ALLEN, TX – For the Allen faithful that stayed up late last night to take in the Americans game against Alaska, it was a good night as Allen evened the series with a 6-2 win over the Aces. The game was the exact opposite of the Americans loss to Alaska on Wednesday. Allen won the puck battles, scored the first four goals of the game, chased the starting goaltender in the second period and won going away which is what Alaska did to Allen on Wednesday.
– The game got off to an exciting start as the Aces tough guy, Garet Hunt, continued his before the puck drop antics. On Wednesday it was in warm-ups when he crossed the red line and hit Dyson Stevenson in the head while he was on his knees stretching. Last night he tried to get Justin Courtnall to fight before the puck dropped. However, when Hunt took off his helmet the referee gave him a 10 minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It was bad karma all night for Hunt who finished the game with no points, 12 penalty minutes and a -2.
– The Allen goals were scored by Casey Pierro-Zabotel (11), Greger Hanson (12), Spencer Asuchak (1) and Chris Crane (14,15,16). For Crane it was the first hat trick of his professional career.
– Allen had a great night on special teams holding the Aces scoreless in four power play opportunities while going 3-4 when the Americans had the man advantage.
– Spencer Asuchak showed why he will be a big help to Allen with his physical presence and hard work along the boards. Spencer had two assists and a goal in the game.
– Greger Hanson seemed to be a factor every time he was on the ice and his speed allowed him to create several opportunities for himself and his teammates. Greger finished with a season high four points (1 goal 3 assists).
– Chris Crane showed his versatility in the three goals he scored for his first pro hat trick. The first goal he was parked in front of the net and tipped in a Mike Gunn shot. The second goal he was screaming down the right wing and took a pass from Greger Hanson and tipped it in. The third goal was a seeing eye shot from the right side that trickled past the goalie.
– Chad Costello did what he does best as he assisted on the first three Allen goals. The Hanson goal was the typical perfect pass from Costello. Asuchak won a battle for the puck in the corner, passed the puck to Chad behind the net, who immediately put it in front right on the stick of Hanson who made no mistake going top shelf in the corner of the net.
– Coach Martinson always says when you need a victory your best players have to be your best players. That was certainly the case last night as Asuchak, Crane, Costello and Hanson combined for 12 of the 18 points tallied by the Americans.
– Here are some post game quotes:
“I was really happy for Chris Crane. It was nice he could score a hat trick with his parents in the building” — Steve Martinson
“I was pleased with what I saw from our new defensemen Reggie Traccitto who looked very solid in his first game with us” — Steve Martinson
“I thought Allen played a lot better as a team (tonight)” — Alaska coach Rob Murray
“What we did really well on Wednesday night was win one on one battles, tonight we didn’t do it nearly as good” — Rob Murray
– Allen and Alaska play the rubber match of their three game series tonight with another 10:15 pm start time for the fans in Allen.
– Alaska defensemen Daniel Johnston will miss the game tonight as he dislocated his shoulder in the second period last night.
– It will be interesting to see what type of game develops in game three of the series tonight. Each team has a lopsided victory to their credit and each team has pulled their starting goalie in one of the games. Alaska coach Rob Murray indicated his thought was that starting goalie Troy Redmann has something to prove after being pulled last night and was looking at playing Redmann on Saturday.
– Not sure looking at the totals for the two games provides any insight but both teams have scored seven goals and Alaska has out shot Allen 59-43. The Americans are 3-8 on the power play while the Aces are 0-8. Penalties are close with Allen being called for 20 penalties and Alaska 21.
– Goalie play and special teams will be keys to victory but the game tonight will most likely come down to which team has the want and will and works the hardest as that has been the determining factor in the first two games.
– For the third straight game the referee will be Tyler Puddifant.
– Here is video of warm-ups on Wednesday when Alaska’s Garet Hunt crossed the red line and hit Dyson Stevenson while he was stretching. Sorry for the quality but hopefully you make out what happens.
– Congrats to Missouri and Tulsa who also won last night against foes outside the division. The Central Division improved their record outside the division to 47-30-5-1.
– With their three power play goals last night, Allen sits a top the ECHL in road power play percentage at 24.7% as they are 23-92 on the season. At home the Americans power play is just 18.2%.
– With three assists, Chad Costello increased his league leading points total to 68 (19 goals, 49 assists) and improved his lead over second place to 18 points.
DID YOU KNOW: The Alaska Aces radio and TV broadcaster, Kurt Haider, who just joined the team this season after spending 19 years as the play by play voice of University of Alaska Anchorage hockey is originally from St. Cloud, Minnesota. Haider was in high school when Steve Martinson was playing college hockey at St. Cloud State and shared with Martinson that he used to watch him play in college. Hockey is indeed a small world.