ALLEN, TX – In a must-win game for both teams the Allen Americans came out on top beating the Missouri Mavericks 7-2 before a Wednesday night crowd of 3847 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). With the win, Allen is now one point behind first place Colorado who lost their third straight game last night. The Americans will have a chance to take over the Mountain Division lead with a win tonight when they have a rematch with Missouri.

– The Allen victory last night was one of the most entertaining of the season and that is without a single roughing or fighting penalty in the entire game. Some nights you have to scratch and claw to get good scoring opportunities and goals only come with grit and ugliness. Last night there were so many “pretty” goals and opportunities it was hard to keep track. The Americans offense was scary good last night and that is without Spencer Asuchak, David Makowski and Eric Roy in the lineup.

– Goal scorers for Allen were Tyler Barnes (8), Bryan Moore (22,23,24), Miles Liberati (3), Josh Brittain (10) and Alex Krushelnyski (6). The highlights above are a must see with all of the great passes, great finishes, and great individual efforts. The Bryan Moore shorthanded goal was a thing of beauty as he undressed a really talented defenseman to score that goal.

– There were so many outstanding performances last night led by Bryan Moore’s hat trick in his first game back after missing the last four with an injury. Chad Costello and Zach Hall each had three assists and Josh Brittain had a goal and two assists. Travis Brown was a +4 and there were four players at +3 including Joel Chouinard who is now +41 for the season and leads the ECHL in plus/minus. Chouinard also had an assist to extend his scoring streak to seven games.

GAME PREVIEW

– If the Americans play like the did last night it will be another difficult time for the Mavericks. Allen scored seven goals but could have easily been in double digits.

– Allen will have to clean up some breakdowns on the penalty kill. Missouri’s two goals came on the power play. Prior to last night, the Americans had not allowed more than one power play goal in a game in almost two month (February 4). The two power play goals were offset by the Moore shorthanded goal.

– Coach Steve Martinson mentioned in his post game press conference that the team may be short another defenseman for the game tonight but the injury was still being assessed. He also said he hadn’t decided who would be in goal tonight. Riley Gill and Jamie Murray will split the next two games but it is undecided who starts tonight and who starts on Saturday.

OTHER COMMENTS

– You get the feeling the Mountain Division playoff seedings will come down to the last games of the season. Last night Colorado lost 2-1 in Idaho, Allen beat Missouri, Fort Wayne beat Alaska 5-2 and Utah beat Rapid City 4-2. The net result is a tightening of the race for first place and for the final playoff spot. The only team that is locked in is Idaho as the #3 seed. All the rest are still up for grabs. Here are the Mountain Division standings with games remaining:

95 points – Colorado (4 games remaining)
94 points – Allen (5 games)
85 points – Idaho (5 games)
72 points – Alaska (5 games)
71 points – Utah (5 games)
70 points – Missouri (6 games)
58 points – Rapid City (4 games)

– The most intriguing of the final games of the season is the matchup between Missouri and Utah. They play each other in Utah the last three games of the season on April 5, 7 and 8. This could very well decide who makes the playoffs.

– With his three assists last night Chad Costello has 113 points and a 26 point lead in the ECHL scoring race. Chad has 82 assists and needs three more to break the all-time Allen record for assists which he holds at 84. He next goal will tie him with Bruce Graham for the Allen all-time record for goals at 97. Chad has three of the top 12 assist seasons in the history of the league. He is the only player to appear in the top 12 more than once.

– Here is an interview Tom Manning did with Aaron Dell when the San Jose Sharks were in Dallas last week:

– With the ECHL season quickly coming to a close average attendance is down 3.8% from last season at 4176. The last time attendance was this low was 10 years ago (2006-07) when average attendance finished at 4174. ECHL average attendance has declined each of the last four seasons. In 2013-14 the average was 4706.

DID YOU KNOW: Since the 1980’s & 1990’s when all of the ECHL scoring records were set there have been just three times a player has scored more than 110 points in a season. Chad Costello had 125 points in 2014-15 and has 113 points and counting this season.  The third time was Tyler Donati who had 114 points for Elmira in 2009-10. The common denominator in these three 110+ seasons is that Steve Martinson was the coach. That is why players love playing in his offensive minded system.

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