After a road trip to Fort Wayne that could not have been more successful the Allen Americans arrived home yesterday afternoon a little after 2:00 pm. Having a 2-0 series lead made the 1000 mile bus trip more enjoyable than normal. It will be back at practice today as the Americans prepare for another critical game on Thursday. Coach Martinson mentioned in his post game comments after game two a couple of things that will be key to game three on Thursday. First, the team will have a couple of days to prepare. Steve Martinson is the master of adjustments which is part of the reason his teams are so difficult to beat in seven games series. Second, Martinson talked about the game on Thursday being a big game. If Allen can win and go up 3-0, they will have Fort Wayne in a position where it will be close to impossible to come back. If Fort Wayne wins they will be right back in the series.
– How big would a 3-0 series lead be for Allen? Check out these stats. In the three major sports (MLB, NBA, NHL) in a seven game series with a 3-0 lead, the record is 330-5 or 98.5%. If you look just at the NHL the team with a 3-0 lead has a record of 178-4 or 97.8%.
– The Fort Wayne Komets have great fan support as they led the ECHL in attendance this season, averaging 7484 per game which was 500 more per game than second place Toledo. The Komets also get great coverage from the local media. The number of stories being written about the Allen vs Fort Wayne series is impressive and the envy of those in Allen. Fort Wayne has a metro area population of just over 400,000 but has both a morning (The Journal Gazette) and evening (The News-Sentinel) newspaper.
– Justin Cohn covers the Komets for the Journal Gazette which has an on line site at journalgazette.net. Justin is one of just a few reporters around the ECHL that goes on the road to cover the team. He will be in Allen for all three games this week. Here are the stories Justin has filed just in the last three days. You need to take the time to read all of them as they are informative, insightful and have lots of quotes from players and coaches.
“Komets lose in overtime, fall in 0-2 hole”…..https://www.journalgazette.net/blog/ice-chips/K-s-lose-in-overtime–fall-in-0-2-hole-13080405
“Komets captain (Jamie Schaafsma) talks about Allen’s antics”…..https://www.journalgazette.net/blog/ice-chips/K-s-captain-talks-about-Allen-s-antics-13081573
“Komets can’t draw too much on Cincinnati experience” (Fort Wayne won in round one against Cincinnati after losing the first two games at home)…..https://www.journalgazette.net/blog/ice-chips/K-s-can-t-draw-too-much-on-Cincinnati-experience-13081619
“Rough stuff starts before faceoff”…..https://www.journalgazette.net/sports/professional/komets/Rough-stuff-starts-before-faceoff-13081528
“OT loss puts Komets in 0-2 hole”…..https://www.journalgazette.net/sports/professional/komets/OT-loss-puts-Komets-in-0-2-hole-13081302
“No decision yet from ECHL” ( a story about the fallout from the fracas in warmups)…..https://www.journalgazette.net/blog/ice-chips/No-decision-yet-from-ECHL-13092765
“Komets down but not out”…..https://www.journalgazette.net/blog/ice-chips/Komets-down–but-not-out-13093104
“Komets know how to dig out of hole”…..https://www.journalgazette.net/sports/professional/komets/Komets-know-how-to-dig-out-of-hole-13093083
“Meurs gives Komets spark”…..https://www.journalgazette.net/sports/professional/komets/Meurs-gives-K-s-spark-13092561
– Blake Sebring covers the Komets for the News-Sentinel and you can find his work at their online site, news-sentinel.com. Here are some of Blake’s stories from the last few days. More great work from the Fort Wayne beat writers.
“Komets notes: Martinson, Schaafsma expected playoff showdown”…..https://www.news-sentinel.com/sports/komets/Komets-notes–Martinson–Schaafsma-expected-playoff-showdown
“Komets notes: Despite tons of titles, Martinson never gets chance to move up”…..https://www.news-sentinel.com/sports/komets/Komets-notes–Despite-tons-of-titles–Martinson-never-gets-chance-to-move-up
“Komets winning the fights but are losing the bigger battle”…..https://www.news-sentinel.com/sports/komets/Komets-won-the-fights-but-are-losing-the-bigger-battle
“Komets’ Belzile talks and plays a good game”…..https://www.news-sentinel.com/sports/komets/Komets–Belzile-talks-and-plays-a-good-game
– Hopefully you took the time to read all of the stories above if you haven’t seen them before. I know those of you on social media have access to these stories but it is impressive to put them all together in one place. It is a great body of work by Justin and Blake. These are stories just from the last three days by these two writers and Fort Wayne gets great radio and television coverage as well. The Americans can only dream of coverage like this from local media.
– If their is any fallout from the incident during warmups in Fort Wayne on Sunday it should be announced by the ECHL sometime today. I would not expect any suspensions from this incident as some have conjectured.
– It was quiet around the ECHL last night and will be again tonight. The Eastern Conference final will resume tomorrow (Wednesday) night with South Carolina at Wheeling. That series is tied 1-1.
– Home is still a non factor when you look at all of the playoff games in the ECHL thus far. Home teams have a losing record of 37-38. The Allen Americans are 5-2 at home.
– Joe Rozycki, aka “SinBinMavs” writes an end of the year story about the Missouri Mavericks each season. I always sympathize with Joe who has seen his team disappoint in the playoffs year after year. I have been lucky enough in the four years of writing the blog to have never seen the Americans lose the last game of the season. The amazing regular season the Mavericks had this year is something to behold but it only made the playoff loss to Allen that much worse. Here is a great story where Joe captures his feelings and those of most Missouri fans in a piece he calls “The Sound of Silence” and uses the famous Simon and Garfunkel song as a metaphor. https://thesinbin.net/the-sound-of-silence/
DID YOU KNOW: It is still a long way off but it is certainly possible that Allen and South Carolina could meet in the Kelly Cup final just as they did last year. If that should happen it would be the first time in ECHL history the same teams have met in the final two years in a row.