ALLEN, Texas – You can call it the brink, the cusp, the verge, the threshold or the edge of elimination but that is exactly where the Allen Americans placed the Idaho Steelheads with a 5-3 win last night. A Wednesday night crowd of 3226 watched as the Americans played a complete game to take a 3-0 series lead. There is still plenty of work to do to win the series but Allen put themselves in an excellent position going into game four on Friday.
– The Americans hit all the keys to victory. They once again scored the first goal of the game to set the tone and the young guns got the job done for the third straight game. In game one it took just 116 seconds for Braylon Shmyr to get Allen on the scoreboard. In game two it was Jared Bethune and it took only 94 seconds. Last night it was Shmyr again and it took all of 128 seconds.
– The first goal was just the start of Allen’s dominance in the game. Allen had the lead after the first period (2-1) and the second period (4-2). With a first period lead Allen’s record during the regular season was 21-4-1-0 and with a second period lead it was 25-4-0-1.
– Allen had the only power play goal of the game (five-on-three) and killed four Idaho power play opportunities. Idaho had a slight edge in shots on goal (36-34) but with seven minutes left in the game, Allen had a 34-24 shot advantage. With a 5-2 lead, Allen went into a defensive mode and Idaho had the last 12 shots of the game.
– Here are the Sporfie highlights for the five Allen goals.
Braylon Shmyr – Watch as Shmyr starts the play with a pass to David Makowski and ends the play when Makowski’s rebound is tipped by an Idaho player right to Braylon. Shmyr puts it in the open net with the goalie still trying to recover from the Makowski shot. https://sporfie.app.link/4ZysVnjqeM
Eric Roy – This play is started with a faceoff win by Matt Foget. Tristan King passes to the point, the puck goes D-to-D and Roy takes a wrist shot. When I watched this goal live it looked like Foget got a piece of the puck. https://sporfie.app.link/1M2q5NAYeM
Alex Guptill – This is the five-on-three power play goal. Makowski takes the shot from the blue line. Casey Pierro-Zabotel doesn’t get an assist on this goal but was screening the goalie. Makowski’s rebound goes to Guptill and he puts it in the net. https://sporfie.app.link/8EKlJS3keM
J.C. Campagna – A couple of things to watch on this clip. First is how Zach Pochiro skates away from the defenseman and drags him away from Campagna skating up the right wing and then Zach makes the pass to J.C. Also notice how Gordie Ballhorn crashes the net and knocks Corbin Baldwin down just as Campagna takes the shot. https://sporfie.app.link/kjEVv5PYeM
Zach Pochiro – You can’t see it on this clip, but Mike Gunn made a nice pass to spring Pochrio who beat the goalie going five hole. https://sporfie.app.link/PaujWKHpeM
Here is Steve Martinson‘s postgame comments to Kayla McLean:
– I had a chance to talk to Martinson after the game and here are some additional comments:
“We had several more great chances to score tonight.”
“Tristan King hasn’t had a lot of practice time since we were on the road last week. He did have a couple of practices this week but I was trying to make sure he got the right amount of ice time tonight.”
“We had a real nice push in the second period with the power play goal and outshooting them 16-5.”
“Everyone is buying into our approach and not trying to do too much. We are doing much better at dumping the puck in rather than trying to carry it in on a low probability play. We are not beating ourselves now.”
“The plan for the next game is the same. We don’t want to let them back in this. We have to do all of the little things that add up to achieving what we want. All the things we talk about and work on is what we have to execute.”
– The five-minute major penalty Bryan Moore received for elbowing in the first period will certainly be reviewed by the league. Being a repeat offender, Moore will not get the benefit of the doubt from what looked like an elbow to the head. Have to think there is a good chance he will get suspended.
– This series is definitely not over but the odds are certainly in the Americans favor and they are pretty overwhelming. If you take all seven-game series from all major sports (MLB, NBA, NHL) there has been 369 times where there has been a 3-0 lead. In all but five (98.6%,) the team with the 3-0 series lead went on to win. The odds of winning game four with a 3-0 series lead is about 63%.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen chased Idaho goalie Tomas Sholl last night after they scored their fourth goal in the second period. Since joining the Steelheads in early March Sholl’s record is 9-2-1-1 and all four losses have been to Allen. Sholl has only given up only 22 goals in his 13 games but 14 of the goals have been against Allen. Sholl had a regular season save percentage of .953 but the last three times he has faced Allen his save percentage was .800, .826 and .818 and he gave up 13 goals. Would have to expect Idaho will start their NHL contracted goalie, Philippe Desrosiers on Friday.