The Allen Americans lost in a shootout last night to the Wichita Thunder by a score of 4-3 in front of a big Wednesday night crowd of 6847 at Intrust Bank Arena. Despite the final score the good news outweighed the bad news on the night.

The Good News:

– Allen got one point and extended to seven consecutive games where they have earned at least one point. They are 5-0-1-1 in the last seven games.
– Even though they lost, Allen is still tied for the top spot in the Western Conference with a game in hand.
– Allen dominated puck possession and had 36 shots on goal.
– Allen held Wichita to just 20 shots on goal.
– Allen was perfect on the penalty kill as Wichita was 0-5 on the power play.
– Allen did great on the power play going 2-3.
– Allen took fewer penalty minutes (23) than Wichita (29).
– Allen came back in the game twice after being down 2-0 and 3-2.

The Bad News:

– Allen was never able to get a lead after giving up the first two goals of the game.
– Allen dominated the game statistically but gave up easy scoring plays and odd man rushes.
– Allen’s struggles in overtime and shootouts continued with another shootout loss. The Americans combined record in overtime and shootouts is now 5-10 which is the third worst record in the league.

The goal scorers for Allen were Justin Baker (9), Konrad Abeltshauser (1) and Spencer Asuchak (11).

STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:

– It is frustrating to have so many experienced players with defensive breakdowns this late in the season.

– On Wichita’s first goal we did not execute on what was simple defensive coverage.

– Two of Wichita’s goals were scored on odd man rushes. Four games to go and we still haven’t figured it out.

– Tonight’s loss was exactly the same as the loss to Missouri last week. We out shoot a team by close to a 2-1 margin but give up easy scoring chances with odd man rushes and end up losing the game.

OTHER COMMENTS:

– Aaron Gens had an assist on the Asuchak goal and has taken over the ECHL scoring lead for defensemen with 51 points.

– Spencer Asuchak had a goal and assist last night to extend his scoring streak to seven games. He has five goals and six assists in the seven games.

– Chad Costello had an assist for his 113 point of the season and extended his ECHL scoring lead to 36 points. With two more points Chad will have scored more points in a single season in the ECHL than any player since 1997-1998.

– Rapid City beat Missouri last night 4-1 to clinch a playoff spot. Rapid City is playing the best hockey in the Central Division right now with an eight game winning streak. It is not over yet with some critical games to play but Rapid City is certainly in the driver’s seat for the #2 seed.

Here are the updated details in the race for the playoffs including remaining games:
Rapid City (79 pts) – Quad City (H), Quad City (H), Allen (A), Allen (A)
Quad City (75 pts) –  Rapid City (A), Rapid City (A), Tulsa (H)
Tulsa (73 pts) – Missouri (H), Missouri (H), Wichita (A), Wichita (A), Quad City (A)
Wichita (70 pts) – Brampton (H), Tulsa (H), Tulsa (H), Allen (H)

– Gary Steffes scored another goal last night for Milwaukee. Gary’s goal with just over five minutes left  in the game tied the score 2-2. Milwaukee went on to defeat Lake Erie 3-2 in overtime. For Gary it was his third goal in five games. He is making the most of his opportunity in the AHL and it could not happen to a nicer guy.

– Speaking of making the most of an opportunity Aaron Dell continues to shine in Worcester. He was in-goal last night as Worcester won 3-2 in a shootout. Aaron saved 36 of 38 shots in regulation and stopped six of seven in the shootout for his thirteenth win for the Sharks. His GAA is 1.88 and save percentage is .932. Now that is taking advantage of an opportunity!

– The Allen Americans have officially announced the first two home games in round one of the playoffs will be Tuesday April 14 and Wednesday April 15. Certainly not ideal dates but this team deserves support from everyone. With more time to market the game than in past years and word of mouth from all of the fans hopefully there can be a good showing for these games. I will be getting a suite for opening night to show support if anyone is interested. If you already have a ticket for the game you can get credit for the cost of your ticket toward a suite ticket.

NEW PLAYER INFO:

The Allen Americans were loaned another player yesterday. Dyson Stevenson was loaned to Allen by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). Dyson has played most of the year in the ECHL with the Gwinnett Gladiators where he had 16 points (8 goals 8 assists) and 104 penalty minutes in 46 games. Last year in his final junior season playing for the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League Stevenson had 76 points (38 goals 38 assists) in 66 games to go along with 121 penalty minutes and a +23 plus/minus rating.  For his efforts he was named the team MVP. He also took home the Regina Pat’s Community Service Award and was voted the most popular player by the fans.  He is the kind of player Steve Martinson likes in that he can score, he will finish his checks and drop the gloves when necessary. If you follow Dyson on twitter (@dysice26) you will notice his profile picture is a picture of him with a big northern pike he caught ice fishing. Seems as if the size of the Allen Americans fishing club is getting to be as big as the golf group. Here are more of Stevenson’s stats, courtesy of Elite Prospects:

Dyson and recently signed Tanner Eberle played against each other in juniors and have fought several times but are friends off the ice and train together in the summer. Here is one of their more recent fights from February of last year. Have to give Stevenson the decision on this one.

DID YOU KNOW: How is this for a strange stat. Last night was the tenth and final regular season Wednesday night game for the Allen Americans. Allen was 7-3 on Wednesday night with all three losses coming at the hands of the Wichita Thunder. With the second game of the first round of playoffs scheduled for Wednesday (April 15th) another reason to hope Tulsa holds on for the fourth and final playoff spot.

 

 

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