ALLEN, TX – It certainly wasn’t a surprise the Allen Americans lost to Missouri 4-1 last night before a sellout crowd of 5800 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

After all, the Mavericks have not lost a home game all season (now 13-0) and have won 20 of their last 21 games.

The disappointment was how the Americans lost the game. A slow start in the first period included getting out shot 13-6 and relinquishing a soft goal on a face-off was just the start of things to come. A series of turnovers and defensive lapses early in the second period resulted in three Missouri goals in less than four minutes. The Mavericks scored the three goals on just four shots. With the score 4-0 at the 6:04 mark of the second period it looked like it would be a blowout for Missouri, but momentum changed after a power play goal by Eric Roy was disallowed on a goalie interference call. The replay clearly shows Chris Crane being crosschecked into the goalie but for whatever reason the goal was disallowed. It was at the 11:53 mark of the second period the goal was disallowed. Allen seemed to be a different team from that point. The Americans would allow the Mavericks just one shot on goal the rest of the period, got their only goal on a David Makowski slap shot from the point and ended the period out shooting Missouri 13-5. It ended up being too little too late as neither team scored in the third period. Allen out shot Missouri 33-31 for the game and 27-18 in the final two periods.

Missouri in now 3-1 against Allen and has outscored the Americans 12-5.  Allen has lost the last three games to Missouri by scores of 4-1, 3-1 and 4-1 but the games have been closer than the scores would indicate. However, scoring just one goal per game is not going to result in many wins. With seven more games between these teams yet to be played, the Americans will have plenty of opportunities to turn things around.

An early start for the game (4:10 CST) meant an early departure for the Americans as they left right after the game for Quad City. They were hoping to make the 367 mile trip in six hours and arrive in Quad City between 1:00 and 2:00 am. The Americans take on the Mallards tonight at 7:05 pm CST.

STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:

– The disallowed goal should have counted. Chris Crane was out of the crease and was clearly checked into the goal. They just can’t seem to get that call correct. It is a pretty simple call.

– Missouri is a skilled team and they make you work for your chances and we are having difficulty scoring goals against them.

– We had some really soft play on the goals against with turnovers and defensive mistakes. It is a shame. The goals against tonight were tough to watch.

– We have some more experienced players that need to play smarter in our zone. Bottom line is we need to play much better in our own zone.

– With all of the injuries and call ups we don’t have as much goal scoring up front so it is essential that we are solid defensively and that wasn’t the case tonight.

ALLEN VS QUAD CITY PREVIEW:

– Allen takes on the Quad City Mallards tonight and these two teams have matched up well over the years. The coaches (Steve Martinson & Terry Ruskowski) have a lot of similarities as they were both hard nosed players, have a ton of coaching experiences (20 years each) and have been very successful. Martinson has nine championships in 19 years and that gets talked about all the time. Terry Ruskowski’s coaching resume includes trips to the CHL finals four years in a row (he won twice) when he coached the Laredo Bucks. Ruskowski’s teams have made the playoffs in 13 of the last 14 years.

– The game tonight will be the second and final time these teams will meet in the regular season. The Americans lost to the Mallards 2-1 on opening night (October 16) at the Allen Event Center. Quad City is leading the Midwest Division with 35 points but has struggled recently going 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Mallards have lost three of their last four home games.

– Here is how Allen and Quad City match up:

Allen Quad City
Team Record 18-13-1-0 (37 points) 16-13-1-2 (35 points)
Division Ranking 2nd — Central 1st — Midwest
Conference Ranking 4th — Western 3rd — Western
Last Game 4-1 Loss (Missouri) 6-4 Win (Evansville)
Goals For 93 87
Goals Against 95 91
Power Play 19.7% (26/132) 18.5% (22/119)
Penalty Kill 84.0% (20/125) 87.5% (15/120)
Leading Scorers Costello (12G, 31A = 43pts) Archambault (9G, 18A =27pts)

Here is how Allen and Quad City rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (18.31) – Quad City 12th (14.84)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 15th (2.91) – Quad City 19th (2.72)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 16th (2.97) – Quad City 13th (2.84)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 24th (27.69) – Quad City 18th (28.69)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 19th (30.59) – Quad City 21st (31.25)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 9th (19.7%) – Quad City 12th (18.5%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 11th (84.0%) – Quad City 2nd (87.5%)

– Statistically, Allen and Quad City are two evenly matched teams. Allen is a little better on the power play, Quad City is a little better on the penalty kill. Quad City is a good home team, Allen is a good road team. Quad City is 4-6-0-0 in their last ten games. Allen is 4-5-1-0. The difference could come down to goaltending and what factor fresher legs will play. Quad City has been at home resting since beating Evansville 6-4 on Thursday while Allen was losing last night in Missouri and then spending six hours on Big Red traveling to Quad City.

– Scoring the first goal is always a good indicator of who will win the game. Allen is 15-2 when scoring first and Quad City is 9-2. However, the second period will also be key. For two top echelon teams the Americans and Mallards both struggle in the second period. Allen has been outscored 37-27 in the second period and Quad City has been outscored 34-25 in the second period. Could it be whoever wins the second period tonight will win the game?

OTHER COMMENTS:

– Rylan Schwartz had two goals and was named the #1 star as he led his last place Orlando Solar Bears to a 5-3 victory over the first place Florida Everblades last night.

– Chad Costello did not have a point in three of Allen’s first four games this year however since that time he has points in 23 of 28 games including the ECHL’s longest streak of the season (nine straight games). An even more impressive streak is the fact that since joining the Americans, Chad has never missed a game.

– Plus/Minus is not always the best statistic as it has a lot of flaws but it is interesting that Allen’s young players lead the team in plus minus this season.

Of the players that played last night there are only four with a positive plus/minus:
+4 Rick Pinkston
+3 Eric Roy
+2 David Makowski
+2 Danny Federico

DID YOU KNOW: When you look at which ECHL Conference is stronger, you might conclude it is the Western Conference because the Missouri Mavericks have 51 points which is seven more points than the Eastern Conference leader who is Florida, with 44 points. However, the Eastern Conference has seven teams with 38 or more points while the Western Conference has just two. Inter conference play would suggest the Eastern Conference might have the edge. The Eastern Conference record against the Western Conference is 36-19-3-2.

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