The home woes continued for the Allen Americans last night as they lost for the sixth straight time at the Allen Event Center (AEC) before the largest crowd of the season (5816). Chad Painchaud scored his third goal of the game at the 2:56 mark of overtime to give the Brampton Beast a 6-5 win over the Americans after Allen had tied the score with just nine seconds remaining in the game on a goal by Kevin Young. Defensive lapses once again cost Allen the game as they allowed the #26 ranked team in goals scored to get six goals. It was the most goals scored by Brampton all season.The goal scorers for Allen were Josef Fojtik (4), Tyler Ludwig (14), Greger Hanson (18), Trevor Ludwig (6), and Kevin Young (7). If you look at the box score a lot of stats are favorable as Allen scored the first goal of the game (they win 83% of the time when scoring first), they won the special teams battle (Allen 1-5 on the power play, Brampton 0-5), and they out shot the Beast 40-37. However, if there is not a commitment to playing defense by the entire team you will get beat more often than not. It happened early in the season and has been happening more and more recently.
Might be hard to believe but the good news is Allen boarded the bus after the loss to Brampton. The Americans had to travel 361 miles through the night in some marginal weather where they will play the Wichita Thunder at 5:05 pm tonight. As poorly as the Americans have played at home recently they have been great on the road. They have won four in a row and six of the last seven road games. Let’s hope that streak continues against the Thunder.
Had the chance to catch up with Steve Martinson, Erik Adams and Kevin Colley after the game to get their collective thoughts on the loss to Brampton. It was obvious they are tired of losing at home and the performance against the Beast was not acceptable.
– Putting the puck in the net is too much on the mind of the players. They need to be aggressive but we need a better balance between offense and defense. We should not be allowing six goals in a game like tonight.
– We didn’t play last night while Brampton played in Wichita and didn’t get to Allen until around 5:00 am this morning and we allow them to comeback like that in the third period and beat us in overtime. A performance like that is just not good enough.
– It seemed like everytime we made a mistake tonight the puck ended up in our net.
– Unlike the NHL where you can have scorers and grinders the roster size in the ECHL requires everyone to do both. Skill guys need to be able to play without the puck. We are not getting that consistently right now. Tonight we got beat on the rush and we got beat in our zone.
– We have not played well in four on four situations this year whether it is in overtime or because of penalties. That is a big red flag of poor defensive play.
– Steve Tarasuk will be in the line up in Wichita and Riley Gill will be in goal. I am not sure who will be the healthy scratch. Everyone will go on the trip and I will decide tomorrow who won’t play.
– I thought we started to get traffic to the net in the third period which was good to see.
– One of the decisions I will have to make soon is whether we have too many offensive players and not enough guys that are good defensively. It might be time to make a move with the ECHL trade deadline coming up on March 12.
– We had several odd man rushes where we didn’t even get a shot. Sometimes you need to slow down and make a play.
– Allen has had a slump most every year around this time but the current six game home losing streak is very similar to the seven game losing streak in 2012-2013. The team went a month without winning at home that year and it has been a month (January 29) since Allen has won at home this year. In 2012-2013 four of the seven games in the losing streak went to overtime so the Americans were getting points. This year three of the six game losing streak have gone to overtime. In 2012-2013 the long home losing streak lead to a championship so let’s hope that pattern continues this year as well.
– The coaches mentioned how poorly Allen seems to play in four on four situations and overtime stats would back that up. Last night was the sixth time this year a game was decided in overtime and Allen has lost four of the six. You combine the 2-4 overtime record with the 2-3 shootout record and you have the second worst record in the ECHL. As good as Allen has been overall this year they are ranked #27 in the ECHL when games are not decided in regulation. The Allen record is 4-7 with a win percentage of just .364.
– Chad Costello had three assists last night and now has 90 points on the season. His lead in the ECHL scoring race has increased to an incredible 28 points. Chad won the ECHL MVP award in 2012 and is the odds on favorite to win the award again this year. If he does he will be the first player to win the award twice in the history of the league.
– Aaron Gens had an assist last night and now leads all ECHL defensemen in points with 38.
– In the Police vs Fire game which was played prior to the Americans game the winner was the Fire Department. The Fire department leads the annual series 4-2. With four Allen players being involved in the Fire department intern program this year watch out if any of them eventually get hired as firemen after their playing days are over.
– The Americans wore specialty jerseys (Fire Department) last night that were auctioned off after the game. Here is a partial list of what some of the jerseys went for courtesy of a fan who attended the auction and sent this information along:
Schaafsma – $850
Young – $450
Descoteaux – $350
Barr – $550
Steffes – $450
Gill – $450
Follmer – $400
Tyler Ludwig – $650
Valcak – $750
Hanson – $750
Trevor Ludwig – $700
Messier – $450
Fojtik – $450
Costello – $600
Gens – $600
Baker – $500
– Jack Combs got his first goal as a member of the Stockton Thunder last night in a losing cause. It was his first ECHL point since January 11th when he was playing for Allen. Despite playing as many as 21 fewer games than those ahead of him in the ECHL scoring race Combs is eighth in scoring with 57 points and just five points out of second.
– South Carolina beat Florida last night 4-3 and has now won a league leading thirteen games in a row.
– In the AHL last night Ian Schultz (Iowa) won 3-2 over Lake Erie. Ian had one shot on goal and had a fight. Spencer Asuchak (Providence) beat Norfolk 4-3 with Spencer having all zeros except he was a -1. Worcester was shutout by St. John’s 2-0. Aaron Dell did not play and Rylan Schwartz had two shots on goal.
– Congratulations to Aaron Dell who was just signed to a one year, two way NHL contract by the San Jose Sharks for $550,000.
DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello is now the all time single season record holder for the Allen Americans in both points (90) and assists (62). When the season is over Costello will have more assists than any other player in Allen history has had points in a season with the possible exception of Bruce Graham and Colton Yellow Horn. Pretty amazing!