For the second time in as many games the Allen Americans came through with a victory when facing elimination. It was a 4-0 shutout yesterday afternoon in Colorado that saw the Americans fight their way back into this series. They still have a lot of work to do but they head back to Allen for game six (Tuesday) and hopefully game seven (Wednesday) trialing in the series 3-2.
- Allen won game five by accomplishing something they had not done all series. They get off to a fast start and scored the first
goal of the game at the 2:33 mark of the first period. Allen has not lost a game in the playoffs when they score first. If you combine the regular season and playoffs the Americans record when scoring first now stands at 44-2-2-1.
- The other key to the game was winning the special teams battle. There were not a lot of power plays as only four penalties were called in the entire game. Allen scored on their lone power play and the Americans penalty kill unit killed off all three Colorado power play opportunities.
- You don't see this stat very often but the Allen penalty kill unit outscored the Colorado power play unit 2-0 in the last two games. The Americans penalty killers held the Eagles to 0-8 on the power play while scoring a shorthanded goal in each of the last two games. In game four it was Tyler Barnes with the shorty in what has been the most important goal in the series thus far for Allen. In the game yesterday Spencer Asuchak got an empty net shorthanded goal.
- The other key to the game was the goaltending of Riley Gill who stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the playoffs. Riley has not allowed a goal to Colorado since the 3:28 mark of game four which is a total of 116:32 minutes. Riley's nine shutouts this season (7 regular season, 2 playoffs) is the best of his illustrious career.
- Goal scorers for Allen were Chad Costello (3) who has a goal in three straight games, Tyler Barnes (3), Gary Steffes (2) and Spencer Asuchak (2). You can check out all of the goals at ECHL Rewind and it won't take long as the highlight package is a mere 38 seconds. http://www.echl.com/
- Here is the Allen Americans game recap: https://allenamericans.com/gill-americans-extend-series-after-4-0-win-over-colorado/
- Here is the game recap by Cris Tiller from the Loveland Reporter-Herald with great detail, great pictures and great quotes from players and coach Schneekloth. http://www.reporterherald.com/sports/ci_30972019/allen-forces-series-back-home-shutout-win-over
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- Riley Gill is in his playoff zone which makes him tough to beat as shown by giving up just one goal in the last two games.
- We are defending much better now than we were at the beginning of this series. Our top players have really stepped up.
- We have scored eight straight goals over the last two games and we need to carry that momentum back to Allen.
- I am not sure how the disallowed goal was called. The referee that was right there signaled numerous times the goal was good. If they had actually seen the play they would have known Register tackled Asuchak just as he was about to poke the puck into an open net.
- I know everyone is excited about the great effort put forth by the team to get the series back to Allen for game six and hopefully a game seven. But there is still a lot of heavy lifting before the Americans can advance to the Western Conference finals. There will be a complete game preview tomorrow but one stat that bears remembering proves this won't be easy. Allen's record at home in the playoffs this year is 1-3 and Colorado's road record in the playoffs this year is 5-0. Allen has proven time and again they have the heart of a champion but anyone who thinks they have this series won because the last two games are at home is sadly mistaken. It will be a battle to the end.
- If you read the Chris Tiller game recap above you may have been struck by the quote from Colorado captain, Sean Zimmerman, who obviously wasn't impressed with Allen's back to back wins in Colorado. "We just have to bear down and
decide whether we want to be here or not. That's it really," captain
Sean Zimmerman said. "There is no way this team (Allen) should be able to play with us." We have to make up our minds and decide we want to be here.
Once we do that, we'll move on. We have two games, we need to win one.
That's it." Sounds like bulletin board material to me. To say a team that has won 15 straight playoff series and just outscored Colorado 8-1 in the last two games can't play with Colorado. C'MON MAN!
DID YOU KNOW: Coming back to win a series after being down 3-0 has happened one time in the history of the ECHL. Cincinnati accomplished the feat against Reading in the 2010 American Conference finals. Cincinnati went on to win the Kelly Cup. Two other teams have forced a game seven after trailing 3-0 and lost. Cincinnati against Atlantic City in the 2003 Northern Conference finals and Toledo against South Carolina in the 2015 Eastern Conference finals.