ALLEN, TX – In the game preview yesterday, there were three keys to assure a victory for the Allen Americans as they took on the Colorado Eagles. Score the first goal, score a power play goal and get 30 shots on goal. Two out of three isn’t bad (they didn’t score the first goal) and it was more than enough to earn Allen a 5-2 win over the Eagles before a Sunday afternoon crowd of 4142 at the Allen Event Center.
It didn’t look good for the Americans midway through the first period when Darryl Bootland lofted what seemed like a harmless shot from the right point that found its way into the net past a screened Riley Gill. However, from that point on, the game turned into the Chad Costello show as the Americans scored five unanswered goals on the way to a 5-2 victory. Allen managed an above average 30 shots on goal and two power play goals on three power play opportunities. The two power play goals matched the number of power play goals the Americans had scored against Colorado in their previous five games.
Goals scorers for Allen were Costello (13 & 14), Gens (5), Halabi (1) and Roy (10). Costello scored his first goal with just 22 second remaining in the first period when he took a pass from Dyson Stevenson and blasted a shot past Eagle goalie Eric Levine. Levine had held Allen scoreless for close to 80 minutes at that point. Allen scored three goals in the second period and added a fifth early in the third period to put the game away.
Aaron Gens – Aaron scored what would become the game winner midway through the second period on as pretty a play as you will see. Chad Costello made a perfectly timed pass from the right point behind the Colorado defense to Gens who was streaking in from the left point. Gens described it as “ramping” the puck as he kept his stick on the ice and deflected past Levine who didn’t have a chance.
Reid Halabi – David Makowski took a shot from the right point that missed the net wide right. J.P. LaFontaine passed the puck from behind the goal to the side of the net where both Reid Halabi and Casey Thrush were standing. There was a scramble and the puck ended up in the net. From the replay and still pictures it looks like it was Casey Thrush’s goal so it may get changed. It was one of those greasy goals that come about from hard work on everyone’s part and it was great to see that line get rewarded.
Eric Roy – Goal number four was a power play goal and it was a great pass from Chad Costello as he does what he does so often, thread a pass from the right side, through the front of the net to Eric Roy who was just to the left of the net. Roy has proven time and again how good he is at finishing and made no mistake in burying the puck in the net.
Chad Costello – Chad would finish the Allen scoring for the night with his second goal at the 1:36 mark of the third period. It was a power play goal and Chad put home the rebound of a David Makowski slap shot from the left point.
The three stars of the game were #1 Costello with two goals and two assists, #2 David Makowski with three assists and #3 Eric Roy with a goal and an assist.
With no games until the weekend when the Americans take on Cincinnati (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) it will be a week of practice which is invaluable at this time of the season. Normally the team would be off today (Monday) and then practice on Tuesday, but heard from a reliable source (the coach) there will be practice today so the team can hold their annual rookie party tonight and then have the day off on Tuesday to recover.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– It was good to see us get a couple of power play goals tonight. We have one of the best power plays in the league on the road but have struggled at home. We now have more power play goals (29) than everyone but Fort Wayne (30).
– Our penalty kill was great again tonight. We didn’t allow a power play goal in either game this weekend.
– I typically don’t talk to the team after a game as that is their time. I will talk before the game and between periods but usually not after a game. I prefer to look at the tape and then address issues later. What I saw when I looked at the tape after the game on Friday is we had great chances, we were good with the puck down low, we did a good job of carry the puck and other than a couple of times when the defense jumped in when they should have stayed out it was a well played game. So we talked before the game tonight about just keep doing what we have been doing and we will eventually get results.
– I did change the lineup tonight by moving Crane to center and Parker to right wing. Crane is good at moving the puck and I also wanted to have certain match ups against the Bootland/Daavetilla line.
– Chad Costello obviously can make plays and the difference tonight is that our good plays went in the net. That was an unbelievable goal that Gens scored off the pass by Chad.
– I am pleased with what I have seen from Reid Halabi in his first two games. He has played well and challenged several Colorado players who didn’t want to fight. I know they were shorthanded but there are ways to fight when your team is short handed and I speak from experience. All you have to do is wait until there are two or three minutes left in the period so the player that fights misses one or two shifts, then has the period break and then misses one or two shifts the next period. What I found out in these two games with Colorado is they are not near as tough without Teigen Zahn, who is out of the line up.
– It is better to have a player like Reid who is going to stick up for his teammates 100% of the time than a guy who is the toughest guy on the ice but doesn’t want to do anything.
– I didn’t play Eric Roy in the third period because he is being loaned to an AHL team tomorrow. He will fly out in the morning and may be in the line up tomorrow night. He has earned a chance to play at the next level.
– With his two goals and two assists Chad Costello increased his ECHL scoring lead over Colorado’s Trent Daavettila to 13 points. Chad now has 49 points (14 goals 35 assists).
– With the win over Colorado the Americans moved back into second place in the Western Conference in total points. Allen has 41 points but trails first place Missouri by a whopping 17 points.
– Eric Roy now has 25 points (10 goals 15 assists) and the rookie is second in scoring among all ECHL defensemen and and also second in scoring on the Allen Americans.
– The ECHL mandates a three day all star break for the players even though there is no all star game this year. The Americans will have their break February 1, 2, & 3.
DID YOU KNOW: Last night was Chad Costello’s 200th game in the ECHL. In those 200 hundred games he has averaged .52 goals per game and 1.05 assists per game for a total 1.57 points per game. That is the fifth highest average in the history of the ECHL for players with at least 200 games. The four players with a higher points per game average all played 15-20 years ago when there was a lot more scoring in the league.