ALLEN, Texas – Last night, the Allen Americans took a 2-0 lead in their best of five series with the Utah Grizzlies. A crowd of 1844 at the Allen Event Center watched the Americans beat the Grizzlies 4-2. It was another slow start for Allen, who didn’t get its first shot on goal until midway through the first period. Shots were 10-0 and the score was 1-0 before Allen was able to get a shot on goal. They righted the ship and by the time the first period ended, the Americans narrowed the shot total to 11-9 and tied the score 1-1 on Matt Register‘s 26th playoff goal of his career (an all-time record for defensemen).
Allen took the lead in the second period, scoring two unanswered goals by Scott Conway and Brett Neumann. Conway’s goal was on the power play, Allen’s first of the series. Neumann’s goal gave Allen a 3-1 lead and turned out to be the game-winner, his second game-winning goal in as many nights.
Allen scored early in the third period to make the score 4-1 and it looked like the Americans would coast to victory, but Utah struck back just 14 seconds later to cut the score to 4-2. Allen managed just three shots in the third period but played solid defense down the stretch to secure the victory.
Goal scorers for Allen were Matt Register (1), Scott Conway (1) Brett Neumann (2), and Spencer Asuchak (2).
Observations from the Game:
In the game last night, Allen showed how depth is a strength of this team. Four different players had goals and eight different players had an assist. No players had more than one point.
Allen has now won eight straight games and has not allowed more than two goals in any of them. Team defense and goaltending are what has carried the team during this win streak. The Americans have allowed just 11 goals in the eight games for an average of 1.40 per game.
It was good to see the Americans capitalize on the power play. They were 1-3 last night after going 0-5 in game one.
The box score doesn’t reflect it in terms of penalty minutes (18 minutes combined total,) but if you attended the game or watched it, you saw a very physical game with plenty of big hits and scrums after many of the whistles. With Sam Laberge and Colby McAuley back in the lineup for the playoffs, it adds both skill and toughness.
The series now shifts to Utah with the next game on Friday night. If necessary, game four will be Saturday and game five will be Monday. All games will start at 8:10 pm CDT.
“It was a big win last night after a poor start in the first half of the opening period. I liked the way the team responded.”
“Any of our lines can score and our depth has been a big asset thus far.”
“We have been playing well defensively and the goaltending from our two vets has been outstanding. We will be able to come back with a rested Jake Paterson on Friday.”
“I won’t know who will make the trip to Utah until I have a chance to check in with some players this morning.”
In the other series, Wichita beat Fort Wayne 5-2 to gain a split at home. Wichita, like Allen, is the higher seed but has to play three of the five games in Fort Wayne because of facility availability. The Thunder had to play its two home games in a practice facility. The teams now head to Fort Wayne for games on Friday, Saturday, and Monday if necessary.
Florida beat South Carolina 5-4 to gain a split in the first two games of the series. The Everblades had a 5-0 lead going into the third period but gave up four goals in less than 10 minutes, but hung on for the win. The teams now head to Florida for games on Saturday, Sunday and if necessary, Monday. Florida is the only one of the top four seeds to get three games at home.
The Indy/Greenville series has game two tonight – in Greenville – with the Swamp Rabbits leading 1-0.
Did You Know?
ECHL players with the longest streaks in 2020-21:
5 games (7) – Adam Pleskach, @tulsa_oilers
9 games (13) – Matthew Weis, @SCStingrays
13 games (17) – Anthony Beauregard, @Wichita_Thunder
9 games (24) – Micheal Pelech, @WheelingNailers
— ECHL Stats (@EchlStats) June 10, 2021