ALLEN, Texas – The game last night between Allen and Kansas City was guaranteed to be a slumpbuster since both teams were struggling mightily. The Americans scored first, took a 3-1 lead early in the second period and had a 3-2 lead at the second intermission which were all good signs of a victory. After all, Allen’s record was 20-4-1-0 when scoring first and 19-2-0-1 when leading after the second period.
– It wasn’t meant to be as the Mavericks, who had lost eight straight games, outscored Allen 4-0 in the third period to earn a 6-3 comeback win, break their slump and send a sold-out crowd of 5800 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena home happy.
– The struggles continue for the Americans who are in unfamiliar territory. They have lost three in a row, six of their last seven, 12 of their last 17 games and 17 of their last 24. Allen is now tied with Tulsa for the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division.
– The goal scorers for Allen were Alex Guptill (21), Vincent Arseneau (15) and Spencer Asuchak (8).
– All three Allen goals were scored when the teams were at even strength. The Americans were not able to capitalize on four power-play opportunities. An ineffective power play has coincided with the Americans losing six of their last seven games. The power play is 2-40 (5.0%) over the last seven games. The Allen power play was ranked #4 in the league just a month ago at 20.6%. It is now ranked #13 at 17.2%.
– The Allen penalty kill unit gave up one power play goal (1-5) and has allowed at least one power-play goal in the last four games. The penalty kill percentage has not been good most of the season and is ranked #23 in the ECHL at 79.8%.
Here are the postgame comments from Steve Martinson:
“The first, fourth and fifth Kansas City goals were plain and simple soft defending on our part. We just aren’t defending hard enough.”
“Their second goal was scored on an unforced error when we had full possession of the puck.”
“Their power play goal was a breakdown after our defenseman got hurt blocking a shot.”
ALLEN VS KANSAS CITY REMATCH
– Game time tonight for the rematch is 7:35 pm and to say the Americans need to play desperate would be an understatement. Wichita, Idaho and Tulsa all lost last night but the Oilers lost in a shootout so they gained one point. To be where Allen is in the standings after losing 17 of their last 24 games is quite fortunate. They need to get this turned around quickly. After tonight, the Americans will have only seven road games and 10 home games left in the season.
– If you are looking for some good news from the game last night that can carry over to tonight it would be the great start for the Americans. They rarely lose when they score first and have a lead after the second period. They need to repeat that performance and keep it going for the full 60 minutes. Like many stats this season the third period has been much different than in the past. Allen has historically dominated the third period. Last season the Americans outscored their opponents 120-59 in the third period. This season Allen has scored 58 third period goals but allowed 68.
– Another good sign last night was Allen limited Kansas City to 30 shots on goal and had 29 of their own. Allen’s shooting percentage (10.3%) is a lot higher than the Mavericks (8.5%) so even shot totals gives the advantage to the Americans.
– It was a tough night in goal for Jeremy Brodeur who got little help from the defense. He faced only 29 shots but allowed five goals for a save percentage of .828. With Stephon Williams at home recovering from an injury and Allen going with an EBUG it will be Brodeur in goal again tonight. If you look at his stats Jeremy always comes back with a big game after a save percentage below .900 so look for him to do that again tonight.
– Allen played short a player last night and will probably do so again tonight. I did notice the Mavericks released forward Nick Miglio yesterday. He played briefly for Allen in 2015-16. Since he is in Kansas City I wonder if Allen could claim him off waivers or sign him as a free agent if he cleared waivers and put him in the lineup tonight. Not sure how all of those rules work and it is a long shot for sure.
– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Jonathan Sitarski (#23) and linesmen Addison Brush (#80) and Andy Bethmann (#95).
– I mentioned earlier Allen didn’t lose much ground in the division standings even though they lost last night. Rapid City beat Idaho 4-2, Utah beat Wichita 7-3 and Colorado beat Tulsa 2-1 in a shootout. That is about as good an outcome Allen could hope for. Moving up in the standings looks less likely for Allen as each game passes. The Americans are 20 points from first place, 12 from second place and seven from third place with 18 games remaining. All of the Mountain Division teams play the same opponent tonight.
– The battle for Allen at this point is for the final playoff spot. Utah has won four straight games to join the fray with Tulsa and Allen. The Americans and Oilers are tied with 56 points, Utah has 52 points.
– Olivier Archambault did not play last night in the Syracuse Crunch’s 2-1 win over Lehigh Valley. Archambault has not played in the last two Syracuse games. The way he has been playing I would assume he must be injured or he would be in the line up.
– The San Jose Barracuda lost 4-1 to Bakersfield last night. The Barracuda have lost eight of their last nine games and have fallen to last place in the eight team Pacific Division. Colby McAuley was in the lineup last night and had one shot on goal. Alex Schoenborn did not play. San Jose does not play again until next Friday so if they are inclined to send a player back to Allen that should happen today.
– The Marvel specialty jerseys are still being auctioned at https://www.meigrayauctions.com/ and many of the prices are very reasonable. Three of the jerseys have bids under $200 and 10 are right at $200. The auction ends Tuesday night.
– Here is a story that has a familiar ring to Allen fans. It is about Fort Wayne captain Jamie Schaafsma playing some games at defense for the Komets. Jamie won three championships in three seasons with Allen and was always willing to do whatever he could to help the team which included helping out on defense when the team was short defensemen. https://www.news-sentinel.com/sports/2018/02/22/komets-notes-jamie-schaafsma-defenseman-playing-smarter-and-a-great-month/
DID YOU KNOW: With Allen’s 6-3 loss last night they have now scored exactly as many goals this season as they have allowed (176). The Americans high powered offense over the years has always scored more goals than they have allowed. Last season Allen finished second in the league scoring 294 goals. This season they are on pace to score 59 fewer goals (235). Last season Allen allowed the second fewest goals in the league (203). This season they are on pace to allow 32 more goal (235). Here are the historical goal differential numbers.
Goal Differential (goals for minus goals against)
2017-18: 0 (through 54 games)