WICHITA, KS – The Allen Americans beat Wichita last night 3-1 before a big crowd of 6062 at Intrust Bank Arena. After three straight games that went to overtime/shootout, the Americans win a game in regulation time.

Allen would get on the scoreboard first when Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored his 10th goal of the season. Casey won a face off right back to Aaron Gens on the point who took a shot and Casey was at the net to put in the rebound.

Wichita would tie the score 1-1 at the 4:45 mark of the second period on a power play goal. It was the first power play goal Allen had allowed Wichita all season. The Americans had killed 19 straight penalties over five games. Wichita’s power play is now 1-22 (4.5%) on the season against the Americans.

For the second straight game, coach Steve Martinson changed up the line combinations in the third period and it paid off. Last night he put Greger Hanson with Crane and Costello to start the third period and they answered with the go ahead goal. It was a great play from Costello to Hanson in the corner who passed it to a wide open Crane in front of the net. Crane buried the puck for his tenth goal.
Greger Hanson finished the scoring with an empty net goal with 14 seconds remaining in the game. It was Hanson’s seventh goal of the season. Chad Costello could have scored the goal but passed to Hanson who carried the puck to the goal mouth before tapping it in.

The Americans boarded “Big Red” immediately following the game for the 360 mile trip back to Allen. They arrive home around 4:00 am and will be back on the ice for the third game against Wichita at 4:05 pm. Another weekend with three games in less than 48 hours.

STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– It is easy on the coach when you play the same team three times in a row. All I did tonight before the game was meet with the forwards to go over some adjustments from the game last night.
– I put Hanson with Crane and Costello in the third period just to try and get something going. Luckily it worked out and they came up with the go ahead goal.
– I thought Hanson was pretty dynamic tonight. He created a lot of opportunities and led the team in shots.
– Rumpel made a lot of quality stops tonight. I thought he could have been the #1 star of the game.
– I have signed a backup goalie who should arrive in Allen tomorrow. If all goes as planned he will arrive in time for the game. He is coming from the SPHL and has a good record.
– It is great to get four points on the road but it is just as important to come out strong tomorrow. We need to take advantage of all these games against teams in our own division.
OTHER COMMENTS:

– It has been quite a weekend thus far for Chris Crane. On Friday night he had two goals including a shorthanded goal and the game tying goal. Last night he had the game winning goal.

– Greger Hanson was the #1 star of the game and has had a big impact on the Allen offense. He had a goal and an assist in both games in Wichita and accounted for 16 of the 67 shots on goal taken by Allen  in the two games. That is 24% of the team shots.

 – David Makowski and Chad Costello both extended their scoring streaks which now stand at six games. With two assists last night, Costello now has 58 points (15 goals 43 assists) and a 15 point lead in the ECHL scoring race.
– The Missouri Mavericks finally lost at home after winning 14 straight. They lost to the Tulsa Oilers 6-3 and it was not a typical Missouri game. The Mavericks had a 3-1 lead early in the third period and then gave up five unanswered goals. It was the most goals Missouri has allowed all season. The Mavericks are still way out in front of the ECHL standings but have lost two of their last three games.
– I had a blast joining Tommy Daniels on his radio broadcast last night. I mentioned this during the broadcast, but it is a marvel to watch Tommy work. On the road when he flies solo he is like a one man band. At home, Tommy and Maurice Fitzgerald make it seem easy when you listen to them. I can tell you from first hand experience it isn’t easy. Allen is lucky to have that duo at all home games. It was a lot of fun spending the game next to Tommy, trying to live tweet for the first time and interviewing Matt Harding from Team Sin Bin between periods. All I can say is there were lots of rookie mistakes. Thanks to everyone who left me words of encouragement, they were greatly appreciated.

– A special thanks to Mike Holum for inviting me along with Lee Hastings, Paul Reichert and Jonathan Virning to join him in his recently acquired RV for a quick road trip to Wichita. It turned out to be a great game and the 720 mile trip provided for some great conversation. Arrived home at 4:00 am.

GAME PREVIEW:

– The Americans have a chance to sweep Wichita this afternoon and win their third straight game. They have not had a three game win streak since early December. Wichita has played Allen tough at the Allen Event Center (AEC). Since joining the ECHL the Americans are 11-1-0-2 against the Thunder in games played in Wichita. However, Wichita has the edge at the AEC with a 5-4 record. Beware the trap game.

– Here are the updated stats with last night’s game included:

ALLEN WICHITA
Team Record 23-14-2-1 (49 points) 9-24-4-4 (26 points)
Division Ranking 2nd – Central 4th – Central
League Ranking 9th 28th
Home Record 9-6-2-1 5-10-2-3
Road Record 14-8-0-0 4-14-2-1
Goals For/Against 118/113 80/140
Power Play 21.7% (34/157) 9.3% (15/161)
Penalty Kill 85.4% (23/158) 83.2% (32/190)
Leading Scorer Costello (15-43-58) Lowe (7-14-21)

 –  Here is how Allen and Wichita rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (17.10) – Wichita 10th (14.83)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 9th (2.95) – Wichita 28th (1.95)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 15th (2.83) – Wichita 27th (3.41)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 25th (27.83) – Wichita 27th (26.39)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 15th (30.23) – Wichita 19th (30.80)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 2nd (21.7%) – Wichita 28th (9.3%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 9th (85.4%) – Wichita 18th (83.2%)

– Allen is now 6-0 against Wichita this year and they will play seven more times. Here are the cumulative totals for the six head to head games:

ALLEN WICHITA
Goals 22 11
Shots 199 203
Power Play 8-30 (26.7%) 1-22 (4.5%)
Penalties 37 43
PIM’s 96 110

– Even though last night was the first time in six games Allen didn’t score a power play goal against Wichita and it was the first time the Thunder had scored a power play goal against Allen, the Americans have a huge advantage on special teams. They need to use that to their favor this afternoon.

– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Andy Howard (#2) and linesmen Rick Rivera (#59) and Eric Contino (#92). Howard was the referee in Wichita last night so just like the players, he is going to be tired.

DID YOU KNOW: Allen has always been a good road team and this year is no different. The Americans road record now stands at 14-8-0-0 while at home their record is 9-6-2-1. In the seven year history of the team Allen has 141 road wins and 137 home wins.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here