ALLEN, Texas – If you weren’t at the game last night, didn’t watch it on FloHockey, just looked at the box score and saw the Americans outshot Rapid City 35-23, were a perfect 0-4 on the penalty kill, stopped a penalty shot and scored the first goal of the game, you would not conclude they lost the game 5-2. On a stormy Wednesday night, a crowd of 1326 at the Allen Event Center witnessed a tie game early in the third period turn into a one-sided loss.
The box score also reveals Allen was 0-6 on the power play which included two 5-on-3 opportunities. One was short (11 seconds) but one was almost a full power play (1:53). Special teams play a huge role and the Americans haven’t produced at home all season. After last night Allen has the worst home power play in the ECHL. The Americans have converted on only four of 47 power-play opportunities at home for a percentage of 10.6%.
Not sure if it was puck luck or how well the Rush defensemen cleared out the front of the net or the play of the Rush goalie, probably a little bit of each, but the Americans just could not finish. Allen hit four or five posts, had pucks just miss numerous times, and couldn’t quite get their sticks on juicy rebounds.
As if Allen hasn’t had enough injuries they had another setback last night when Justin Kapelmaster was injured late in the first period and was on the bench at the start of the second period, replaced by recently acquired goalie, Hayden Hawkey. Kapelmaster saved seven of eight shots in the first period. Hawkey saved 11 of 14 shots in the final two periods.
Allen’s goal scorers were Josh Lammon (9) and Kayle Doetzel (1).
Allen has been playing shorthanded with only nine forwards for a while and that is not a good place to be. Colby McAuley is the only injured forward that might be available Friday night.
When I checked in with coach Steve Martinson this morning, he was already preparing his video review for practice today and it is no surprise a big emphasis will be on the power play but I am sure the team will also get to see the defensive mistakes on the Rapid City goals.
Martinson shared some good news for a depleted roster. One of the three college forwards he just signed will arrive in Allen today and will be in the lineup on Friday. The other two forwards are not scheduled to arrive until Sunday
Martinson also shared, with Kapelmaster and Paterson out with injuries, there is goalie help on the way as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) have reassigned Frank Marotte to the Allen Americans. Marotte was signed by Allen in mid-January but before he reported, was signed to an AHL deal by Bridgeport.
Allen will have to regroup quickly as they have one day before they take on the Rush again. They will have to play smarter on Friday if they expect to win.
– Allen’s average attendance is now exactly 1800 per game after adding the 1326 who attended last night. In their 12 home games, the Americans have had a high of 2392 and a low of 1246. The 1800 average ranks Allen 10th of the 14 teams playing. Average attendance ranges from 3225 (Jacksonville) to 999 (Wheeling). Two teams are averaging over 2000 per game, five teams are between 2000-3000, six teams are between 1400-2000, and just Wheeling is below 1400.
One streak that was kept alive last night, and it is an odd streak, is the losing team in all six games between Allen and Rapid City this season has scored two goals. The first team to three goals has worked in all six games. Allen has won four of the six games.
It was a tough night for top ECHL teams playing at home. First place Florida lost to last place Wheeling at home by a score of 6-2. Allen lost at home to last place Rapid City by a score of 5-2 and second place Wichita lost at home to sixth place Kansas City by a score of 1-0. The only home team to win last night was Utah who beat Tulsa 4-2. All of these teams play again on Friday and Saturday.
Did You Know?
The penalty shot against Allen last night was the first of the season and the 12th since the Americans joined the ECHL. They have never been called for fewer than one or more than three penalty shots in a season. Of the 12 penalty shots, four (33%) were successful. Here are the records by goalie on the 12 penalty shots. The first number is goals allowed and the second number is the number of attempts. As with many Allen records, Riley Gill is the king of the penalty shots.
0-4: Riley Gill
0-1: Justin Kapelmaster
0-1: Zach Sawchenko
1-2: Jake Paterson
1-2: C.J. Motte
1-1: Jake Hildebrand
1-1: Aaron Dell