ALLEN, Texas – Another sold-out crowd of 5800 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena last night watched the Kansas City Mavericks shutout the Allen Americans 1-0 and sweep the weekend series. For the Americans, it was the third weekend in a row they have been swept (Florida, Utah, Kansas City).
– When things are going badly there seems to be endless ways to lose. Allen has lost four in a row, seven of their last eight, 13 of their last 18 games and 18 of their last 25. The problem last night was the Americans couldn’t produce any offense. They had a total of 11 shots in the first 40 minutes of play including a paltry three shots in the second period. Allen dominated the third period outshooting the Mavericks 11-5 but could not get the equalizer.
– The Allen power play continued its downward spiral going 0-3. The power play is 2-43 (4.7%) over the last eight games and has dropped to 17.0% for the season. On the plus side, the Allen penalty kill unit killed off the two power play opportunities for the Mavericks.
– After allowing six goals on Friday night to a team that is ranked #26 in the league averaging 2.73 goals per game the Americans played much better defensively last night. They allowed Kansas City only 27 shots and the one lone goal. The only goal of the game came at the 13-minute mark of the first period. Allen won a faceoff in their own zone but a turnover and missed defensive assignment left a Mavericks player all alone in front of the net. Here are two views of the goal. One from behind the net and a wide view. Notice Casey Pierro-Zabotel wins the draw, both defensemen go for the puck leaving the front of the net wide open. The Kansas City player has time to take a shot, gather the rebound and poke the puck in the net.
Behind the net view: https://sporfie.app.link/TqywW1NqOK
Wide angle view: https://sporfie.app.link/9gmv94NqOK
– The Americans headed home right after the game on what had to be another bus trip that seemed much longer than the 480 miles they had to travel. Allen doesn’t play again until they take on the Rapid City Rush at home on Friday and Saturday. Another week of practice to try and get back on track.
– Allen has now gone 92:59 without scoring a goal. They have lost seven of the last eight games and averaged 1.75 goals per game over that stretch.
– Last season the longest losing streak for Allen was four games which happened once in late October. This season they have had losing streaks of six games, five games and four games (twice).
– In other Mountain Division action last night Tulsa beat Colorado 6-3, Utah beat Wichita 5-4 in a shootout and Idaho beat Rapid City 3-0.
Dreams of finishing in second or third place in the division are fading fast as Allen tries to just make it into the playoffs. After last night, the Americans occupy fifth place in the division, two points behind fourth-place Tulsa and two points ahead of sixth place Utah.
Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses. Allen fans have never seen standings that look like this at the end of February. Notice the Americans are closer to last place than they are to first place and keep in mind Rapid City has the fewest points in the entire ECHL.
76 points – Colorado (55 games)
70 points – Idaho (56 games)
64 points – Wichita (56 games)
58 points – Tulsa (56 games)
56 points – Allen (55 games)
54 points – Utah (55 games)
41 points – Rapid City (54 games)
– Tulsa and Utah both play on Wednesday so Allen could be in worse shape before they have the chance to add to their point total on Friday. Utah plays four games this week (two each at Quad City and Indy). Tulsa plays in Colorado three times this week.
– Five ECHL teams have reached the 75 point mark in the standings. There is still 25% of the regular season remaining but keep in mind the eventual Kelly Cup champion almost always finishes in the top five in points during the regular season. Here are the top five:
78 points – Florida
77 points – Fort Wayne
76 points – Toledo
76 points – South Carolina
76 points – Colorado
DID YOU KNOW: The shutout last night was the fifth of the season and second in the last two weeks against the Americans. Allen has been shut out five times in the first 55 games this season. In their first three years in the ECHL, a total of 216 games, Allen was shutout a total five times.
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