- When Idaho scored the first goal of the game at 12:57 of the first period you could hear a collective groan at the Allen Event Center (AEC). It could have been because the goal appeared to bounce off an Allen player into the net or it could have been the realization that the team that scored the first goal had won all eight games these teams have played this season.
- The Americans proved this night would be different when they tied the score 1-1 just 75 seconds after the Steelheads took the lead. Tristan King scored his second goal of the playoffs on a great pass from J.P. LaFontaine from behind the net. The first period ended with the score tied 1-1.
- Allen then proceed to score three unanswered goals in the second period on goals by Eric Roy (1), Matt Register (2) and Greger Hanson (3) to put the game out of reach. The Steeleheads got the only goal of the third period to close the gap to 4-2 but Allen held them off for the win.
- Special teams play has been the key to victory in every game of this series. It has been a simple formula, win the special teams battle and you win the game. Last night Allen was 2-3 on the power play and held Idaho scoreless on their three power play opportunities.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- When we lost game five in Idaho we had some break downs and they capitalized every time. They alsohad a couple of seeing eye goals. Everything was going their way and we certainly did not play our "A" game.
- It was nice to have home ice tonight and get the match ups we wanted. Riley Gill was good in goal. The first goal Idaho scored was on a shot that was headed wide of the net and bounced off Greger Hanson.
- The power play was good tonight. When Chad Costello is moving on the power play we are always better. We have a lot of defensemen that can shoot the puck from the point.
- Game seven has been good to us in this building so it is great to have game seven at home. We understand what we need to do to win and that is avoid beating ourselves. One of our biggest problems this year has been beating ourselves.
GAME SEVEN PREVIEW
- After 72 regular season and six playoff games the season comes down to who wins tonight. One team moves on to meet the Missouri Mavericks in the second round and one team heads for vacation. You have to like the Americans chances playing game seven at home where they are 5-0 over the last three years. Even more impressive is the fact that Steve Martinson has never lost a game seven at home in his 20 year coaching career.
- After the impressive win last night you can be assured the same line up will in place for game seven tonight. That means Vincent Arseneau, who will be serving the second of his two game suspension, and Danny Federico will not play.
- Getting off to a quick start will be a key tonight. Allen didn't score the first goal last night but they scored right after Idaho took the lead. The odds are the team that scores first will win as that has been the case in eight of the nine games these teams have played this year.
- The other key to victory will be special teams play. Allen is 7-22 (31.8%) on the power play which is the best in the playoffs. The team that has won the special teams battle has won every game in this series.
- The Americans scored four goals last night which was their best offensive output of the series. With three lines that can all score it puts a lot of pressure on the Idaho defense.
- Here is the statistical update of how Allen and Idaho rank among the 16 playoff teams in some statistical categories considering just the playoff game results:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 5th (15.83) - Idaho 8th (13.50)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 14th (2.17) - Idaho 10th (2.83)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 7th (2.83) - Idaho 3rd (2.17)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 7th (29.83) - Idaho 11th (29.00)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 6th (29.00) - Idaho 10th (29.83)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 1st (31.8%) - Idaho 7th (18.5%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 10th (81.5%) - Idaho 16th (68.2%)
- The officiating crew for tonight is the same as last night. With only four penalties called on each team you might expect the same tonight in that they will let the guys play. The referees will be Peter MacDougall (#26) and Stephen Thomson (#27). Linesmen will be Mitch Macpherson (#48) and Erik Contino (#92).
- It was great to see such a enthusiastic crowd at the AEC last night. The announced crowd was 4931 (though there were not that many in attendance) and to have such great support on a night where the chance for dangerous weather was so high was amazing. There were several tornadoes just 30 miles north of the AEC.
- The team is still upset about the two game suspension given to Vincent Arseneau. I had the opportunity to see a frame by frame replay of the hit from a different angle and it is clear from this replay that Areseneau did not leave his feet to administer the hit. More importantly, the video clip shows as Arseneau lowers his shoulder to check the Idaho player, the player moves his body to the right to avoid the hit and runs into the high stick. Not sure if the ECHL had this view when they made their decision on the suspension because a neutral party would conclude that this was not an intentional targeting of the head and the appropriate call should have been a four minute penalty for high sticking.
- The upsets continue in the ECHL playoffs. While Allen survived last night to force a game seven two other higher seeded teams were eliminated. The #1 seed (Toledo) in the Eastern Conference lost game seven at home to #8 seed Reading by a score of 4-1. In the Western Conference #3 seed Colorado was eliminated as they lost game six at home to #6 Utah by a score of 7-2.
- The only round one series left to be decided are #2 Fort Wayne vs #7 Cincinnati and #4 Allen vs #5 Idaho. Both series are tied 3-3 and game seven takes place tonight. Fort Wayne and Allen were both trailing 3-2 and had to win game six at home to force a game seven.
- The Eastern Conference second round match ups are already decided as it will be Reading vs Wheeling and South Carolina vs Adirondack. Of the top four seeds only South Carolina (#2) survived the first round. #1 Toledo, #3 Manchester and #4 Florida all lost in the first round.
- The Western Conference second round match ups will be decided tonight. Missouri awaits the winner of the Allen vs Idaho game and Utah will play the winner of the Fort Wayne vs Cincinnati game. Thus far, of the top four seeds, only #3 Colorado has been eliminated.
SHOT OF THE GAME
|photo courtesy of scenebykimberly.com|
|photo courtesy of Dianne Webster|
|photo courtesy of Dianne Webster|
DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello had another assist last night on the Eric Roy power play goal. It was Chad's 25th straight game (19 regular season & 6 playoff) with an assist. To give you an idea of how impressive this streak is, all you have to do is look at the NHL all time record. The NHL record for the longest assist scoring streak is held by Wayne Gretzky who had an assist in 23 straight games in 1991.