Monday, October 28, 2019

Allen Wins in OT, Game Recap, Coaches Comments, Jake Paterson Returns, Stats Tell the Story, Allen's Start Best Ever and Sayonara for a While


After a disappointing 4-3 loss to Idaho on Saturday the Allen Americans came back with an exciting 2-1 overtime win over the Steelheads on Sunday. The Americans improved their home record to 3-2 with all three wins coming in overtime.


- The hero last night was Olivier Archambault who scored the game winner 95 seconds into the overtime period assisted by Spencer Asuchak.


- In Allen's first five games, goals scored by both teams averaged almost nine per game so the 2-1 score last night was unique. There was no scoring in the first two periods. The Americans controlled play in the first period and had a shot advantage of 16-10. Idaho controlled the second period out shooting the Americans 15-3. 


- Allen scored first at the 6:21 mark of the third period when Tyler Sheehy scored his second goal of the season off a nice pass from Brett Pollock. Just over two minutes later Idaho got the equalizer and that was the end of the scoring in regulation.


- Both goalies were great in regulation and made big saves in overtime before Archambault split two defenders and made a slick move on the Idaho goalie for the game winner.


- Here is the game recap issued by the Idaho Steelheads:  https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/steelheads-extend-point-streak-to-seven-slip-in-2-1-ot-loss-to-allen


- Here are the video highlights which show the three goals and the many great saves made by both goalies.




Here is the Sporfie highlight from Idaho's lone goal. If you watch this on a big enough screen/monitor you can see the puck hits the linesman as he tries to avoid it and rather than rimming the boards it falls right to a Steeelheads player who makes a pass to a wide open teammate on the side of the net. You can see the Allen players pointing and talking to the linesman after the goal. It was bad luck for the Americans but that is the way the puck bounces sometimes.





- Here is Steve Martinson's post game interview:




- I had a chance to spend some time with coach Martinson and assistant coach Deitsch after the game and they were pleased to get the overtime win and felt the team played better defensively. While the shots favored Idaho 39-31 many of the shots were from the perimeter. With that said they both agreed there is a lot of room for improvement and were reviewing video and making plans for practice drills on Tuesday. The team has the day off today (Monday). Martinson, however, does not have the day off and he will be working the phones to see what he can do to improve the team.


OTHER COMMENTS

- Jake Paterson has returned to Allen after spending a few days with the Iowa Wild in a back up role. With Paterson back the Americans have four goalies under contract and Martinson mentioned to the season ticket holders Saturday night, "I have another goalie that might be getting assigned here from another organization." The bottom line is there will have to be some goalie moves this week. Stay tuned.


- The Americans are now six games into their 72 game season and the good news is their record is 4-2-0-0. They are tied for the fourth best point total in the ECHL. Here are a few stats that give some cause for concern going forward and why coach Martinson keeps saying the team has got to be better.

- Allen is perfect in overtime (3-0) but has only one regulation win.
- Allen has a record of 4-2 but a negative goal differential, 22 goals for, 25 goals against.
- Allen is ranked #24 in average penalty minutes per game (9.67) The only penalties Allen has taken are 29 minor penalties. Not a good stat for a team that wants to play greasy and gritty.
- Allen is top ten in penalty kill percentage (83.3%) but bottom ten in power play percentage (13.0%).
- Allen's average goals scored is 3.67 while average goals allowed is 4.17.
- Allen takes an average of 31.0 shots per game but allows 34.5 per game.


- It is sayonara for a while as Nancy and I leave tomorrow on a visit to South Korea and Japan. I hope to post a special feature later today or early tomorrow morning but this will be the last regular blog until around November 19.  


DID YOU KNOW: Since joining the ECHL, Allen has never had a better start to the season than this season. They have also never played more home games to start the season than this season. Here is Allen's record after six games since 2014-15. The number in parenthesis is the number of home games:

4-2-0-0   2019-20   (5)
2-3-0-1   2018-19   (1)
3-2-1-0   2017-18   (2)
3-3-0-0   2016-17   (4)
4-2-0-0   2015-16   (2)
3-3-0-0   2014-15   (3)   


Sunday, October 27, 2019

3-0 Lead Isn't Enough for Allen, Game Recap, Steve Martinson's Post Game Comments, Video Highlights, Rematch Preview and More


The specialty jersey curse struck again at the Allen Event Center last night as the Americans turned a 3-0 second period lead into a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Idaho Steelheads before a Saturday night crowd of 3682.


