ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans fell into some all too familiar patterns and despite a valiant comeback effort lost to the Colorado Eagles last night 5-4 before a respectable Wednesday night crowd of 3501 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). All too often this season a poor first period, power play and penalty kill failures, odd man rushes, and breakaways has spelled doom for the Americans and that is exactly what happened last night.
– Though they have done better recently the Americans have been outscored 29-19 this season in the first period. Last night Colorado scored three times in five minutes (10:04, 11:53, 15:08) and took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. You are not going to win many games when you spot the division leader a three-goal lead in the first period.
– The power play was 0-4 and seemed to struggle just getting the puck into the offensive zone to get set up. After a four game stretch where the power play scored a goal in every game it has gone cold again. No power play goals in the last three games (0-15). The power play has once again fallen below 10% and currently sits at 9.6%. When you look at everything that has gone wrong this season, the power play is at the top of the list. It is impossible to explain with the talent on this team, how the best power play in the league last season (21.1%) is now ranked #25 at 9.6%. I know everyone keeps saying the power play will come around and I believe that as well, but the season in 40% complete.
-The penalty kill has been great recently going 2-29 (93.1%) in the last six games but last night gave up two goals in three opportunities. The killer was the game-winning power play goal the Eagles scored at 12:55 of the third period to make the score 5-4. It was extra difficult to watch because the goal was scored by Matt Register, who played in Allen last season.
– With all of the bad, there was certainly some good in the game. After losing the first period 3-0, Allen won the second period 2-1 and the third period 2-1. The Americans managed to tie the score 4-4 midway through the third period before the game-winning Register power play goal.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Greger Hanson (12 & 13) and Chad Costello (11 & 12). The top line has been carrying the team recently. In the last six games, Costello has 11 points (6 goals 5 assists) including goals in the last four. Hanson has a point in five of the last six games with a total of seven points (3 goals 4 assists). Spencer Asuchak has a point in the last six games with a total of seven points (3 goals 4 assists). To be successful the Americans need the other two lines to step up and contribute.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
– The first period sucked but after that, we looked better. We got caught out of position on the power play goal by Register at the end. It is always tough when a couple of your ex-players beat you. Casey Pierro-Zabotel had a couple of nice plays in the game.
– We have some veteran guys that need to step up. It is a tough way to try and win at home digging yourself out of a 3-0 hole. I didn’t see this coming tonight. We gave up way too many soft scoring chances.
– The difference in the game was when they had great scoring chances they converted and when we had great chances, especially in the first, period we didn’t bury the puck.
– Our power play was 0-4 and looked anemic at times. It is frustrating when we get caught in the neutral zone and aren’t skating. It makes it tough entering the offensive zone when you aren’t skating. It is frustrating to watch when we do that.
– We will get Travis Brown back for the game on Friday and Eric Roy should be back the following week.
– I liked that we were down 3-0 and came back so there are some positives tonight. One line is scoring all of the goals so we need some of the others to step up.
– We have been playing much better the last three weeks but have taken a step backwards the last two games. We have to get back up on the horse for Friday night and beat Wichita. We will get better when we have all of our defensemen healthy but there is no doubt some of the guys need to elevate their game.
– Costello and Hanson stepped up tonight and made some plays. We had our chances but couldn’t get it done.
– We need to shore up better defensively. We can’t give up odd-man rushes in the first period, there is absolutely no reason to do that.
– With the loss last night, Allen is back to .500 with a record of 13-13-1-0. The Americans are still holding onto a playoff spot as they are fourth in the Mountain Division with 27 points. Allen has a five point lead on fifth place Missouri but the Americans have played three more games than the Mavericks.
– I was on the radio last night between periods talking with Maurice Fitzgerald and we were discussing Allen’s scoring this season compared to last season and thought scoring is down this season. I decided to look at the facts this morning and found scoring remarkably similar from last season to this season. After 27 games last season Allen had scored 83 goals and allowed 80 goals. After 27 games this season Allen has scored 82 goals and allowed 83 goals.
– Zach Hall and Randy Cure played their first game for Allen last night. Cure didn’t even get to practice with the team and Hall had a couple of practices. Neither factored in the scoring. Cure had two shots, one minor penalty and was even in plus/minus. Hall had two shots and was even in plus/minus. Hall is wearing #8 and Cure is wearing #3.
DID YOU KNOW: The game last night was the second and last time Allen and Colorado play in the regular season. Colorado ended 2-0 against the Americans winning game one in Colorado 4-3 and winning last night in Allen 5-4. How is this for an odd statistic. Former Allen defenseman Matt Register had the game-winning goal in both games. Both game- winning goals were power play goals and came at the midpoint (10:58 & 12:55) of the third period. Harrison Ruopp took the penalty in both games that led to the game-winning goal.
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