ALLEN, TX – After a disappointing loss to Colorado on Saturday and an overnight trip to Rapid City, the Allen Americans beat the Rush Sunday afternoon 4-2 before a sparse crowd of 2835. The Americans gained an important two points to maintain their position as the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Allen not only scored first, which has been “money” this year with a record of 25-2-1-1, the Americans tallied the first three goals of the game. Allen took a 3-0 lead into the third period and needed all of them as Rapid City’s newly acquired forward, Ryan Walters, scored twice including a shorthanded goal at the 17:46 mark to make the score 3-2. The Rush had several quality scoring chances to tie the score in the final two minutes that were turned aside by Riley Gill. The game wasn’t decided until Chris Crane scored into an empty net with eight seconds remaining to make the final score 4-2.
Goal scorers for Allen were Vincent Arseneau (9), J.P. LaFontaine (5), David Makowski (10) and Chris Crane (21). Chad Costello, Gary Steffes, and Crane each had two assists.
With the win, the Americans swept the season series against the Rush going a perfect 4-0. Three of the wins were in Rapid City.
The win certainly helped make the long bus trip back to Allen more enjoyable. The 1050 mile trip will put the team back in Allen early this afternoon. Their next game will be at home on Wednesday against the Missouri Mavericks.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– It was a good win for us tonight. What I liked was all three lines created lots of chances and we could have scored several more goals.
– The guys that have been creating scoring opportunities but not getting the puck in the net just need to stay positive and keep working. The goals will come.
– On both of Rapid City’s goals we gave up the blue line even though we had back pressure (first goal) and a forward back (second goal).
– On the shorthanded goal, the rebound came right back to the shooter with Gill down from the initial shot.
– I was really pleased with our puck possession tonight.
– Now it is time to take advantage of home ice. We have 11 of our remaining 14 games at home.
– I had a real good conversation with San Jose today. They really want to help us repeat. It is great to have such a good affiliation.
– I am still sorting out the future considerations we received as part of the trade with Brampton when we acquired Reggie Traccitto.
– Chad Costello had two more assists last night and is approaching rarefied air again. He has assists in five straight games (eight assists) and now has an 18 point lead in the ECHL in scoring race. Chad has more assists (58) than any other player in the league has total points with the exception of Trent Daavettila (61 points) and Jesse Root (59 points).
– Vincent Arseneau had another goal last night and has a goal in five of the last six games.
– Coming off a couple of injuries and sitting out for six weeks didn’t seem to bother Riley Gill who played great in both games this weekend. For the two games Riley had a GAA of 2.02 and save percentage of .915.
– If the Americans want to make a deep run in the playoffs this year it is imperative they show they can beat the Missouri Mavericks. Thus far they are 1-4 against Missouri. Six of the Americans remaining 14 games are against the Mavericks (4 home 2 away). The six games include four in a row with home games on March 26 & 27 and the following weekend in Missouri (April 1 & 2). You can be assured these four games will be like a playoff series and Allen will have to prove that they can not only compete with the Mavericks but they can beat the Mavericks.
– You hear Allen fans say “once red always red” and that is certainly the case when you see players that play in Allen move on to other teams or other leagues. There is always a sense of pride to see former players be successful elsewhere. There were two such happenings yesterday. Joel Rumpel got his first AHL start and his first AHL win yesterday as the San Jose Barracuda beat the Bakersfield Condors 4-2. Here is the complete story from the Gackle Report: http://www.gacklereport.com/golf-article/rumpel-leads-barracuda-victory-first-ahl-start/
– The other milestone from yesterday has to do with former Allen captain, Jamie Schaafsma, who has been on a goal scoring streak lately. Jamie has 15 goals all season but has scored nine goals in the last 13 games. Jamie had the first goal yesterday in Colorado as his Fort Wayne Komets beat the Eagles 4-3 in a shootout. The goal was number 300 in Jamie’s professional career. Jamie is a proven winner and great family man. It is quite a milestone and couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. If you want to read a great back story about Jamie check out the story I wrote about him and Nicole when they first arrived in Allen back in 2012-13. From growing up in a small agricultural town in Canada as the son of a dairy farmer who immigrated to Canada as a youngster, learning hockey from his three older brothers, playing in the World Cup for the Netherlands national team, winning championships in Italy, meeting his wife, Nicole and starting a family, you will see why Jamie is so well liked by his teammates, coaches and fans. On top of all of that, he is a winner who always makes the championship final. It could happen again this year as the Fort Wayne Komets are currently leading the Midwest Division.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to everyone who has sent me questions thus far for the question of the day. I am still working on some of them but I need your help to send me more questions. You have to have some questions about the players, coaches, front office, game operations, ownership, or anything else related to the Allen Americans. They can be fun or serious, personal or professional, anything you wonder about that has not been answered. I will do my best to track down as many answers as possible. I will take any player and coaches questions directly to them and videotape their answers. You can send your questions to me on social media (public or private), in the comments section below, ask me at a game or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DID YOU KNOW: This has to be one of the all time odd stats of the day. There are four teams currently battling for the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They are Allen (71 points), Cincinnati (68 points), Utah (67 points), and Colorado (65 points). All four teams have scored the exact same number of goals this season. That’s right, they all have scored 177 goals.