Sunday, April 24, 2016

Allen Loses To Idaho 7-1, Worst Playoff Loss Ever, ECHL Playoff Update, Hockey In India

Many times this season you have heard from fans and coaches around the Allen Event Center that the most consistent thing about the 2015-16 Allen Americans is their inconsistency. The team proved that again last night in Boise as the Steelheads scored early (2:31, 4:15, 6:36 of the first period) and often (seven goals) to hand the Americans their worst playoff defeat in team history.

- To lose a critical game five by a score of 7-1 is embarrassing to everyone involved. The Steelheads now have a 3-2 series lead and will try to close out the Americans in Allen on Tuesday. If Allen wins game six on Tuesday, game seven will take place Wednesday night. 

- When you lose 7-1 there are no bright spots and that was certainly the case last night. Idaho scored on two of their first three shots and had four goals in the first period while taking just nine shots. The Steelheads were better on the power play going 3-8. Allen was 1-4 on the power play but they also allowed a shorthanded goal.

- The only phase of the game in which Allen excelled was taking penalties. The Americans had 10 infractions for 28 minutes compared to Idaho's six infractions for 12 minutes. One penalty that could effect game six was a match penalty given to Vincent Arseneau early in the third period for an illegal check to the head. The penalty does not carry an automatic suspension but the description of the rule would lead you to the conclusion that supplementary discipline will be forthcoming.  Rule 48.5 states, "The referee at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgement, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head."

- Allen's lone goal was scored late in the second period with Idaho already ahead 5-0. Greger Hanson scored on the power play, assisted by Chad Costello and David Makowski. Hanson had two of the five goals scored by Allen in the three games in Idaho. Costello extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one assist to 24 games.

- After five games Allen has a team plus/minus of -32. The only teams with a worse plus/minus are Quad City (-33) who were swept by Missouri 4-0 and Kalamazoo (-48) who lost to South Carolina 4-1. 

- Winning games six and seven at home is no stranger to Allen as they have done that in each of their last two seasons on the way to the championship. In 2014, Allen beat Quad City twice at home after falling behind in the series 3-2. Last year Allen trailed Ontario 3-1 in the series before winning game five in Ontario and then coming home to win games six and seven.

- If Allen is to win this series they will have to generate more offense. In the three losses to Idaho Allen has score just one goal in each game. Allen is ranked #15 of 16 playoff teams in average goals scored per game at 1.80. 

- Anyone who writes off the Americans after the 7-1 drubbing they took last night does so at their own peril. Steve Martinson coached teams have a history of coming back from adversity and playing the best when their backs are against the wall. While you can certainly argue this team doesn't have the resiliency of the teams from the past, they will not go down without a fight.


OTHER COMMENTS

- Missouri has been the class of the Western Conference all season and looked good in their first round match up with Quad City sweeping the Mallards 4-0. However, the other top seeds in the West are all trailing in their first round series. Fort Wayne is the #2 seed and trails Cincinnati 3-2, Colorado is the #3 seed and trails Utah 3-1 and Allen is the #4 seed and trails Idaho 3-2. A lot of work to do by the favorites to avoid the upset and a first round exit. 

- Two teams (South Carolina and Adirondack) have advanced in the Eastern Conference and will face each other in the second round. Adirondack was the #6 seed but easily beat the #3 Manchester 4-1. South Carolina is the #2 seed and dispatched Kalamazoo 4-1. In the other first round series in the east the higher seeds are trailing. The #1 seed Toledo trails #8 Reading 3-2 and the #4 seed Florida trails #5 Wheeling 3-2.

- If all of the teams currently leading series 3-2 or 3-1 go on to win you could have a second round where just two of the favorites (Missouri & South Carolina) advance. If that happens they would be heavy favorites to meet in the Kelly Cup final. However, if one of these higher seeded teams like Fort Wayne, Toledo, Colorado, Florida or Allen come back to win their series they will have great momentum going forward and could easily run the table. It should be fun to watch.

- There are just two ECHL playoff games scheduled today. Toledo vs Reading (in Reading) and Colorado vs Utah (in Utah). If the home teams win they advance.

- Aaron Dell stopped 34 shots last night to lead his San Jose Barracuda (AHL) team to a 3-2 win over the Ontario Reign and even the series 1-1. The last three games of this best of five series take place in Ontario starting on Thursday.

- How would you like to play hockey at almost 12,000 feet above sea level. Check out this story about the trials and tribulations of India's national hockey team and playing youth hockey in India: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/03/india-high-altitude-ice-hockey-land-cricket-160304120152274.html



DID YOU KNOW: Allen was badly beaten in one game in all four of their series last year on the way to winning the Kelly Cup. In round one Tulsa beat Allen 5-1, Allen won the next game 3-1 and went on to win the series. In round two Rapid City beat Allen 7-4, Allen won the next game 4-2 and went on to win the series. In round three Ontario beat Allen 5-0, Allen won the next game 6-2 and went on to win the series. In the Kelly Cup final South Carolina beat Allen 4-1, Allen won the next game 3-2 and went on to win the championship.



6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a horrible game for players and goalie. I assume Jake was bad combined with poor defense in front of the goal?
    Positional hockey, being where you are supposed to be and forwards playing defense are critical.
    Go Red

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  2. No comments from the coach?
    I would have loved to hear what Marty had to say about the loss last night.

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  3. I took my family to support the team last night in Boise. It was probably the worst performance I've seen from the team this season. They allowed way too much pressure on Gill, and couldn't keep the puck in possession long enough to set up a decent play. I'm hoping their will to come back is still strong after that complete breakdown.
    Brian G.

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    1. No offense to you personally, but I found it disgusting that some of your fans high fived Arseneau on his way off the ice... that wasn't hockey, that was thuggery

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  4. http://www.echl.com/echl-announces-fine-suspension-p202328...Justice is served

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  5. Steve, Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I have learned over the years that many fans always see the officials as being biased toward their teams. I discussed the suspension with coach Martinson today and the one fact that everyone is in agreement about is there was a stick to the head. Whether it was intentional, whether he left his feet to make the hit, all seem to be in dispute but Arseneau should not have had his stick where he did thus the suspension. If fans acted inappropriately that is not right. If you know of any Idaho fans coming to Allen for game six and need tickets I will provide free tickets to them. Just have them contact me the same way you did at the end of the blog in the comments section.

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