Saturday, December 31, 2016

Allen Rolls Thunder 9-0, Allen vs Utah Preview, Revisiting Allen's Other High Goal Games

The Allen Americans had a win of historic proportion last night as they beat the beleaguered Wichita Thunder 9-0 before 3517 fans at Intrust Bank Arena. Talk about two teams heading in opposite directions you couldn't have a bigger contrast. Wichita had a good start to the season and was 7-3 at one point. The Thunder has now hit rock bottom losing five straight games. Losing five straight is bad enough but it is how the Thunder lost that is disappointing. Wichita has been shutout in their last three games and in the five game losing streak has been outscored 27-2.

- Allen had a poor start to the season but has now gone seven games without losing in regulation with a record of 6-0-1-0. Allen has outscored their opponents in the last seven games 39-7. The Americans have played more games (34) than any other team in the ECHL but their recent winning streak has them with 40 points. Only three teams (Toledo, Florida, Colorado) have more points than Allen.

- The Americans scored early and often as the 9-0 score was the biggest shutout victory in team history. The goal scorers for the Americans were Greger Hanson (16,17,18), Joel Chouinard (3), Eric Roy (5), Jake Marchment (9,10),  Zach Hall (3), and Spencer Asuchak (14). As usual you can check out all of the goals and highlights at ECHL Rewind.  The link is

- It would be fair to say Allen feasted on the Wichita Thunder during the month of December. They played six times with five of the games being in Wichita. Allen took 11 of the possible 12 points with the only blemish being a 5-4 overtime loss on December 10. In the five Allen wins they out scored the Thunder 27-2. There are a lot of impressive stats from the six games the Americans played against Wichita in the month of December but none more impressive than the Allen penalty kill record. The penalty killers killed off 36 of 37 Wichita power plays with the lone goal being a five-on-three. That computes to a Wichita power play percentage of 2.7%.

- When you win a game 9-0 it creates some amazing stats and last night was no exception. Six players had multiple point nights led by Greger Hanson with five points (3 goals 2 assist), Spencer Asuchak with four points (1 goal 3 assists) and Chad Costello with four assists. The team was a combined +29 on the night.

- Greger Hanson's five points is tied for the most points in a game in the ECHL all season. Greger was a +5 in the game and that is also tied for highest plus/minus in a game all season.

- With their recent offensive explosion Allen players have been moving up the overall leader chart. Over the last seven games the Americans are averaging 5.43 goals per game. Chad Costello has jumped out to an eight point lead in the ECHL scoring race with 53 points. Greger Hanson isn't far behind in fourth place with 40 points. Hanson (18 goals), Costello (17 goals) and Asuchak (14 goals) are all in the top 14 in the league in goals. Joel Chouinard is first in plus/minus (+21) and Derek Mathers first in penalty minutes (149).

-  The team headed home right after the game and arrived back in Allen early this morning. It is a short turnaround with a 5:05 pm puck drop against Utah tonight. Both teams will be battling fatigue as Utah played last night in Tulsa where they beat the Oilers 3-2 on overtime.


The game tonight will be the only appearance by the Utah Grizzlies at the Allen Event Center (AEC) during the regular season. The teams played three times in Utah in November with the Americans coming out on top in all three games. On November 11, the Americans won 5-1 despite being out shot 41-20. The next night Allen won 3-2 in a shootout. That was the night Aaron Gens tied the score with 3.5 seconds left in the game. Greger Hanson and Matt Willows converted in the shootout while Riley Gill stopped both Utah attempts to seal the victory. On November 23 Allen won 3-2 in overtime. With less than a minute left in overtime Gary Steffes got a big faceoff win to the left of the Utah goalie and drew the puck to Harrison Ruopp at the point. Roupp took a couple of steps toward the slot and blasted a slap shot top shelf over the glove of the goalie.

- Allen won all three three games in Utah and to no surprise Riley Gill was the difference maker. The Americans were out shot in all three games, Utah had at least 40 shots in all three games and yet Allen won all three games. Riley Gill saved 116 of 121 shots over the three games for a phenomenal save percentage of .959.

