ALLEN, TX – Thanks primarily to goalie Riley Gill, the Allen Americans beat the Missouri Mavericks 3-2 last night before a crowd of 5128 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Gill was bombarded with 48 shots including 18 in the third period. He faced two late third period breakaways and a 6-on-4 power play when Allen took a penalty with 39 seconds remaining after Missouri pulled their goalie.
– All is well that ends well and the 3-2 victory allowed the Americans to close the gap in the standings to four points on division-leading Colorado, who was idle last night. Both teams have 12 games remaining but Allen has eight at home compared to just four for the Eagles.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Mike Gunn who got his first of the season, Spencer Asuchak (25) and Dyson Stevenson (9). Here are some things to look for when viewing the highlights at the highlights above. Net front presence on the first two goals was key. Alex Schoenborn didn’t get an assist on the first goal but he had the goalie screened when Gunn took the shot from the point. Spencer Asuchak was at the net to put in the rebound on the second goal. On the third goal, you have to use the 10-second rewind button multiple times to see the genius of Zach Hall. He held the puck by the side of the net until he drew the defense toward him. He had the goalie and defense out of position with a shot fake and then a pass fake through the slot. Finally, he saw Stevenson, who was playing defense, coming in from the point and Hall made the pass to Dyson who one-timed it home.
– Dyson Stevenson with a goal and assist was named the #1 star of the game and Riley Gill was the #2 star. Riley stopped 46 of 48 shots and lowered his league-leading GAA to 2.09 and raised his league-leading save percentage to .939. In his last 14 starts dating back to the middle of December, Gill’s record is 13-1.
– The team boarded Big Red after the game for the 475 mile trip to Indy and arrived in Indy at 7:30 am this morning. Luckily the team has the day off today to rest up for tomorrow. As a reminder, puck drop on Sunday against Indy is 2:05 pm Allen time.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
– Missouri is in a pretty desperate place trying to get a playoff spot and they played that way against us.
– It was hard to take they had seven power plays to our two. We allowed them no goals on seven power play chances including a couple when they had a two-man advantage. We played almost a full period short. We were efficient on our power play going 1-2.
– Once again Riley Gill was great in goal.
– We are going to have some high octane options going forward.
– Indy plays Fort Wayne tonight and I know Tommy Daniels plans to attend the game and some of the players may as well. Allen Americans alumni in the game include Jamie Schaafsma for Fort Wayne and Jake Marchment, Jake Hildebrand and Eric Levine for Indy. Indy beat Fort Wayne 6-5 last night.
– Allen has quietly become one of the hottest teams in the ECHL. Their four-game win streak is tied with Cincinnati for the longest in the league and their 8-1-1-0 record over the last 10 games is tied with Colorado for the best in the league.
– It is looking more and more like Idaho will be the #3 seed in the playoffs. They are eight points behind second place and seven points ahead of fourth place. Idaho would play the #2 seed in the first round of the playoffs which at this point is Allen. Here are the Mountain Division standings with games remaining in parentheses:
85 points – Colorado (12 games remaining)
81 points – Allen (12 games)
73 points – Idaho (13 games)
66 points – Alaska (14 games)
63 points – Utah (12 games)
61 points – Missouri (14 games)
52 points – Rapid City (13 games)
– Allen still has a shot at the #1 seed in the ECHL with a favorable schedule to go with their 8-1-1-0 record over the last 10 games. The Americans are now #3 in points (81), #4 in winning percentage (.675), #1 in goals scored (238), #4 in goals against (172), #3 in wins (38) and #1 in penalty minutes (1221).
– Kale Kerbashian has made the decision to go home rather than report to the Wheeling Nailers where he was traded at the trade deadline.
– It is now official that Elmira will not be playing next season. The league will add teams in Worcester and Jacksonville next season but subtract Alaska and Elmira. You hear rumors about other teams folding or moving prior to next season so it does make you wonder if there is more to come.
DID YOU KNOW: Sometimes there are aberrations and outliers but in general goal differential is a good indicator of the best teams in any league. Here are the top five ECHL teams in goal differential.
+80 – Toledo
+66 – Allen
+58 – Colorado
+45 – Florida
+43 – Reading