ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans finished a grueling weekend on Sunday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Wichita Thunder before a crowd of 3314 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
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Three games in three days against your biggest rival is exhausting. From when the puck dropped on Friday night to the final horn on Sunday the elapsed time was exactly 47 hours and 20 minutes. In that time, Allen played three games, two of which went to overtime, and came away with five of six points. Throw in 12 hours of bus time to and from Wichita and you have quite the weekend.
– How exhausting was this three-game series? Allen and Wichita combined for 97 shots on goal Friday night. By Sunday, the combined total was just 52. The Americans went from their largest shot total (58) since joining the ECHL on Friday to their lowest shot total (28) of the season on Sunday.
– Allen allowed the first goal in all three games against Wichita. To come away with two wins and an overtime loss is a tribute to the comeback ability of this team. If you look at the combined totals for the weekend the Americans were outscored 4-1 in the first period but outscored the Thunder 6-1 in the third period.
– If you watched the game yesterday, it was apparent both teams were tired and the weekend had taken a toll. To make matters worse, a couple of defensemen got dinged up during the game. With five defensemen in Iowa, the team can’t afford more defensemen out of the lineup. The team will find out today the extent of the injuries.
– The script on Sunday was a familiar one. Wichita scored first and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Alex Guptill tied the score early in the second period and that was the extent of the second period scoring. Guptill got his second goal of the game and seventh of the season midway through the third period (9:42) but Wichita countered exactly three minutes later (12:42). Neither team could break the 2-2 tie, so for the second time in as many days, the game went to overtime. It took just 50 seconds for Alex Breton to steal the puck in his own zone, skate the length of the ice and score the game-winner.
– Allen had a power-play goal in all three games this weekend going 3-15 (20%). When you consider the Americans have just eight power-play goals all season, getting three this weekend is a big step forward. Wichita, however, has given up a power-play goal in eight straight games.
I had the chance to touch base with coach Martinson after the game and got his comments:
“It was a good win to end the weekend. We played shorthanded with a couple of defensemen injured.”
“Wichita made good shots on their goals with both going in off the post.”
“Three games in less than 48 hours is tough but I thought we outplayed them consistently throughout the game.”
“Cole Fraser has been getting a big hit in every game and it happens fast.”
Stats and Stuff
– Allen has now scored at least one point in 12 of their last 13 games with a record of 9-1-2-0. The Americans lead the ECHL with 28 points.
– With the overtime win yesterday, 50% of Allen’s 28 points have come from overtime games. The Americans are now 6-2 in overtime games. No other ECHL team has more than three overtime wins.
– With the win yesterday, Jake Paterson improved his season record to 8-1-1-0. His eight wins are the second-most in the ECHL trailing only Pat Nagle (Toledo) who has nine wins.
– There is a three-way tie for the Allen scoring lead. Gabe Gagne (8G, 8A), Alex Guptill (7G, 9A) and Spencer Asuchak (5G, 11A) all have 16 points.
– Alex Guptill has a plus/minus of +13 which is the second-best in the league. Jack Sadek is #2 among the ECHL defensemen at +10.
– The Americans do not play again until next weekend when they travel to Tulsa for games against the Oilers on Saturday and Sunday.
Did You Know?
Allen has 13 wins in 18 games. The Americans didn’t get their 13th win last season until January 16. Allen has 28 points on November 25, 2019 and is in first place. One year ago today the Americans were in last place with 10 points. What a difference a year makes!
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