- With a 3-0 lead, Allen gave up a goal with less than a minute left in the second period which gave Idaho life. Allen was still in the driver's seat with a 3-1 lead going into the third period but three unanswered goals spelled defeat for the Americans. Too many turnovers and failure to get pucks in deep spelled doom for the Americans.


- The goal scorers for Allen were Spencer Asuchak (3), Gabe Gagne (3) and Jared VanWormer (1). The starting line (Archambault, Asuchak, Gagne) scored on their first two shifts of the game.


- Here is the game recap issued by the Idaho Steelheads: https://www.idahosteelheads.com/en/articles/steelheads-score-four-straight-overcome-deficit-to-beat-americans-4-3


- Here are the game highlights with all of the goals and some great saves by Evan Weninger who played great in goal for Allen:





STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS



"The goal we gave up late in the second period gave them life. They came back in the third period just like they did last night in Wichita. We did plenty of good things to win the game but then we did plenty of bad things to lose the game. Some of our players stayed on the ice too long which created turnovers and odd man rush opportunities for Idaho."

"We didn't make good decisions on the power play."

"We will get some fresh legs in the lineup tomorrow and sit some guys out. We will get a little more jump and maybe make smarter plays."

"Sometimes we try to show we are more skilled than we need to be. We were trying to make saucer passes when it wasn't necessary and we had a 4-on-2 and made the pass to the wrong side, it was painful."

"Weninger played well in goal and made some great saves."

"One way or another we need to get greasier. We have to be harder to play against. I am working on that."

 "Tonight was an example of what can happen when you don't play the entire 60 minutes. We were in control of the game, out playing and out chancing them and then we just got greedy. We had a 3-1 lead and had guys jumping into the play and giving up odd man rushes."

"Redmond is only here for the weekend. I have another goalie that might be getting assigned here from another organization. I am most likely going to do that option which will complicate things. I am not going to go through what happened last year when we had goalies hurt and goalies in the AHL and we struggled. I am probably going to make things a little bit harder on everybody from a goaltending situation but that is what I am most likely going to do."



REMATCH PREVIEW

- The best thing about the loss last night is Allen doesn't have to wait very long to do something about it with a 4:05 pm rematch this afternoon.


- Look for several lineup changes for Allen both up front and at the blue line. Evan Weninger should be in goal again today.


- Coach Martinson mentioned the team needs to be greasier and be harder to play against. It is hard to believe but Allen is one of only two ECHL teams (Reading the other) that has not taken a five or 10 minute penalty this season.


- I mentioned this yesterday and it is the most stark difference between Allen and Idaho. The Americans are last (#26) in average goals allowed at 4.80 goals per game. After last night Idaho is #1 in average goals allowed at 2.17 per game.


- There were only three minor penalties called last night, two on Allen, one on Idaho. The game tying goal by the Steelheads was scored on the power play. Allen needs to win the special teams battle today if they expect to win.


- With the disappointment of blowing a 3-0 lead and losing the game last might it is worth noting Allen out shot Idaho 40-32. If they can manage 40 shots on goal again this afternoon and clean up the defensive mistakes they will have a good chance of winning the game. It won't be easy as Idaho is expected to start their top goalie, Tomas Sholl, who in four games has a GAA of 1.94 and save percentage of .934.


- The referee scheduled today is Maxime Primeau (#16) and the linesmen will be Daniel Barnes (#76) and Aaron Schacht (#51).




OTHER COMMENTS

- The Americans had a live auction after the game for the Pink in the Rink specialty jerseys they wore last night. I think the plans are to use more live auctions this season. The jerseys sold for between $200 - $700 dollars with the majority going between $225 - $325. The top two were Spencer Asuchak ($700) and Jordan Topping ($500).


- It was a rough night for attendance around the ECHL for a Saturday night, which is historically the biggest attendance night. The 12 games last night drew 43,924 for an average of just 3660. One team (Wheeling) drew 1713 and four others (Greenville, Norfolk, Maine, Brampton) drew between 2100 - 2800.


- Here are the Mountain Division standings based on winning percentage which is a better stat given the disparity in games played. Allen has played the fewest games (5), Tulsa the most (9).

.917 - Idaho
.786 - Rapid City
.600 - Allen
.500 - Wichita
.429 - Utah
.333 - Kansas City
.278 - Tulsa


- Turner Ottenbreit played in his first game for Iowa last night as they lost to Tucson 2-1 in overtime. Jake Doty also played in his first game for Ontario as they beat San Diego 3-2. Congrats to both.   