- Here is a comparison between Allen and Utah:

                                     ALLEN                              UTAH

Team Record              19-13-1-1 (14 points)            12-16-2-1 (27 points)
Division Ranking         2nd - Mountain                     5th - Mountain
Conference Ranking  3rd - Western                        9th - Western
League Ranking         5th                                        20th
Last Game                  9-0 Win (Wichita)                 3-2 Win (Tulsa)
Goals For                    120                                      87
Goals Against             91                                        108
Power Play                 16.3% (24/147)                    17.2% (21/122)
Penalty Kill                  85.7% (23/161)                    83.7% (20/123)
Leading Scorer           Costello  (17-36-53)             Aubin (10-11-21)
Most PIM's                  Mathers - 149                      Howe - 73

-  Here is how Allen and Utah rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (20.18) - Utah 5th (17.71)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 8th (3.53) - Utah 21st (2.81)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 1st (2.68) - Utah 21st (3.48)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 4th (33.12) - Utah 12th (32.10)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 21st (34.18) - Utah 6th (29.19)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 14th (16.3%) - Utah 12th (17.2%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 7th (85.7%) - Utah 16th (83.7%)

- The turnaround by the Allen offense has been quick and dramatic. A month ago they were ranked #19 in goals scored per game at 3.11. Today they are ranked #8 at 3.52. A month ago the Americans were ranked #21 in goals allowed at 3.47. Today they are #1 at 2.68. With the season almost half complete to move these number that far in a month is remarkable.

- Allen is certainly playing well but so is Utah. The Grizzlies have won their last three games and they were all on the road.

- Riley Gill is 3-0 against the Grizzlies this season with all three wins coming in Utah. Gill is expected to be in goal tonight.

- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Tudor Floru (#26) and linesmen Christopher Williams (#0) and Chase Wilkinson (#68). The last two games with Floru as the referee there have been 62 penalties called for a total of  218 penalty minutes. Hope it is a different type of game tonight.

DID YOU KNOW: The nine goal outburst last night by Allen set a record for largest margin of victory in a shutout and tied the all time record for largest margin of victory in any game.  It was just the fourth time in franchise history an Allen team has scored nine or more goals. Here is a little trip down memory lane of the other three times Allen has scored at least nine goals:

10-1 - It was a wild New Years Eve game at the Allen Event Center on December 31, 2010 as the Americans beat the Tulsa Oilers 10-1. The ten goals are the franchise record. Dave Bonk had a hat trick in that game and Judd Blackwater had six points (1 goal 5 assists). The lone goal for Tulsa was scored by none other than Chad Costello. In case you don't remember, the next night on New Year's Day, Colorado came to town and and beat the Americans 11-6.

9-6 - This game took place the same season as the 10-1 game. It was on March 11, 2011 and took place at the infamous NYTEX Centre as the Americans beat the Brahmas. No hat tricks in this game but Nino Musitelli, Bruce Graham and Colton Yellow Horn each had two goals.

9-2 - The most recent nine goal game took place at the AEC on November 21, 2014 against the Brampton Beast. The hat trick that night belonged to Chad Costello.

The most goals Allen ever scored and lost a game was on November 23, 2013 at the AEC when they lost to Tulsa 10-8.  It was a strange game for sure. The Americans took a 2-0 first period lead before Tulsa scored seven second period goals. Allen fell behind 8-4 and then scored four unanswered goals to tie the game midway through the third period. Tulsa scored the final two goals of the game to make the final score 10-8. The game had a little bit of everything with eight power play goals, a penalty shot, a shorthanded goal and an empty net goal. There were 34 penalties including eight fighting majors and 11 roughing penalties. Maybe the most ironic thing is Todd Robinson, who six months earlier had won the CHL championship for Allen with a game seven overtime goal against Wichita, was the leading scorer for Tulsa with seven points (2 goals 5 assists).

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