The Allen Americans took a big step back from the abyss last night in Colorado. Faced with elimination the Americans beat the Eagles 4-1 before a disappointed crowd of 4499 at the Budweiser Event Center. It was a big win for Allen who still trails in the series 3-1 and will be facing another elimination game on Sunday (4:05 pm Allen time) afternoon in Colorado.
– The game last night started out as usual with Colorado scoring an early goal at the 3:28 mark of the first period but the Americans did not allow another goal the rest of the way. The four unanswered goals by the Americans included a power play goal, a shorthanded goal and two even strength goals. Even more impressive was the defensive effort by Allen who allowed Colorado just 18 shots on goal in the game and only four in the decisive third period.
– The power play is still not firing on all cylinders but the Americans did manage to score one power play goal while going 1-8 on the night. The penalty kill not only held Colorado scoreless on five power play opportunities but really turned the game around on a Tyler Barnes shorthanded goal with 63 seconds remaining in the second period. That goal gave Allen their first lead (2-1) in the entire series and seemed to energize the team for the rest of the game.
– After Allen took a 4-1 lead just past the midway point of the third period Colorado resorted to the rough stuff trying to make a point. When all was said and done there were 97 minutes of penalties handed out in the third period and for the game the total was 121 minutes. Contrast that with the first three games of the series that had a combined total of 58 penalty minutes.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Chad Costello (2), Tyler Barnes (2), Alex Krushelnyski (2) and Josh Brittain (3). As usual you can find all of the goals and video highlights at ECHL Rewind. Here is the link: https://www.echl.com/
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/special-teams-lead-americans-over-colorado/
– Here is the game recap from the Loveland Reporter-Herald: https://www.reporterherald.com/sports/ci_30967078/allen-comes-back-postpone-elimination-game-4-win
– Things have gotten a little ugly in Colorado. Bryan Moore did not play last night as he was suspended indefinitely by the league for a confrontation with a fan as he was in the tunnel leaving the ice after the game on Wednesday. What isn’t in dispute is a fan spit on Moore. What is in dispute is whether Moore made “slight contact” with the fan with his stick. One Allen witness who saw the entire incident said it was very clear no contact was made and another fan told me Moore confirmed to him no contact was made. The league took the word of others that contact was made. Seems like the league should be more interested in protecting players from fans that clearly cross the line of fan behavior.
– Last night after Allen took a 4-1 lead it appeared Colorado took a page out of the Florida playbook in their series against Orlando. Deliberately going after skill players with an attempt to injure. It will be interesting to see what if an actions are taken by the league office from the actions by the Eagles in the third period after the game was decided. A couple of Allen players are questionable for Sunday as a result of these incidents.
– South Carolina beat Florida 2-1 last night and eliminated the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference 4-1. South Carolina moves on to the conference finals for the third straight year. Here are the details from the local paper. https://www.postandcourier.com/sports/south-carolina-stingrays-down-florida-everblades—clinch-series/article_b3fe99b8-3
– There are two games on tap tonight and they are both elimination games. Manchester is at Brampton for game six of their series. Manchester leads the series 3-2. Toledo takes a 3-0 series lead into game four in Fort Wayne.
– Here is the updated bracket courtesy of Robert Ciccotelli:
– Daniel Tetrault, who won a championship in Allen in 2014 and is now the assistant coach for the Rapid City Rush joined Tommy Daniels as a between period guest last night and at Tommy’s invitation did color commentary in the third period. Daniel is no stranger to the radio booth. The majority of the 2015-16 season after he retired and before being named assistant coach in Rapid City, Tetrault served as color analyst alongside broadcaster Mark Bineti for Rush home games. Tetrault was excellent on the broadcast and the Americans played great in the third period so Tommy invited Daniel back in the radio booth for game five on Sunday. Stay tuned. By the way Tetrault shared that he is a candidate for the vacant head coaching job in Rapid City. While he has only been an assistant coach for one season Daniel has been a leader on and off the ice ever since he was member of the Team Canada under 18 team in 1996 that won the world championship. Allen fans wish him good luck in his endeavor to become a head coach.
– Here is a story from SBNation that talks about Allen’s success over the last four years and the possibility of the historic win streak coming to an end for the San Jose affiliate. This story was written prior to the win last night but it is a good read: https://www.fearthefin.com/2017/5/4/15540252/the-daily-chum-sharks-echl-affiliates-historic-run-near-an-end
DID YOU KNOW: Mary Betz and Ted Hosterman were kind enough to send along the following about their road trip to Colorado. They are headed back to Dallas today along with the other members of the “Fireball Group” Bud, Paul and Leonard. Sounds like they had a great trip highlighted by the win last night. I know there were many others that made the trip to Colorado and all of the players really appreciate the support. Here is Ted and Mary’s diary:
This adventure started somewhat enthusiastically as our plane departed Dallas Love field at 6:10 AM (yawn) on Wednesday, arriving in Denver two hours later. We arrived at our hotel in Loveland with enough time to see the team’s morning skate. The players morale was high in anticipation of the game Wednesday night. We had the chance to meet Tanner Eberle’s father and Harrison Ruopp’s mother at the morning skate. They are neighbors in Regina, SK and had driven all night to get to Loveland.
The staff at the Budweiser Events Center were very receptive to the invasion of us Allen fans, they willingly told us where to go in the arena to watch the morning skate. The players were also appreciative of our support. A few sent us texts to thank us for making the trip.
After some late afternoon refreshments we made our way to the arena for game three. Our early enthusiasm soon waned as the Eagles quickly gained control of the game. We were welcomed by many Eagles fans during the intermissions. Overall attitude was that we are all members of one big hockey family. Opponents on the ice but friends in the concourse.
After a bit of sightseeing on Thursday and talking with many of the players, it was time for game four! Our thoughts remained optimistic that we would avoid elimination. The team responded to adversity and totally controlled the game emerging victorious. The warmth shown by the Eagles fans cooled substantially as the game progressed, but some still offered us congrats as we exited the arena.
Post game celebrations were many at the hotel with several of the players and coach Martinson in attendance.