|Spencer Asuchak returned to the Allen line up after 15 AHL games - photo by Lauren Lyssy|
- The Rapid City Rush flipped the script on Allen last night beating the Americans 6-3 before one of the largest crowds (5022) of the season at the Allen Events Center. After a scoreless first period Allen took a 2-0 lead early in the second period on goals by Gary Steffes (28) and Kevin Young (6) only to have the Rush score four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead midway through the third period. A Gary Steffes (29) power play goal with just under four minutes remaining in the game gave Allen hope but two Rapid City empty net goals squashed any chance of a comeback to make the final score 6-3.
- The loss was the first regulation loss for the Americans at home since November 9th and it also snapped Allen's eleven game home win streak. To make matters worse three former Allen Americans played a big role in the Rush victory. Daniel Tetrault and Kale Kerbashian each had a goal and an assist and Dallas Ehrhardt had an assist on one of Jesse Schultz's three goals. Kerbashian and Ehrhardt along with Jesse Schultz led Rapid City in plus/minus as they were all +3 for the game.
- The Americans will now have three days off as they delayed their All-Star break because they had to travel during the scheduled All-Star break. It would have been much better to go into this three day break with a win but all good things must come to an end.
MARTINSON POST GAME COMMENTS
- With the jersey auction scheduled right after the game (more on that later) there was no post game press conference with season ticket holders. On these occasions I visit with coach Martinson in his office for a few minutes to get his thoughts on the game. Win or lose, good or bad, Steve is always willing to share his thoughts. It was with some trepidation I knocked on his office door last night and it was apparent the loss had him not in the best of moods. What was fascinating is ten minutes after the game ended he was already reviewing video to determine in graphic detail what went wrong. His assessment of the game was concise and to the point, "Horrible in front of our net, terrible in our defensive zone, bad coverage in front of our net, bad coverage in the slot, forwards out of position, defensemen out of position. We were just soft, soft in our defensive zone. On offense we turned the puck over way too many times at their blue line, we didn't get the puck in deep. When you get the puck in deep you create mistakes but we were trying to do everything cute. We were trying to fly the zone or take short cuts coming out of our zone to create scoring opportunities and we got burned and we got burned several times."
It is safe to say Martinson was not happy with the score, the effort or the officiating. It was not a good way to end an eleven game home win streak and start the three day All-Star break.
- A couple of bright spots in a losing cause included Gary Steffes scoring two more goals. Gary has a goal in six of the last seven games and has eight total goals in the last seven games. His 29 goals leads the ECHL and he now has a four goal cushion over second place.
- Chad Costello had an assist to continue his streak of fifteen games with an assist dating back to December 28. Chad now has 69 points on the season to lead the ECHL scoring race by 22 points.
- The Americans have had a spectacular season thus far no matter how you measure success but many have predicted they will go through a rough patch as all teams do during any season. In the past, January and February are typically tough months for Allen. Can't define this as a rough patch yet but the Americans have lost three of their last five games. With the next four games on the road it will be a tough test.
- Even with the loss last night Allen maintains their 18 point lead in the Central Division standings over Wichita and Tulsa who are tied for second place.
The Americans will leave Tuesday for the long (1344 miles) bus trip to Brampton where they will play on Thursday and Friday. They will bus back to Allen for a day and then fly to Ontario, CA for two games on Wednesday and Thursday (February 10 & 11).
- Greger Hanson was loaned to Oklahoma City (AHL) yesterday and made the most of his opportunity as he scored with Oklahoma City trailing Lake Erie 3-0 to spark a comeback. The Barons ended up winning the game 4-3 in overtime. The teams play again tonight.
- Congrats to Jarret Lukin who had a goal and an assist and was named the #1 star of the game last night as he led his Evansville IceMen to a 4-1 win over Gwinnett.
- Have to say the jersey auction last night was a resounding success. Heard so many positive comments about how good the specialty jerseys looked. The average price for the jerseys was just over $900 and two of them went for over $2000. Here are the jerseys that went for at least $1000:
$2100 - Schaafsma
$2000 - Costello
$1550 - Schultz
$1200 - Lyon
$1000 - McMillin
|Specialty jerseys were a big hit - photo courtesy of Lauren Lyssy|
- With the 5022 in attendance last night Allen has gone over the 4000 mark in average attendance again with an average of 4021. The crowd of the night in the ECHL went to the Tulsa Oilers who had 10,794 fans watch them beat the Brampton Beast 4-2.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen is one of only three teams that has not been in a shootout at home all season. (Colorado and Evansville are the others).