ALLEN, TX – On a cold and rainy Tuesday night the Allen Americans beat the Kansas City Mavericks 5-2 last night before a crowd of 3612 at the Allen Event Center. It was one of those games where looking at the summary doesn’t tell the story. The game summary shows a 5-2 victory but the game was much closer than the score. The game summary shows shots were 41-40 in favor of the Mavericks but that doesn’t come close to telling the story. The summary shows Kansas City 0-3 on the power play and Allen 1-4 and that doesn’t tell the story.
– For the third time in as many meetings against the Mavericks, the Americans did not score the first goal. Kansas City scored first at the 6:14 mark of the first period. However, Allen did the next best thing by striking back with a goal of their own 67 seconds later on a great effort by David Makowski. Before the first period was over Colby McAuley scored to give the Americans a 2-1 lead going into the intermission. That was a good sign for the Allen faithful as the Americans record this season when having a lead after the first period is a perfect 10-0-0-0.
– The second period was a nightmare for Allen with two huge exceptions. The bad news is they were outshot in the period 19-6. The good news is at the beginning of the period Allen killed 1:49 of a full two-minute five-on-three power play for the Mavericks that was called toward the end of the first period. The other good news is Jeremy Brodeur was at his best stopping 18 of 19 shots he faced in the second period.
– As bad as the second period was for the Americans the third period was just the opposite. Allen outshot Kansas City 21-8, did a better job of getting pucks in deep when they didn’t have a play, scored a power-play goal and put the game away with a Bryan Moore empty net goal. Olivier Archambault could have scored the empty net goal himself but passed the puck to Moore. I have seen Moore do the same thing in the past and it is always good to see unselfish plays to let a teammate score the empty net goal.
– The starting five (Arseneau, Pierro-Zabotel, Moore, Makowski, Chouinard) for Allen have dominated the last two games. In the two victories (5-2 & 5-2) this group has scored nine of the 10 goals and 23 of the 27 total points. Another way to say it is the starting five has nine goals and 14 assists in the last two games, the rest of the team combined has one goal and three assists. The starting five is scoring a lot but also defending, they have a plus/minus over the last two games of +34 while the rest of the team is -11. The Allen Americans are built on depth and that depth will come through as the Americans play seven games in the next 12 days.
– Goal scorers for Allen were David Makowski (6), Colby McAuley (4), Bryan Moore (9&10) and Vincent Arseneau (11).
STEVE MARTINSON COMMENTS:
– Here is coach Martinson’s pregame interview with game host Kayla McLain:
– Some noteworthy accomplishments:
Bryan Moore: Not sure where to start as Bryan had two goals and an assist in the game and was selected the #1 star. Moore has at least one point in eight straight games, multiple points in six of the last eight games, a goal in six of his last seven games, three points in each of the last three games and is +14 over the last seven games. Bryan has played in 14 games for Allen and has 22 points (10 goals 12 assists). His 1.57 points per game average is the best in the ECHL for players with more than five games played.
Vincent Arseneau: After a hat trick in his last game Arseneau followed it up with another goal last night. Vincent battled an injury early in the season but has come on gangbusters recently. He didn’t have a goal in the first six games he played this season. Since that time he has played 12 games and scored a goal in nine of them. Arseneau has five goals in the last three games, has a goal in eight of the last 10 games and leads the team with four game-winning goals.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel: Casey has been Mr. Steady all season. He had four assists in the last two games and continues to lead the ECHL is assists with 23.
David Makowski: David had a big night last night with a goal and three assists and was +4. Makowski is back in familiar territory leading all ECHL defensemen in average points per game (1.05). In 21 games he has 22 points (6 goals 16 assists).
Joel Chouinard: Thanks to a plus/minus of +5 and +3 in the last two games Joel is back on top of the plus/minus stat for the Americans with a +15. The +15 is #3 in the ECHL among defensemen.
Jeremy Brodeur: Jeremy had another 40 shot night, 41 to be exact. In his last four games, he has faced shot totals of 42, 40, 49 and 41. He won three of the four. Jeremy has won six of his last seven starts. His save percentage (.932) is the second-best in the ECHL.
Colby McAuley: Colby may fly a bit under the radar but he has been a big contributor since arriving in Allen 14 games ago. He has a point in five of the last six games including a goal last night. He has scored at close to a point a game clip (4 goals 8 assists), goes to the front of the net, plays defense (only two minus games), finishes his checks, logs a lot of penalty kill minutes and has been willing to drop the gloves.
– A big turning point in the game last night was Allen killing a full two-minute Mavericks power play at the end of the first period and beginning of the second. The scrum that resulted in two roughing calls against Allen and none against Kansas City. It was good the home penalty kill unit that is ranked #2 in the league at 90.0% killed that five-on-three rather than the road penalty kill unit that is ranked #27 at 70.6%. One of the strangest stats you will ever see.
– In the only other ECHL game last night the Tulsa Oilers beat the Wichita Thunder in Wichita by a score of 4-2. It was Wichita’s fifth loss in their last six games.
ALLEN VS KANSAS CITY GAME PREVIEW
– The easy answer to what the Americans need to do to win tonight is play like they did in the third period last night. Don’t turnover the puck trying to make plays that aren’t there, if there is no play dump the puck.
– It would be nice to score the first goal, something Allen hasn’t done in the three previous games against Kansas City. If the Americans do get the first goal you have to like their chances since they are 11-0 this season when scoring first.
– Allen did a great job on special teams last night killing all three Kansas City power plays including the two-minute five-on-three. They also scored a power play of their own. If you win the special teams battle you normally win the game. The Americans need to continue the good play on special teams. Best to stay away from retaliation penalties. As coach Martinson always says the smart thing to do if a player does you wrong is take note of the player’s number and deal with the issue later in the game or even the next time the teams play.
– Allen gave up a lot of shots last night (41) but what was different from previous games against Kansas City is the Americans matched them in shots on goal (40). If Allen can avoid a big shot differential tonight they should be fine.
– The officiating crew tonight will be the same as last night so you can expect more of the same. The referee scheduled for the game is Mike Sheehan (#11) and the linesmen are Aaron Schacht (#31) and Brian Bull (#95).
PHOTOS OF THE GAME
Photographer & fellow Team Sin Bin member Dianne Webster has become a friend and colleague over the last few years. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help provide photos for the blog and deal with my numerous “special requests.” We often call each other to commiserate about all things Allen Americans.
Dianne called me earlier this week to let me know she will not be working the Allen Americans games for the foreseeable future due to recurring physical problems from a car accident she had last season. She has been trying to get better and still be the team photographer but that is no longer possible. So just like the players, she is going on injured reserve until she gets healthy and can practice her love of sports photography without pain.
What distinguishes Dianne as a photographer is her ability to capture emotion in her photos and that is what she does best. Last night was her last game for a while and here are some of my favorites:
DID YOU KNOW: A fan asked about the Allen Americans winning percentage so here are some numbers from the past and what could happen this week.
.500 – Allen’s winning percentage on November 5th
.660 – Winning percentage after the win over Kansas City last night
.673 – Winning percentage if Allen wins tonight
.696 – Winning percentage if Allen wins the three remaining games this week
Allen’s current winning percentage (.660) is ranked #7 in the ECHL. Florida is #1 at .788 and Rapid City is #27 at .280.