ALLEN, TX – The bad news is the Allen Americans lost to the Missouri Mavericks 5-2 last night before a sold out crowd of 5800 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The worse news is the game was not as close as the score. The Mavericks scored early (88 seconds) and often (three first period goals) and built a 5-0 lead before the Americans managed to avoid the shutout. There was less than five minutes left in the game when Allen got on the scoreboard with goals by Casey-Pierro Zabotel (4) and Chad Costello (2).
Not to make excuses, but one factor in the loss was the fact Allen was playing their fourth game in five days against a Missouri team who was playing just their second game in eight days. The Americans got off to a poor start (three shots in the first period), lost the puck battles, took too many penalties, and had trouble on special teams. Just the opposite of how the game unfolded on Friday when Allen won 2-0.
How bad was the game? Allen only had nine shots on goal after two periods which was almost matched by penalties after two periods (seven). Allen took nine penalties in the game which was the most they took in any of the 11 games against Missouri this season. The Americans lost the special teams battle going 1-7 on the power play but giving up 3-8 on the penalty kill. In the first period alone, Allen gave up three goals on just eight shots including two power play goals.
If you can find a positive in the 5-2 loss, it would be how Allen played in the third period after the game was already decided. The Americans outscored Missouri 2-1 in the third period and out shot the Mavericks 14-2.
The good news is Allen gained a split in Missouri and now has home ice advantage with the series tied 1-1 and the next three games at home. Earning a split in Missouri against the best team in the ECHL is a job well done by the Americans.
The Americans headed back to Allen immediately after the game last night on “Big Red” and if all went well, the 473 mile trip got them home early this morning. They will have a few days to rest up and prepare for game three on Wednesday (7:05 pm).
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– Playing four games in five nights was definitely a factor in this game. We didn’t have much jump in the first period.
– Missouri played well but also had some bounces go their way early in the game.
– One of the things I said after game one was we needed to stay out of the penalty box. Penalties cost us tonight especially in the first period when they had two power play goals.
– We won the third period which I thought showed a lot of character from the guys.
– Playing four games in five days is always tough, especially when two of them were elimination games and one went to overtime. But we came to Missouri and earned a split and now have home ice advantage. That is a good result for us.
– The power play has been the best weapon for Allen in the playoffs as half of their goals (10 of 20) have come on the power play. The Americans are ranked #1 (27.8%) and have converted on 10 of 36 power play opportunities. All you have to do is look at the playoff leader board to see the advantage the power play has had for Allen.
Check out this list of power play categories where Allen players are ranked #1:
Most power play goals (overall) – Casey Pierro-Zabotel (3)
Most power play assists (overall) – Chad Costello (7)
Most power play points (overall) – Chad Costello (8)
Most power play assists (rookie) – Eric Roy (3)
Most power play points (rookie) – Eric Roy (4)
Most power play goals (defensemen) – Davis Makowski (2)
Most power play points (defensemen) – David Makowski (5)
– The best indication of how potent the Allen power play has been in the playoffs is the top three ranked players in power play points are all from Allen. Chad Costello is #1 with eight points. David Makowski and Casey Pierro-Zabotel are tied for #2 with five points.
– Costello had a power play goal in a losing cause last night to continue his amazing point scoring streak which is now at 28 games. Chad is tied for the playoff lead in points with 11.
– Allen is the only team left in the playoffs that has a negative plus/minus number. The Americans are at -32. More proof of the impact of the power play (plus/minus doesn’t apply) but also a reflection of Allen struggling when at even strength.
– Missouri has filled the three roster spots they had reserved for playoff eligible players that were in the AHL. These three players will certainly strengthen the Missouri lineup. Here is a brief description:
Kellen Jones – The 25 year old forward was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL draft by Edmonton. He has played in 23 games this season for Missouri and has 25 points (6 goals 19 assists). In addition he played in 33 AHL games split between Bakersfield and Utica.
Patrick Cullity – Cullity is a 29 year old veteran defenseman who has played in 109 AHL games dating back to the 2009-10 season. This season he has played in 33 games for Missouri and 31 games for the Mavericks AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Ross Johnston – Johnston is a 6′ 4″ forward, weighs 225 pounds and will add grit and toughness for Missouri. He is one of a very few players who have played in all three levels of pro hockey in one season. Johnston has played 13 games in Missouri, 39 games in Bridgeport (AHL) and had a one game callup to the New York Islanders. That had to be a big thrill. Johnston was on the ice for 16 minutes, delivered six hits, and had four penalty minutes in his first and only NHL game.
– In addition to the three players above, goalie Parker Milner, who was loaned to Bridgeport after the playoffs began has returned to Missouri. Milner was in goal last night for the Mavericks. He has played in two playoff games and allow just three goals and has a save percentage of .942.
– The Americans will also be getting help from their AHL affiliate. The San Jose Barracuda will assign forward Nikita Jevpalovs to Allen and he will play on Wednesday. Nikita is a 21 year old rookie professional who is a native of Latvia. He played in 60 games for San Jose and had 14 points (5 goals 9 assists). Jevpalovs played five games for Allen and had six points (1 goal 5 assists).
– Missouri captain and former Allen player Trevor Ludwig was not in the line up last night. Have heard he is injured but have not seen anything official from the team.
– Fort Wayne won at home again last night beating Utah 5-3. The teams now head to Utah for the next three games. You can read Matthew Harding’s recap of the game, here: https://thesinbin.net/three-goal-third-period-paces-komets-to-win/
– South Carolina came back from their opening game defeat to beat Adirondack last night 1-0. That series is tied 1-1 with the next three games taking place at Adirondack. Andrew Gallant is covering that series for Team Sin Bin, read his game 2 recap, here: https://thesinbin.net/dekanich-blanks-thunder-to-tie-series/
– Wheeling vs Reading is the only game on the schedule Monday. Wheeling (the higher seed) is leading the series 1-0. Read the recap of game one, here: https://thesinbin.net/wydos-two-goals-propel-nailers-to-series-opening-win/
DID YOU KNOW: The last time Allen gave up three power goals in a playoff game (like last night) was also against Missouri. On April 22, 2013 in game six of the CHL semi-finals, Missouri beat Allen 6-2 in Allen and went 3-8 on the power play. The next night Allen beat Missouri 7-3 in game seven and went on to win the CHL championship, beating Wichita in the final.