|Ian Schultz with two goals and an assist was named the games #1 star - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
It was a familiar script last night in the Allen Americans 6-2 win over the Rapid City Rush before an announced crowd of 3177 at the Allen Event Center. As has been the case many times this season Allen got off to a slow start allowing Rapid City to get a 1-0 lead at the 1:42 mark of the first period on a goal scored by Kale Kerbashian. It was Kale's first game with the Rush after being traded by Evansville and it was good to see him get a goal on his first shot of his first shift with the Rush. That was the extent of the scoring in the first period with shots on goal even at eight a piece. The typical Allen script calls for a big second period after a slow first period and explosion would be the right word to describe the second period for the Americans. Two goals by Ian Schultz (18&19) and one each by Gary Steffes (league leading 27), and Jamie Schaafsma (9) all by the 12:40 mark of the period spelled doom for Rapid City. The period would end with Allen out shooting the Rush 24-7, a 4-1 lead and the starting goalie on the bench. Allen added two more goals in the third period on goals by Nolan Descoteaux (2) and Tyler Ludwig (10).
The offensive firepower of this team can be intimidating at times like the second period last night. When they combine that with solid defensive play by being aggressive but not cheating they are almost impossible to beat. The win last night was the eleventh in a row at home dating back to December 20. It is the longest home win streak in the league this year. The Americans have now won 18 of their last 19 home games. The two teams play again tonight and the Americans will be wearing specialty jerseys for the 1st Annual Autism Awareness Night. There will be a live post game jersey auction immediately following the game.
|The Autism Awareness specialty jerseys will be auctioned off after the game tonight|
- It was a well played game by the Americans as they raised their record against the Rush to 5-1. It was the most shots (41) on goal Allen has had against the Rush, they gave up the fewest shots (28) they have given up to the Rush all season, and they took fewer penalties than Rapid City (Allen 14 minutes - Rapid City 16 minutes). The Americans were 1-3 on the power play and the Rush were 0-2. If Allen can repeat that performance tonight you have to like their chances to extend the win streak.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- I thought we had good puck possession in the first period but didn't shoot the puck enough. In the second period when we started to shoot the puck, it was the obvious difference in the game. It was a great second period with the four goals and it really took the pressure off of us.
- We talked about the game in Kalamazoo at practice the other day and we have to learn from experiences like that. Our offense will take care of itself. It is important for our team to think and make better decisions on defense. The second goal that Rapid City scored tonight was when we left a guy all alone in front of the net.
- Spencer Asuchak had been released from his PTO in Providence and will land in Dallas tonight. He will be in the line up tomorrow night (Friday).
- I will not have to release anyone to make room for Asuchak. We can have 20 guys on the active roster plus two on reserve, plus an unlimited number of players on the 21 day injured reserve. With Asuchak will have 21 guys plus Brian McMillin on IR.
- Garrett Clarke has not played any shifts at defense for a couple of months so when we got the lead in the third period I just wanted to get him some shifts at defense. As far as the fight at the beginning of the game when I saw who Rapid City started it was obvious they wanted to get back at Clarke so when they started with toughness I did the same thing. Clarke is a pretty tough guy.
|Rapid City challenged Garrett Clarke :04 seconds into the game - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
- I have been using local goalies for the past few games for a couple of reasons. I am not sure how long Aaron Dell will be with Worcester so that factors in. It also saves money so there is a salary cap benefit as it it expensive bringing in a goalie when you know Gill will be starting all of the games. There is a risk if Gill were to get hurt and if we were in a very tight race I would sign a goalie.
- The changes in the AHL that were announced today establishing a Pacific Division should not change our relationship with San Jose. It has been a great relationship even though not many players have come our way yet. With all of the new AHL teams out west it should provide opportunities for affiliations for Tulsa and Wichita who currently are not affiliated. I have heard the lease arrangements in Oklahoma City are expensive so whether an ECHL team ends up there is questionable. It would be disappointing to us if there is not a team in Oklahoma City so hopefully something can get worked out.
- The travel arrangements for Brampton and Ontario will have us taking the bus round trip to Brampton and back and then flying to Ontario from DFW.
- With the win over Rapid City Allen has extended its Central Division lead over second place Wichita to eighteen points with one game in hand.
- Tommy Daniels had to turn over his play by play microphone to Maurice Fitzgerald for the last part of the radio broadcast last night as he was not feeling well and his voice was giving out. Hope Tommy is feeling better and is back in the broadcast booth tonight. Having spent quite a bit of time in the radio booth to see all that takes place a huge stick tap to Maurice for stepping in so seamlessly. It is a lot more difficult than you might think just listening on the radio.
- With two assists in the game to go along with being +2 Chad Costello not only increased his ECHL points lead to 22 points he also took over the ECHL lead in plus/minus at +30. Chad has at least one point in every home game since November 16 which is a nineteen game home point streak. It is the longest home point streak in the ECHL this season.
- With his 27th goal last night Gary Steffes now has a three goal cushion over second place for most goals in the ECHL. Gary has a goal in in five of the last six games.
- Had the chance to visit with Kale Kerbashian's parents (Tim & Janne) after the game last night. Nice that they could be in Allen to witness Kale's first game with Rapid City and to top it off he got a goal on his first shift. Tim and Janne live in Thunder Bay, Ontario and were planning a trip to watch Kale play when he was still with Evansville. All the arrangements for travel, hotel, etc. were made when Kale let them know he had been traded. So everything had to be cancelled and they started over from scratch. It worked out they could come to Allen an reacquaint themselves with those they had met when Kale played here.
- Zak Blazic (#9) will be the referee again for the game tonight and the linesmen will be Alex Black and Brian Bull.
- The ECHL will make a major announcement today at 2:00 pm (CST) regarding league membership and its roster of teams for the 2015-2016 season. It is unknown if the announcements will be more than what has already been reported from the AHL announcement yesterday.
DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have won eleven home games in a row. The ECHL record for the longest home win streak is 18 set in the 1994-1995 season by the South Carolina Stingrays.