The Sin Bin’s Kelly Cup playoff coverage is presented by Kalwei Law Firm
So much for low scoring, tight checking playoff hockey.
For the second game in a row the final score between Allen and Rapid City was 7-4. The winner last night was Rapid City as the 2662 fans that braved a big snow storm saw the Rush stave off elimination by scoring seven goals on just twenty shots. By midway through the second period the Rush were leading 4-0 and the Americans were desperate to get on the scoreboard.
So desperate, Martinson used a play seldom seen in a hockey game. Allen had a five on three power play opportunity starting at 10:20 of the second period. Martinson chose to pull goalie Joel Rumpel to make it a six on three power play. The tactic worked as Vincent Arseneau tipped in a Chad Costello shot. With the score 4-1 Allen had another power play at the end of the second period to try and cut into the Rush lead but instead gave up a shorthanded goal.
Even trailing 5-1 after two periods, Allen fans knew the Americans have been dominate in the third period. When Allen scored three goals in the first eight minutes of the third period to make the score 5-4 it looked like the comeback was on. It was not to happen on this night as the Rush scored at 15:15 and added an empty net goal to make the final 7-4. It was a poorly played game by the Americans but they never gave up, fought to the end, came back from a 5-1 deficit but could not get the game tying goal.
Allen leads the series 3-2 and returns home for game six on Tuesday and game seven (if necessary) on Wednesday.
The goals scorers for Allen were Arseneau (3), Costello (4), Schaafsma (2), and Crane (3). The line up changes in the game were Joel Rumpel in goal and Dyson Stevenson, who replaced Patrik Valcak.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– We had numerous opportunities to score in the first period but just could not finish.
– We kept repeating what has been happening way too much in this series. We turn the puck over when we have full control which leads to odd man rushes that we defend poorly. You have heard me say many times when goals are scored there are usually multiple mistakes made on the play and that is what happened tonight.
– We give up cross ice passes that you are taught since you are a kid to take away. It is just weak play on our part.
– We have really let both of our goalies down with poor defensive play by the forwards and defensemen. At this point in the season your best players have to be your best players and that isn’t happening.
– The shorthanded goal we gave up at the end of the second period was crucial. I knew it would be tough to overcome when they got the 5-1 lead.
– Their power play goal was also frustrating because our defenseman had his stick clearly slashed out of his hand and could not defend on the play.
– On our five on three power play in the second period we really needed a goal as we were trailing 4-0 so I decided to pull the goalie and make it a 6-3 power play. I have used that play a few times in situations like we had tonight. It usually works but you like to score early before the fourth man comes out of the penalty box. Six on three makes it very difficult for the penalty killers to retrieve pucks because they are so out manned and out positioned.
– I could go on but won’t. We are still up 3-2 in the series and everything is in our control. We will get it figured out and be ready to go on Tuesday.
– Allen finally got a power play goal on the road even though it took a six on three with the goalie pulled to get the job done. The Americans road power play is now 1-19 or 5.3%. The good news is the next game is at home where the power play as been scoring at a 32.3% clip.
– Rapid City has scored the first goal of the game in four of the five games played in this series. The only game Allen scored first was the 8-1 win at home in game two.
– Another trend that needs to change is waiting until the third period to get going. Allen has been outscored by Rapid City in the first period (4-3) and the second period (8-7) but has outscored the Rush in the third period 15-5.
In the only other playoff action last night Fort Wayne beat Toledo 3-2 in double overtime to even the series 3-3. The home team has won all six games so the home ice advantage Toledo won by having the best record in the ECHL may prove to be the difference in the series. All three Fort Wayne wins have been in overtime. Game seven will be in Toledo on Wednesday.
The only playoff action tonight is South Carolina at Florida. Florida has gotten back in the series with two overtime wins in South Carolina after trailing in the series 3-0. If Florida wins tonight, game seven will be Tuesday night in Florida.
Only one (Ontario) of the final four playoff teams have been decided but what is guaranteed is the final four teams will all be #1 or #2 seeds.
Congratulations to Allen Americans Ice Angels Rose and Stephanie who have made it to the next step in the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (DCC) tryouts. They have made it to DCC training camp. They will go through a rigorous training program as the group will be cut down from the 46 in training camp to a final squad of 32-36. It is quite an honor to make it to training camp and best of luck to Rose and Stephanie the rest of the way.
DID YOU KNOW: The most famous game in Allen Americans history took place two years ago today on May 11, 2013. It was game seven (in Allen) of the CHL finals and Allen was trailing Wichita 2-0 in the third period when Jarret Lukin scored at 7:13 and Trevor Hendrikx at 17:41 to tie the score and send it to overtime.
Just 2:47 into the overtime Todd Robinson took a long stretch pass from Mike Montgomery and blasted a slap shot from the right face off circle past Wichita goalie Torrie Jung to send the place into pandemonium. It was a magical end to a magical season. To win the first Presidents’ Cup in team history at home in game seven in sudden death overtime is as good as it gets. Whether you have never seen this highlight video or seen it a 100 times it is always special, especially the ending!