The Allen Americans lost 2-1 to the Fort Wayne Komets last night before a crowd of 5075 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). It was a case of shoulda, coulda, woulda for the American as they gave up the first two goals of the game, were out shot 37-28, were penalized more, and missed numerous opportunities to score. Allen still leads the best of seven series 2-1 with home games on Saturday and Sunday.

– The Komets were led by forward Mike Embach who had both Fort Wayne goals. Embach, who played for Steve Martinson in 2011-12 (Chicago Express), scored at the beginning of the first period (4:11) and the end of the second period (19:18). Embach missed on open net from about 25 feet after Allen had pulled the goalie. He not only missed the hat trick but the puck caromed around the boards and gave Allen one last opportunity to score.

– It appeared as if the Komets had taken a 3-0 lead in the third period but the goal was disallowed when the referee ruled that Jamie Schaafsma had made incidental contact with goalie Jake Hildebrand. The rules states, “If an attacking player initiates any contact with the goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in the crease, the goal will be disallowed.”

– When Gary Steffes knocked in a rebound midway through the third period and cut the score to 2-1 it breathed fresh air into the team and the fans. It was Gary’s third goal and fifth point of the series. While Allen had opportunities, they could not get the equalizer even after pulling goalie Jake Hildebrand.

– The game was every bit as physical as the first two games in the series but the referees seemed to take a “let them play” attitude. Fort Wayne took 23 penalties in the first two games but were called for just two last night and one was a coincidental penalty. Allen was 0-1 on the power play. The Komets were 0-4.

– Both teams can use a day of rest before resuming battle on Saturday. Alex Belzile and Shawn Sydlowski  need help from the trainer to get off the ice after play was stopped because they were hurt. Spencer Asuchak and Vincent Arseneau went to the bench hurt for Allen. Everyone but Asuchak continued to play. Spencer left the ice after his injury and came back in the third period to give it a go but left the ice again and did not return.


– I don’t think we had the same jump tonight. Some guys weren’t on their A game. I will make a couple of changes for Saturday night to get more speed in the lineup.

–  We had a couple of open nets, the goalie made some great saves and we didn’t get the puck upstairs. We had pucks around the crease, we just need to get them in the net.

– We didn’t get a lot of chances because they are defending pretty hard but we didn’t make the most of the chances we had.

– I thought Hildebrand made some good saves in the game. I didn’t think our goalie cost us the game at all.

– Our penalty kill has been good. The only power play goal they have was a four on three when our penalty killer was in the box. The haven’t scored on a five on four power play yet.

– We have to start better on Saturday night. We have to play hungrier and this time of year when you get opportunities you have to make them. That is the difference in the game. They scored on their opportunities, we did not.


– It is always interesting to see the game reports from the other side and with the great coverage from the Fort Wayne media there is always plenty to read. Here are a few examples:

“Embach’s 2 goals lead K’s to win”…..

“Komets were different tonight”…..

“Embach gets Komets back in it”…..

“Disciplined, determined Komets cut into Americans’ series lead”…..–determined-Komets-cut-into-Americans–series-lead

– The Wichita Thunder will officially announce their new coach at a press conference this afternoon. The Wichita Eagle has already posted a story that the new coach will be Malcolm Cameron. Cameron followed Steve Martinson as the coach of the Elmira Jackals when he left after the 2009-10 season. Cameron was let go by Elmira part way through his inaugural season. He last coached in 2014 for a junior team in Canada.  Here is the story.


Referee waives off Komet’s third goal – photo by


A pileup at the goal mouth – photo by Lauren Lyssy


Going to the net, literally- photo by Dianne Webster

DID YOU KNOW: Fort Wayne coach Gary Graham is a hometown guy. He played high school hockey in Fort Wayne, started coaching youth hockey there and started with the Komets as an unpaid volunteer assistant coach. He was part of three championships in four years with the Komets and then was hired by Pensacola of the SPHL as their head coach in 2012-13. He won the SPHL championship in his first season. He was then hired as the Fort Wayne head coach in 2013-14. Graham has made the playoffs in all three seasons as the Komet’s head coach and has advanced past the first round all three seasons.

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