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Based on past history it is not surprising the Allen Americans came back with a strong game last night after a disappointing defeat on Friday. After all they have never lost a game two in the playoffs since Steve Martinson has been head coach and are now 8-0 in second games.
What was surprising was how dominating the Americans were from start to finish outplaying, out shooting and out scoring the Rapid City Rush before a jubilant crowd of 4905 at the Allen Event Center.
The final score was 8-1 and it could have been worse.
Goal scorers for Allen were Schultz and Hanson with two each, Abeltshauser, Costello, Asuchak and Arseneau.
How dominating was Allen last night? Here are a few examples:
– Allen out shot Rapid City in every period with a total of 54-23 for the game.
– Allen had more shots on goal in the second period (25) than the Rush had in the entire game (23).
– Allen outshot and outscored Rapid City in every period.
– Allen was 5-9 (55.6%) on the power play.
– Three Allen players had eight shots on goal (Steffes, Costello & Abeltshauser).
– Six different Allen players scored goals.
– Rapid City was 1-7 on the power play which included several 5 on 3 opportunities.
– Rapid City’s only goal of the night came on a 5 on 3 power play.
– Riley Gill stopped 22 of 23 Rush shots and came up big several times when the game was still in doubt.
– Every player on the Allen Americans whose name starts with “A” (Abeltshauser, Arseneau, Asuchak) had a goal. (Sorry, got carried away).
You can’t underestimate the importance of the 8-1 win last night and it certainly sent a message to Rapid City about how explosive the Americans can be when they play to their potential. However, it is not a total goal series so Rapid City returns to Rushmore Plaza Civic Center with the series tied 1-1, a position the Rush would have gladly taken before the series started. With three games in Rapid City next week (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday) it will be important for the Americans to build on the momentum from the game last night and continue the solid play moving forward.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– The Rapid City goalie had a hard time seeing the puck tonight especially on the power play as we had a lot of traffic in front of him. We shot the puck a lot better tonight than last night and also had a lot more traffic in front.
– I thought it was a good response by the team to come out tonight and take it to Rapid City. We will take tomorrow off and then get ready to play in their rink. I like where we are at and am confident we will play well in Rapid City.
– I don’t talk to the team too much after a game like this. They know they played well and felt good about themselves. Everyone played a strong game so I just said good job, take care of yourself and don’t celebrate like you won the Stanley Cup.
– Valcak didn’t play last night as I thought we would come out in the first game playing a more physical style but that didn’t work so well. I thought Valcak played great tonight and gave that line some scoring punch. I really liked our line combinations tonight.
– We will leave for Rapid City Tuesday night and we will have a tight bus. I can’t remember a time when we went on a road trip with three extra players so it will be a pretty tight squeeze.
– Here are a couple of quotes from the players after the game last night courtesy of Tommy Daniels and the Allen Americans press release.
“We owed this to our fans. We let them down last night. We made a point to start strong and finish strong. It was a complete win all around.” -Greger Hanson
“Our goaltender was great tonight. Riley made the big stops when he had to and the guys played solid in front of him. This was a great bounce back win for us. “ -Ian Schultz
– With the offensive outburst last night Allen now has six players scoring at a point per game clip
(Asuchak, Hanson, Costello, Abeltshauser, Schultz, & Tyler Ludwig).
– With three second period goals last night Allen has now scored 14 of their 28 playoff goals in the second period.
– In the first two games of this series Allen has out shot Rapid City in the second period 39-10.
– Had the chance to talk Allen Americans hockey for a few minutes last night with Mike Heika who covers the Dallas Stars and professional hockey for the Dallas Morning News. Mike spent most of the night in the radio booth with Tommy Daniels doing color on the game and talking hockey. It is always great to see a beat writer with a reputation like Mike Heika has, spend a night at an Allen Americans game.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen is the only team of the 16 that made the ECHL playoffs that has averaged more attendance in the playoffs than in the regular season. Allen is averaging 4211 in the playoffs after averaging 4096 in the regular season. For the entire ECHL the regular season attendance averaged 4598 and the playoff attendance has averaged just 3399 thus far.