When you write an article on a daily basis you look at a lot of different statistics and inevitably have your favorites that you may tend to over emphasize. For me those favorites would be special teams and scoring first. The Allen Americans won last night in Rapid City by a score of 4-1 before a crowd of 3425 at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

The Americans scored the first goal for the fifth time this season and are 5-0 in those games. In the nine games the Americans have played this season, the team that has scored first has won eight times. So far this season across the entire league, the record for the team that scores first is 85-19 (80%). That is why it is one of my favorite statistics.

– Allen took the lead just five minutes into the game when J.P. LaFontaine scored his first goal as an Allen American. Aaron Gens scored a power play goal early in the second period to make the score 2-0 and the Americans never looked back. The Rush closed the gap to 2-1 but goals by Dyson Stevenson (1) and an empty netter by Greger Hanson (3) gave Allen the 4-1 victory.

– It was another game that proved again goals can come from anywhere on this Allen team. Depth is going to be a hallmark this year for Allen. The leading goal scorer has just four goals (Hanson) and 17 different players have already scored at least one goal.

STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:

– Here are coach Martinson’s post game comments courtesy of Tommy Daniels: The comments Martinson emphasized with me when we touched base after the game was the importance of getting shots to the net on the power play if the pretty passing play is not there. The power play goal was scored with a shot from the point and a screen in front of the goalie. Martinson also singled out the Doremus, LaFontaine, Stevenson line for their work in the offensive zone where they did a great job of cycling the puck and getting to the net which resulted in two goals.

OTHER COMMENTS:

– Mentioned above that one of my favorite stats is special teams and you will see over and over in the blog that if you win the special teams battle you will most often win the game. That proved to be the case again last night. Allen was 1-2 on the power play and it was the game winning goal scored by Aaron Gens. The power play has struggled but is now at 16% on the road. The penalty kill for Allen was perfect again (0-3) as the Americans, who are ranked #1 in the ECHL, improved to 93.8%. The Americans have not allowed a power play goal in the last four games and have given up just one power play goal in the last eight games.

– Not going to mess with success so will say the key to the rematch tonight between Allen and Rapid City will be scoring first and winning on special teams. If either teams does both of these they will win the game.

– Joel Rumpel was great in goal again for Allen giving up just one goal and making 24 saves. Joel improved his record to 6-2 and leads the ECHL in wins.

– Aaron Gens always describes himself as a pass first defensemen so he is probably as surprised as anyone that he is the second leading goal scorer on the team after nine games. Gens has three goals and only trails Greger Hanson who has four goals. Knowing how Gens can chirp with the best of them he has probably pointed out to Hanson that two of his four goals were empty netters. Who would have thought after nine games Gens would have more goals than Costello and be tied with Steffes.

– With Kale Kerbashian on injured reserve and Nolan Descoteaux a healthy scratch, Garrett Clarke was the only former Allen American in the line up for the Rush last night. Clarke had no points, one shot on goal and no penalty minutes.

– The Adirondack Thunder failed in their attempt to tie the all time record for wins to start the season as they fell to Cincinnati 4-2. The game was tied 2-2 when Cincinnati scored with just 16 seconds left in the game. Still a great run for Adirondack who is now 7-1 and leads the ECHL in points with 14.

– The transactions list yesterday had some good news and bad news for former Allen players. The good news is Tanner Eberle, who was playing for Quad City, got recalled by the Iowa Wild (AHL). The bad news is Dallas Ehrhardt was released by the Wheeling Nailers.

– You may have read the story on October 30th about the problems with absentee ownership and my wish for a local, passionate about hockey ownership group that cares as much about winning as making a profit. I used Mark Cuban as an example of that type of owner. I couldn’t help but think about that story when I saw in the paper yesterday that Cuban had given the Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle a five year contract extension with two years remaining on his present contract even though Cuban has a long standing policy of not redoing or extending contracts until the have expired.

When asked about the contract extension Cuban had this to say, “What it confirms is we will never put money over winning. Winning always comes first.” Oh how I wish Mark Cuban loved local minor league hockey teams that have won three championships in a row.

– It will be an exciting day for Gary Steffes and everyone from Allen wishes him the best of luck in his debut with the San Jose Barracuda in a game that starts at 3:15 p.m. Allen time. When the San Jose Sharks decided to move their AHL team into the same facility they use in San Jose everyone acknowledged there would be pros and cons. Having all the AHL and NHL players in one location certainly makes for easier movement between the teams. Today is the first time both the Sharks and Barracuda play at home on the same day and if you are a fan of both teams it will be a costly day with some interesting logistics.

Here is some information that was sent out by the Barracuda for their Saturday matinee game (times below are Pacific time).

The San Jose Barracuda host the San Diego Gulls on Saturday, Nov 7 at 1:15pm at the SAP Center. (Don’t forget about the Teddy Bear Toss presented by Kaiser Permanente!) In addition, the San Jose Sharks host the Anaheim Ducks at 7:30pm.

TICKETS:
You must have a separate ticket to attend both games.

ARENA:
Doors open for the San Jose Barracuda game at 12:30pm.
All Barracuda fans must exit after the game. You must exit even if you have tickets to the Sharks game.
Doors open for the San Jose Sharks game at 6:15pm.

PARKING AT SAP CENTER:
If a guest is attending the Barracuda game, they would pay $15 and receive a colored ticket to place on their dashboard. Barracuda fans must exit the parking lot 30 minutes after the conclusion of the AHL game.
If you indicate you are attending both games, you can purchase a second colored ticket for $25 to be placed on the dashboard as well, and would not need to exit. It is $40 total to park for both games.
The SAP Center parking lots open officially for the Sharks game at 5pm.

DID YOU KNOW: Garrett Clarke has played three games for Rapid City since being traded by Allen and has yet to take his first penalty. In 57 games with Allen last year Clarke never went three games without a penalty.

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