ALLEN, TX – It was a great way to snap a five-game losing streak as the Allen Americans beat the previously unbeaten Wichita Thunder last night by a score of 5-3 before a crowd of 5394 at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Americans once again gave up the first goal of the game at the 2:30 mark of the first period but responded immediately when Joel Chouinard got a power-play goal just 40 seconds later. Peter MacArthur and David Makowski had the assists on the first power play since Makowski returned from a four-game suspension.

– The first period ended with the score tied 2-2 which was a win for Allen because in their first six games Wichita had outscored their opponents 11-2 in the first period. The Thunder scored the only goal of the second period to take a 3-2 lead.

– Allen has always been known as a third period team and that proved to be the case last night. The Americans scored twice early in the period to take a 4-3 lead. Alex Schoenborn and Vincent Arseneau scored just 34 seconds apart. Jonathan Lessard scored his second goal of the game midway through the third period to give Allen a 5-3 lead and they never looked back.

– All-in-all it was a great game for Allen, they had a good start even though they gave up the first goal, they outshot Wichita 43-34, they scored a power-play goal, they won the third period 3-0 and after two tough losses, they got Jeremy Brodeur his first professional win.

– Goal scorers for Allen were Joel Chouinard (2), Jonathan Lessard (4&5), Alex Schoenborn (3) and Vincent Arseneau (1).

Steve Martinson’s Postgame Comments

– We played much better tonight and it was good to get a win.

– There are some things we need to improve for the game tomorrow. We had some unforced breakdowns on their goals that need to be eliminated.

– It was good to see some of our veteran guys step up tonight and get on the scoreboard.

– It was a great start to what is a big weekend for the Americans.

Game Preview

– The team headed back to Allen right after the game last night and arrived home very early this morning. As coach Martinson said after the game this is a big weekend for the Americans. They need to back up the win in Wichita with another one tonight.

–  Here are the updated stats after the game last night on how Allen and Wichita rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 5th (20.44) – Wichita 16th (14.71)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 8th (3.78) – Wichita 10th (3.71)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 9th (3.00) – Wichita 2nd (2.29)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 5th (36.00) – Wichita 20th (29.43)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 22nd (36.11) – Wichita 20th (35.43)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 21st (13.0%) – Wichita 14th (16.7%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 11th (88.1%) – Wichita 12th (84.4%)

– I will make the same point I made in the game preview yesterday and that is in spite of their different records Allen and Wichita are close statistically. Allen has the advantage in goals scored, shots for and penalty kill percentage. Wichita has the advantage in goals allowed, shots allowed and power play percentage.

– Allen’s success tonight against Wichita will be the same as last night, a good start and good special teams play.  A good start is imperative and scoring the first goal of the game would be huge. Allen has only done that twice in nine games this season.

– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Jonathan Sitarski (#23) and linesmen Eli Rivera (#59) and Lucas Bisbee (#72).

Other Comments

– And then there were none. All three remaining undefeated ECHL teams lost last night. In addition to Wichita (6-0) losing to Allen, the South Carolina Stingrays (4-0) lost to Greenville and Reading (4-0) lost to Worcester. With the three undefeated teams losing the best winning percentage in the ECHL now belongs to Florida (.875) with a record of 7-1.

– The Mountain Division has really tightened up and is very competitive. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses:

14 points – Colorado (9 games)
12 points – Wichita (7 games)
10 points – Allen (9 games)
10 points – Tulsa (9 games)
10 points – Idaho (9 games)
10 points – Utah (10 games)
4 points – Rapid City (8 games)

– Tonight Allen will be honoring the professional hockey career of Gary Steffes. The celebration is part of Faith & Family Night and includes the team wearing a limited edition Gary Steffes/Allen Americans jersey during warmups, the retirement of Gary’s #12 jersey during the first intermission and special video messages to Gary during the game.

DID YOU KNOW: I often talk about the importance of scoring the first goal of the game. How important is scoring the first goal for the Americans? Since joining the ECHL (2014-15) Allen’s record when scoring first is 103-10-5-5. When the Americans don’t score the first goal their record is 39-48-10-5.

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