ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans traded goals with Orlando all game long yesterday before a sparse crowd of 2,853 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). Unfortunately, the Solar Bears started and ended the scoring taking a 4-3 overtime win over the Americans. Former Allen forward, Chris Crane, led the charge for Orlando scoring two of their four goals against his old mates.
– From the first goal of the game on a breakaway to outshooting Allen 5-0 in the overtime period, the Solar Bears always had the Americans trying to fight back. To their credit, the Americans did fight back from 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits but could never get a go-ahead goal. The good news is Allen got three of four points this weekend and still has not lost a regular season game in regulation in the last 20 games.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POSTGAME COMMENTS
– Riley Gill is okay, the back of his head, where he got driven into the goal post, is obviously real sore and bruised. We will know in the next couple of days if he starts to feel better and will be back quickly or will be out longer.
– It is frustrating the way we lost that game tonight in overtime. Orlando was much more patient than we were. Every time we got possession of the puck we skated down and tried to beat guys one on one even though there wasn’t a good play. We should have curled back which is what they did, and it created more scoring chances for them.
– The guy that scored the game-winning goal pulled out of the zone and wheeled around until he got picked up by a forward one on one. We had two defensemen on the ice at the time, but they stayed with the player they were covering rather than collapsing to help. It is a tough way to end the weekend, but Orlando just played better in overtime than we did. They played smarter and had the better chances.
– We still have to get some guys up to speed and in top shape. You could see at times during the game when we didn’t have the burst we needed. I think we forced the puck down low a little bit too much when we could have used the points and just got traffic in front of the net. That worked for us several times on Saturday. At times the forwards tried to do too much and didn’t use the points.
– On the play where Zach Hall was called for interference for playing the puck while still in the penalty box, the rule states you must have both skates on the playing surface before you can play the puck.
– We had too many men on the ice called twice tonight, and that ended up costing us. On one of them, a defenseman was coming off the ice not even at half speed, and the defensemen were coming on the ice played the puck. The second one, two wingers went for one winger coming off the ice. Both of those were tough penalties to take, but it is hard to break things down to individual plays costing us the game. We had close to 40 shots with plenty of opportunities to score more goals.
– I thought the team worked hard; there weren’t any situations where we didn’t backcheck.
– We will take the day off tomorrow and then we will get back up on the horse Tuesday morning and get ready for three games against Tulsa next weekend.
– Allen has had at least 30 shots on goal in all four of their games and is averaging 34.5 shots per game. Last season Allen was ranked #21 in the ECHL in average shots per game. A 34.5 average last season would have had them ranked #4. The Americans continue to lead the ECHL in average goals per game at 5.50.
– Allen has earned seven of eight points in their first four games, but that is no better than third place in the tough Mountain Division. There are three teams at the top of the ECHL standings with perfect 4-0 records, and two of them (Colorado & Wichita) are in the Mountain Division. The third team with a 4-0 record is Florida.
– Bryan Moore and Olivier Archambault were both in the lineup for the San Jose Barracuda yesterday in a low scoring affair with Cleveland. There were just 1.1 seconds left in overtime when defenseman Mike Brodzinski scored the first goal of the game to give the Barracuda a 1-0 win over the Monsters. It was a great time for Brodzinski, who played 23 games in Allen last season, to score his first AHL goal. The only number in the boxscore for Moore and Archambault other than zero was four penalty minutes for Moore. San Jose’s next game is Friday in San Antonio.
– Both Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Eric Roy have at least one point in all four Allen games thus far. Pierro-Zabotel has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) and leads the ECHL in scoring. Roy has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) and is tied for fifth in scoring by defensemen.
– Rapid City lost twice to Wichita this weekend and is now one of two teams (Atlanta the other) that is 0-4 and has yet to earn their first points of the season. Things won’t get any better for Daniel Tetrault and the Rush next weekend as they have a home and home series with the league-leading Colorado Eagles.
DID YOU KNOW: In the “Year in Review” section of the 2017-18 ECHL Guide and Record Book, you can find the league’s best players in many categories. I was struck when reading through this section how many players that played in Allen last season and are playing in Allen this season are listed. You look at this list, and you know why Steve Martinson has such a good team every year. Check this out:
Scoring – The top two names on the list are Chad Costello (122 points) and Casey Pierro-Zabotel (88 points).
Assists – Costello #1 with 89 assists, Pierro-Zabotel #3 with 64
Power Play Goals – Greger Hanson tied for #2 (14 PP goals) and Spencer Asuchak #4 (13)
Penalty Minutes – #1 Derek Mathers (274 minutes)
Shorthanded Goals – Tied for #1 Vincent Arseneau (4 shorthanded goals) and he played in only 24 games last season.
Joel Chouinard #1 in plus/minus (+47) and tied for #9 in points for a defenseman (44)
Riley Gill #1 in save percentage (.935), #2 in GAA (2.22), #2 in wins (32), tied for #1 in shutouts (7) and tied for shootout save percentage (100%).
David Makowski #6 in points by a defenseman (50), second in power play goals by a defenseman (8) and #4 in goals by a defenseman (16). Remember, David accomplished all this while playing in just 42 of 72 games.
Eric Roy was #5 in shooting percentage by a defenseman (14.1%) and #4 in game-winning goals by a defenseman.
Finally, the 2016-17 first team all-stars included Chad Costello, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, David Makowski and Riley Gill.