ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans finished their home and home series with Kansas City in style yesterday afternoon with an 8-0 shutout victory before an MLK Day crowd of 3765 at the Allen Event Center. It was a tough series for the Mavericks who lost to Allen 8-2 at home on Saturday. Kansas City has been decimated by injuries, they had to acquire three players in the last few days just to field a full team.
Allen is also missing some key players and even though Kansas City is in last place in the Mountain Division anytime you outscore any ECHL team 16-2 over two games you are playing good hockey. With the win, Allen leapfrogged South Carolina for the ECHL lead in points with 65, however, the Stingrays have four games in hand.
The game was overshadowed by a serious injury to defenseman Nick Boka who had to be stretchered off the ice. I checked with coach Martinson this morning and he said, “Nick has a broken leg that requires surgery and he will be out indefinitely.”
Just like on Saturday, Allen scored the first goal of the game on the power play and as it turned out it was all the Americans needed. When the final horn sounded Allen had a power play goal (Pollock) and shorthanded goal (Falkovsky), a pure hat trick from Alex Guptill and goalie Andrew Shortridge earned his first pro shutout stopping all 30 Maverick’s shots.
The goals scorers were for Allen were Brett Pollock (13), Alex Guptill (18, 19, 20), Stepan Falkovsky (11), Olivier Archambault (13) Josh Lammon (4) and Cole Fraser (4). Here are the video highlights:
Here is a goal by goal game recap issued by the Kansas City Mavericks: https://www.kcmavericks.com/en/news/mavs-skid-continues-in-allen-with-8-0-loss
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
When I stopped by coach Martinson’s office after the game to no surprise he was already dealing with the rest of the week. Planning the practices while he is gone for the All-Star game and dealing with logistics for the games with Utah this weekend. Martinson, Tyler Sheehy, and Tommy Daniels will drive to Wichita this morning (Tuesday) and participate in the All-Star banquet tonight. When asked about the 8-0 win over the Mavericks he acknowledged the outstanding play by goalie Andrew Shortridge, the continued offensive output by the team led tonight by the Guptill hat trick and the improved team defense. He also emphasized the team will have to play better defensively if they expect to win in Utah this weekend.
With their 16 goals in the last two games, the Americans have now scored 178 goals this season, 19 more than any other team in the league. Allen is now averaging over four goals per game (4.05).
Tyler Sheehy had two assists against the Mavericks yesterday and is again the ECHL points leader (51 points). Tyler has played in 35 of Allen’s 44 games and has 18 goals and 33 assists. He is tied for the league lead in assists. Sheehy has a 17 point lead in the rookie scoring race. It should be a great All-Star game for Sheehy who shows up as the top scorer in the ECHL.
With his shorthanded goal in the MLK day game, his 11th goal of the season, Stepan Falkovsky has taken over the ECHL lead in goals by a defenseman. Allen has three defensemen in the top 15 in scoring. Alex Breton is #3 (30 points), Falkovsky is #8 (25 points) and Les Lancaster is #15 (22 points). Lancaster has his 22 points in just 24 games. His points per game average (.92) is #3 among all ECHL defensemen.
Gabe Gagne who has been loaned to Rockford (AHL) still leads the ECHL in goals with 24. With his hat trick yesterday, Alex Guptill is tied for fourth in the ECHL in goals with 20.
All seven Mountain Division teams have decent records over the last 10 games which shows how hard it is to gain points. It is going to be difficult for the three teams below .500 (Wichita, Tulsa, Kansas City) to make the playoffs. Here are the points earned by each team over the last 10 games.
14 points – Utah
13 points – Allen
11 points – Idaho
11 points – Tulsa
10 points – Rapid City
10 points – Wichita
8 points – Kansas City
The ECHL will now take their All-Star break so I will not do another blog until Friday morning. If you want to keep up with the happenings in Wichita at the All-Star festivities, check-in with Team Sin Bin, https://thesinbin.net, who will have stories, podcasts and live streaming of the game itself today and tomorrow. The game will be televised live on NHL Network tomorrow night (7:00 pm CST).
DID YOU KNOW: Tommy Daniels and Maurice Fitzgerald raised some stat questions during their broadcast yesterday and asked that I do the research. Here are the answers to some of their questions with some of my own thrown in for good measure.
Q: When was the last time Allen had back to back games with eight or more goals?
A: On December 30, 2016, Allen beat Wichita 9-0 in Wichita and the next night at home on New year’s Eve beat Utah 8-4. By the way, Greger Hanson had the game-winning goal in both games.
Q: When was the last time Allen had a shutout when they scored more than eight goals.
A: The 9-0 shutout win in Wichita on 12/30/2016 was the largest shutout win in team history.
Q: Who is the oldest player to play in an ECHL game?
A: This information is not readily available but I remember EBUGs that were over 45. The oldest skater I could recall and Tommy referenced him in the broadcast was David Ling who played 12 games for Brampton in 2017-18 and had eight points (1G, 7A). He was 44 years old at the time.
Q: Oldest player in NHL history?
A: Gordie Howe was 52 years, 11 days, originally retired at 43 but after taking a couple of years off came back playing in the WHA. He then returned to the NHL (Hartford Whalers) for his final NHL season.