ALLEN, TX – Steve Martinson described it best when he said the 3-2 victory over Indy last night was a win that felt like a loss. More on that in Coach’s Corner below. The Allen Americans used some timely scoring to defeat the Indy Fuel 3-2 before an announced crowd of 3510 at the Allen Event Center. It was the eighth straight loss for Indy who are in last place in the Central Division and the fourth straight win for Allen who occupy first place in the Mountain Division.
– It was timely scoring indeed for the Americans as Spencer Asuchak scored his 21st goal of the season with 14 seconds remaining in the first period. Allen has played Indy four times this season, scored the first goal in all four games and won all four games. Allen got their second goal 55 seconds into the second period as Zach Hall, playing in his first game since January 20, scored his seventh goal of the season. The Americans took a 3-0 lead when Greger Hanson scored his 29th goal of the season just 26 seconds into the third period. It was a power play goal and for Greger it was his league leading 12th power play goal of the season.
– It looked like Riley Gill was headed for his league-leading sixth shutout of the season until defensive lapses allowed Indy two goals late in the third period. Indy outshot Allen 10-4 in the period and had a chance to tie the score after they pulled their goalie. The Americans hung on for the 3-2 win.
– The teams have the day off today (the Americans will have an optional skate) and resume play again on Friday night.
– Here is the pregame interview with Tom Manning and coach Martinson:
STEVE MARTINSON POSTGAME COMMENTS:
– I know we won but I feel like we lost. Gill was in great position to get a shutout and apparently that wasn’t on the mind of the three forwards that were on the ice. That is some of the worse defensive play you will see.
– We made so many defensive mistakes until Indy finally had a wide open net. Then on the power play goal they had us three on one in front of the net.
– We talked between periods about getting a power play goal on the five-on-three to start the third and then holding them to six shots. We got the power play goal but the idea of holding them to six shots went out the window. I don’t think everyone bought into that.
– I will show the video of the last couple of plays to everyone on the team tomorrow. If we want to beat the good teams we can’t play bad defensively like we did tonight.
– I will go through the tape and count but we had way too many turnovers at the blue line. Veteran guys did it and young guys did it. We had way too many weak plays at the blue line.
– We have guys cheating trying to get behind their defensmen and you don’t have to do that. Our line rushes through the neutral zone weren’t very good and we had a lot of offsides.
– I don’t think we had enough guys going to the net tonight. I don’t think we had good center drive. Several times the puck was going to the net and we had guys go behind the net.
– I thought Stevenson did a great job playing defense. The last five minutes I moved him up to forward because it seemed like we had forwards that didn’t care about getting scored on. He did a great job playing defense, creating some offense and making some plays on the breakout.
– Josh Brittain is being loaned to the Chicago Wolves (AHL) this weekend as they play two games against Texas.
– With the win last night Allen now has 70 points and is alone atop the Mountain Division and Western Conference. Florida beat Orlando in overtime last night and is the only team in the league with more points than the Americans. Florida has 71 points.
– Allen is in good shape when you look at points but that is a bit misleading because the Americans have played more games (53) than any other team in the league. If you look at winning percentage Allen is fifth in the ECHL at .660.
– Chad Costello had two more assists last night and now has 97 points (28 goals 69 assists) and a 35 point lead in the ECHL scoring race. Chad has at least two points in nine straight games. In the last nine games he is averaging 2.67 points per game.
– Greger Hanson had a goal and an assist last night to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games. In those seven games, Hanson is averaging 2.14 points per game. He is now second in the ECHL scoring race with 62 points (28 goals 33 assists).
DID YOU KNOW: The best way to look at ECHL standings is to look at winning percentage because of the varying number of games played by each team. Allen and Tulsa have played 53 games while Wichita has played only 46.
Here are the top ten teams in the ECHL by winning percentage:
.755 – Florida
.719 – Toledo
.680 – Colorado
.673 – Manchester
.660 – Allen
.635 – Fort Wayne
.625 – Adirondack
.622 – Reading
.615 – Brampton
.612 – Quad City