ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans rose to the challenge to beat league leading Colorado 5-2 last night in a game that was much closer than the final score. The 3,184 fans that showed up at the Allen Event Center (AEC) for the only Thursday night game of the season were entertained with five goals by the home team, three fights and of course the victory.
– Allen got off to the good start they were looking for by scoring the first goal of the game at the 1:58 mark of the opening period on a shot from the point by Joel Chouinard. Scoring first put the odds of winning in Allen’s favor as they are now 17-4-1-0 when scoring first.
– Colorado scored late in the first period to tie the score 1-1 and had the only goal in the second period to take a 2-1 lead heading into the locker room for the second intermission. Allen dominated the third period with four unanswered goals while outshooting the Eagles 14-9. The game wasn’t decided until Allen scored two empty net goals by Alex Guptill and Casey Pierro-Zabotel.
– It was quite the accomplishment for the Americans to come back when trailing after the second period. It was only the second time all season Allen won in regulation when trailing after the second period. It was the first time all season Colorado has lost a game in regulation when leading after the second period.
– Allen used last change to get the matchup they wanted and throttled Michael Joly, the league’s top goal scorer, who is averaging almost a goal a game. Allen didn’t allow Joly a goal or an assist, limited him to just two shots in the game and he was -3. Allen also kept their former player, longtime nemesis and the ECHL ‘s top scoring defenseman, Matt Register off the score sheet.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Joel Chouinard (8), Alex Guptill (15&16), David Makowski (8) and Casey Pierro-Zabotel (13). Unfortunately, as I write this there are no video highlights on ECHL Rewind, no Sporfie highlights and no game recap on the Allen Americans website. Maybe they will show up later in the day. Here is the game recap from the Colorado Eagles: https://coloradoeagles.com/eagles-news/eagles-surrender-four-goals-in-3rd-period-fall-5-2-to-allen/
– Here is Kayla McLain’s pregame interview with coach Martinson where he talks about his approach to slowing down the Eagle’s top scorer, Michael Joly.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
“I liked the beginning of the game but then we had a little lull. I didn’t like the power play and probably you guys didn’t like it either but I really liked the third period.”
“We got in behind their defense a couple of times. It was good to see us show some resolve in the third period and up our game.”
“That was quite a play Moore made to hold the puck and give it to Guptill for the hat trick attempt empty net.”
“We dug ourselves a hole over the last month so we have to play like this every game now. I am confident in our team. We have to get a little quicker and a couple of our guys with speed need to use that speed more. We will get more speed in the lineup when we get Zach Hall back. He has been cleared to play so it is day to day when he is ready.”
“Pierro-Zabotel had a nice night against his old team with a goal and an assist plus he screened their goalie on a couple of our goals.”
“We didn’t move the puck very well and didn’t make good decisions on our power play chances. Sometimes as we were coming into the zone we had the outside guy open but didn’t make the pass. At other times we made bad passes when guys were set up for one timers. There are some things we need to do to help the power play without being specific.”
“I thought we got pucks to the net and were strong in front of the net tonight and that was the difference.”
“We were strong in the third period but I don’t think we played our best game. I think we played better in our last game against Wichita.”
ALLEN VS COLORADO REMATCH PREVIEW
– Allen came away with a win last night despite losing the special teams battle. Allen was 0-5 on the power play while Colorado was 1-3. The Americans have a slight advantage on special teams when you look at the percentages and they need to capitalize on that advantage if they expect to win tonight. Allen’s home power play percentage is 19.6% compared to Colorado on the road of 18.9%. Allen’s home penalty kill is 85.0% compared to Colorado on the road of 82.3%.
– Allen beat the odds coming back from a 2-1 deficit after the second period. Against the Eagles, it is imperative to get off to a good start and not play from behind. The Americans tempted fate last night and it worked but don’t expect Colorado to cough up a lead late in the game again tonight.
– Allen did a great job against Micheal Joly last night. They need to repeat that tonight but it won’t be easy. Until last night Joly had not gone more than one game without a point. He had his worst game of the season against the Americans with no points, just two shots and a -3. Using the same tactic as last night with Chouinard, Makowski and the Pierro-Zabotel line matched up against Joly, the Americans will have their hands full keeping him off the score sheet for the third straight game.
– With a goal and assist last night Casey Pierro-Zabotel once again sits atop the ECHL scoring race with 50 points (13 goals 37 assists). Shawn Szydlowski (Fort Wayne) is in second place with 49 points (21 goals 28 assists) and Micheal Joly is in third with 48 points (33 goals 15 assists).
– Alex Guptill had two goals last night and a couple of great chances for the hat trick with the net empty. Guptill is now the leading goal scorer for Allen with 16 (7 in Rapid City, 9 in Allen).
– Allen and Colorado are the two most penalized teams in the ECHL so you had to expect some fisticuffs last night and it didn’t take long. The top fighters on both teams got things going in the first period with a great scrap. Josh Thrower rocked Colorado’s Joey Ratelle with a couple of huge right hands that buckled Ratelle’s knees but he didn’t go down. They went toe to toe in one of the most entertaining fights of the season. Vincent Arseneau had two fights in the game and was throwing his body around finishing checks all over the ice as only Arseneau can do.
– Jeremy Brodeur was in goal for Allen for the third straight game and has played great in all three. His save percentage for the three games was .951, .931 and last night .929. Allen is in the midst of three games in three days so you can expect Stephon Williams to get a start in one of the next two games.
– With the win last night Allen jumped over Tulsa in the standings back into fourth place and the final playoff spot. With all of the trouble over the last month, Allen is only five points out of second place in the Mountain Division. With a full slate of games around the ECHL tonight Allen will have to win to keep pace. In addition to Colorado at Allen, Tulsa is at Wichita and Utah visits Idaho.
– Midweek games are a tough draw and the 3,184 at the game last night is not a great number but compared to the other two games around the league last night Allen did pretty good. Allen averages 3,903 per game and had 3,184 in attendance last night. Jacksonville averages 5,379 per game but only had 2,978 last night. Kalamazoo averages 2,692 per game but drew only 1,104 last night. It seems like for the vast majority of teams in the ECHL if they eliminated six midweek games during the season and reduced the total games to 66 they would actually make more money. Addition by subtraction!
DID YOU KNOW: In the 30 year history of the ECHL scoring 120 or more points in a season has only been accomplished 12 times by 10 different players. Chad Costello scored 120+ points in 2014-15 and 2016-17. With the exception of Chad, all of the other 120+ point performances took place in an era of high scoring. It makes what he was able to do all that more impressive. Here are the seasons when 120 or more points were scored.
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