ALLEN, TX – It was the Riley Gill show in Wichita last night as the Allen Americans shutout the Thunder 5-0 before a disappointed crowd of 3615 at Intrust Bank Arena. The Americans were outshot in the game 42 -29 but Gill stopped all 42 Thunder shots. Any 42-save shutout is remarkable but Gill faced plenty of challenges last night including seven Wichita power plays, a double minor (four-minute) power play, a penalty shot, a breakaway and a few odd man rushes. Definitely above and beyond the call of duty.
– Riley Gill has been the MVP of the team so far this season. He has carried the team when they were playing poorly and excelled when they play well. No goalie can be successful without good play in front of them and Gill would be the first to acknowledge that but Riley has been really special. Here are a few statistical examples that prove the point.
Leads the ECHL in GAA at 2.12
Leads the ECHL in save percentage at .938
Leads the ECHL in shutouts with five (no other goalie with more than two)
Has five shutouts in last 11 games
Has had back-to-back shutouts twice
Hasn’t allowed a goal in 156:21
In first back-to-back shutouts went 150:01 without allowing a goal
Named ECHL goalie of the week two straight times
Has won nine of his last 11 starts
Has won five straight road games
– A couple of very impressive streaks continued last night. David Makowski scored a goal and has now had at least one point in seven straight games. David has not had a minus game since returning to Allen (10 games) and is now +14. Bryan Moore scored a goal for the sixth straight game. That is the longest goal scoring streak in the ECHL this season.
– Tanner Eberle works hard every shift and has a great combination of speed and toughness. The hard work hasn’t always paid off in the scoring column so it was good to see him get his first goal in over a month against Idaho in the last home game. The scoring touch was evident again last night as Tanner had two goals and an assist and was a +4. For his effort, Tanner was named the #2 star of the game (Gill was the #1 star).
– The Allen power play is in a mini-slump after being almost unstoppable for a few games. The Americans went 10-18 in four games but have gone 0-9 the last two games including 0-4 last night. Allen still won the special teams battle because of an outstanding penalty kill. Wichita was 0-7 on the power play last night and in the five games against Allen this season the Thunder are now 1-33 (3.0%).
– The Americans will have a rare day off in Wichita today before they play again Friday night. It will be a rest and relaxation day for the team. It will probably go something like this. Sleep late, head to the rink for practice at 12:15, take the bus to the local mall for lunch, hang out at the mall and then back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
– It was good to see a lot of guys on the score sheet tonight. We have three lines capable of scoring and the balanced scoring lately has really helped.
– Our power play didn’t score any goals but considering we went four days without skating it was not too bad.
– Gill is a tank! Had to kill seven power plays, a penalty shot and a breakaway and he made it all look easy. His shutout tonight was after four days off and bussing all day to get to Wichita. Unbelievable!
– It is good to see Tanner Eberle scoring. I know he has been frustrated. That first goal he scored was a rocket.
– With the win last night, Allen is now in second place in the Mountain Division with 38 points just two points behind first place Colorado. The points are misleading because Allen has played more games (33) than any other team in the ECHL.
Here are the Mountain Division standings ranked by winning percentage. Allen is slowly closing the gap but still in fourth place. The Mountain Division is the most competitive division in the ECHL. The first place team (Colorado) has the lowest winning percentage of any first place team and the last place team (Utah) has the highest winning percentage of any last place team. The gap between first and last place is 15 points in the Mountain Division. The gap is 23 points in the North Division, 23 points in the South Division and 28 points in the Central Division.
.690 – Colorado
.685 – Alaska
.583 – Idaho
.576 – Allen
.450 – Missouri
.431 – Rapid City
.417 – Utah
DID YOU KNOW: Ever wonder how the ECHL attendance compares to the other professional leagues. Here are the 2016-17 averages by league:
17,280 – NHL
5373 – AHL
3979 – ECHL
2636 – SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League)
715 – FHL (Federal Hockey League)