ALLEN, Texas – The optimism of the 1,000th win for coach Steve Martinson turned into pessimism in the form of the worst defensive performance of the season at the Allen Event Center last night. The Kansas City Mavericks shutout the Allen Americans 6-0 before a disappointed crowd of 2,450. It was the worst shutout loss in team history, and the seventh time this season Allen has been shutout (which is also a record).
Here are the number of times Allen has been shutout in each of their five ECHL seasons:
2018-19: 7 (through 62 games)
Allen managed to miss all of the keys to the game, and it got out of hand quickly. Allen had an early power play (49 seconds) and generated five quality shots but did not score. The rest of the first period was a disaster. From the time that early power play expired (2:49) to the end of the first period, the Americans had two shots on goal and gave up three goals to Kansas City.
The game was essentially over. It got out of hand when the Mavericks scored three more goals in the second period. After losing the first period 3-0 and the second period 3-0, the Americans managed to stop the bleeding in the third period. While they didn’t win the third period, they did battle to a 0-0 tie.
Special teams was a big key to this game, as Kansas City’s power play and penalty kill continued to dominate the Americans. The Mavericks were 2-4 on the power play and held Allen to 0-6 on their power play opportunities. Kansas City’s season-long power play is 17.6%, but in their nine games against Allen, it is 31.3%. The Mavericks season-long penalty kill percentage is 80.2%, but in the nine games against Allen, it is 92.5%. The Americans power play is 3-40 (7.5%) against Kansas City this year. Special teams are a major reason the Mavericks record against the Americans now stands at 1-8.
The stars for the Mavericks were goalie Mason McDonald and forward Greg Betzgold. McDonald shutout the Americans for the second straight time, and has stopped 91 of the last 92 shots he has faced from Allen going back to November (a total save percentage of .989). Betzgold had four goals and an assist; he has 37 points this season, and 30% of them (6G, 5A) have come against Allen.
Here is the game recap issued by the Kansas City Mavericks: https://kcmavericks.com/en/news/betzold-s-five-point-night-highlights-mavericks-6-0-win-at-allen
POST-GAME COMMENTS (COACH STEVE MARTINSON)
Allen was missing a lot of offense with Alex Breton and Riley Bourbonnais still on loan to the AHL and Zach Pochiro out with an illness. Pochiro is expected back for Friday, but the other two will not be back. Allen is also missing C.J. Motte, who is injured. As a reminder, Allen’s record with Motte in goal is 17-14-4-2. When he is not in goal, their record is 4-21-0-0.
Stepan Falkovsky was recalled by Iowa after the game just hours before the reassignment/recall deadline (which was at 11:59 pm). Falkovsky was assigned to the Manchester Monarchs early Thursday morning.
The hope for Allen is defensemen Etienne Boutet and/or Dalton Thrower will be back in the lineup for Friday. They are listed as day-to-day. Most likely, Allen will be playing shorthanded on Friday, and will once again be using an EBUG to back up Lukas Hafner with the addition of Thomas Hodges to the roster Thursday morning.
Allen’s tragic number (to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs) is now down to four. That means, if Kansas City wins in regulation on Friday night, the Americans are officially eliminated.
The only realistic goal left for Allen is to escape last place in the Mountain Division, and those hopes are fading rapidly. Rapid City won last night and Wichita lost. Allen is now five points behind Wichita and six points behind Rapid City. However, Allen has 10 games remaining, while Wichita has 13 and Rapid City has 12.
The race for the top spot in the Mountain Division is tighter than ever, with Tulsa on the rise and Utah fading. Here are the winning percentages for the top three teams.
Idaho – .627
Tulsa – .617
Utah – .612
These teams are ranked fifth, sixth, and seventh in the ECHL in winning percentage.
One team, Cincinnati, has clinched a playoff spot. The Cyclones are well on the way to winning the Brabham Cup, which is given to the team with the best record in the regular season. Cincinnati’s winning percentage (.763) is outpacing Florida (.708) and Newfoundland (.690) by a good margin.
In their first three seasons in the ECHL, Allen was shut out a total of five times. In the last two seasons, they have been shut out a total of 12 times, including a record seven times this season. The seven shutouts have been spread out (one each month) with the exception of November, when the Americans were shutout in back-to-back games in Utah. The shutout last night was the first one that took place at home. Here is the list:
October 28 at Rapid City: 2-0
November 21 at Utah: 4-0
November 23 at Utah: 5-0
December 29 at Utah: 3-0
January 4 at Tulsa: 2-0
February 8 at Kansas City: 2-0
March 6 versus Kansas City: 6-0
DID YOU KNOW…
Here are the worst defeats (losses by five or more goals) in Allen Americans history in chronological order. It is noteworthy that seven of the 12 worst defeats in history happened at home.
March 6, 2019 (versus Kansas City): 6-0
November 23, 2018 (at Utah): 5-0
March 24, 2018 (versus Kansas City): 6-1
January 6, 2018 (at Idaho): 5-0
November 21, 2015 (versus Tulsa): 6-1
November 14, 2015 (versus Colorado): 8-1
February 23, 2013 (at Fort Worth): 6-1
February 25, 2012 (at Laredo): 5-0
January 1, 2011 (versus Colorado): 11-6
December 18, 2010 (versus Tulsa): 5-0
March 4, 2010 (at Laredo): 6-1
January 15, 2010 (versus Rapid City): 6-1