now has a seven point lead. If Allen wins their remaining eight games the Eagles could go 4-2-1 in their remaining games and still win the division. That is not going to happen as Colorado has only lost two games in the last two months. The Eagles record since the end of January is 22-1-1-0.”
In my defense who would have thought that Colorado would lose three games in a row after losing two games in the past two months. Of all the eating crow memes this one seemed the most appropriate. I saw another one that said, “Why should your apology result in my death? I didn’t give you a big mouth.” And for dessert, I will have a slice of humble pie.
– Allen has made quite a push to get to the top spot in the Mountain Division. They are 11-0-1-0 in the last 12 games. Even more impressive is from the end of November when the Americans were 8-11-0-0 and dead last in the Mountain Division their record is 37-6-4-2.
DID YOU KNOW: According to the website, dropyourgloves.com, here is a list of the player with the most fights each year since the start of the Allen Americans franchise.
2016-17: Derek Mathers (29 fights)
2015-16: Dyson Stevenson (16 fights)
2014-15: Garrett Clarke (16 fights)
2013-14: Garrett Klotz (20 fights)
2012-13: Garrett Clarke (12 fights)
2011-12: Brett Clouthier (13 fights)
2010-11: Liam Huculak (15 fights)
2009-10: Liam Huculak (16 fights)