  


DID YOU KNOW: It is very rare for the Allen Americans to blow a lead after two periods as they did last night. Even though they had the worst record in the ECHL last season, Allen was 15-2-1-1 when leading after two periods. Since joining the ECHL in 2014 the Americans record when leading after two periods is 140-11-4-4.   

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Allen vs Idaho Game Preview, Player Updates, Quite a Night in Rapid City and More


The Allen Americans had a rare Friday night off as they prepare for back to back games against the Idaho Steelheads who have the best record in the ECHL at 4-0-1-0. Idaho was not as fortunate as they played last night in Wichita and lost to the Thunder 4-3 in overtime. It was a frustrating night for the Steelheads as they out shot Wichita 55-24 but had to score three goals in the third period including two goals in the final 139 seconds of the game to force overtime. The Thunder won in overtime on a goal by Jack Combs, playing in his first game for Wichita.


- The last thing you want when playing three games in less than 48 hours is have game one go to overtime. However, I am sure Idaho was pleased to get one point given they were trailing 3-0 with less than 15 minutes left in the game.


- I assume Idaho headed to Allen by bus right after their game last night. The game ended at 9:49 pm so by the time they got showered and loaded and drove the 360 miles, they would have arrived in Allen around 5:00 am. By Sunday afternoon with an early start (4:05 pm) it will be a tired Steelhead team for sure.


GAME PREVIEW

- With their great start and the #1 winning percentage in the ECHL at .900 the Idaho Steelheads are looking  at becoming the heir apparent in the Mountain Division to the teams that won four of the last five Kelly Cups (Allen & Colorado). The formula for success thus far for Idaho has been great defense and goal tending. Their top goalie, Tomas Sholl, has played in four of five games with a  GAA of 1.94 and a save percentage of .934. Idaho's second goalie, Colton Point has played in one game with a GAA of 2.00 and save percentage of .939. Sholl was in goal last night in Wichita so you have to assume Allen will see both goalies this weekend.


- While Idaho's goalie play is a strength, Allen's is a question mark. Allen lost both of their goalies in the last week with Dereck Baribeau injured and moved to the injured reserve and Jake Paterson being loaned to Iowa. Coach Martinson re-signed rookie Evan Weninger who was in training camp with Allen. Evan played the last 27 minutes including in overtime in Allen's lone preseason game in Kansas City. The Americans won 3-2 as Weninger stopped 13 of 14 shots for a save percentage of .929. Last season Evan played one game for the Florida Everblades, saved 25 of 26 shots to win the game 1-0. Martinson also acquired Angus Edmond this week. Edmond is contracted with the NHL Anaheim Ducks. Over the last two seasons Redmond has been assigned to five different ECHL teams, played in 45 games with a GAA of 3.50 and a save percentage of .892. I would expect Weninger will get the start tonight because he has been with the team since the start of training camp and has played well in his limited ECHL minutes. 


- Allen's challenge will be to play better defensively by avoiding turnovers and getting pucks in deep. There was an inordinate amount of time spent on this at practice all week. The players know what to do the question is how will they execute. The difference between Allen and Idaho can be explained in just one stat. Idaho is ranked #2 in average goals allowed per game at 2.00. Allen is dead last at #26 allowing an average of 5.00 goals per game.  


- Since joining the ECHL, Allen's regular season record against Idaho is 10-8-4-2. At the Allen Event Center the Americans are 5-2-2-2 against the Steelheads. Idaho is also the team responsible for Allen's lowest point in their playoff history when the Steelheads came back from a 3-0 deficit to eliminate the Americans in the first round of the playoffs two seasons ago.

  - As always scoring the first goal will be critical. Both teams are undefeated this season when scoring first. 


- Another key to the game will be special teams. Both teams are struggling to score power play goals. Allen is 1-13 (7.7%) on the power play at home while Idaho is 1-16 (6.3%) on the power play on the road. Allen's home penalty kill is ranked #12 (82.4%) while Idaho's road penalty kill is ranked #13 (78.6%). Allen is taking an average of six minor penalties per game while Idaho is taking an average of five. Bottom line is these are two teams with similar results on special teams. Whoever prevails tonight will have a good chance of winning.


- Allen has a full roster so two forwards and two defensemen will be sitting out tonight. Mike Hedden and Shawn O'Donnell were put on reserve so they are most likely to sit out but players can be taken off the reserve at any time. I would also expect defenseman Nick Boka will be in the lineup after being sent to Allen this week by Iowa.


- The referee scheduled tonight is Maxime Primeau (#16) and the linesmen will be Michael Miggins (#47) and Aaron Schacht (#51).


OTHER COMMENTS

- It was quite a night in Rapid City last night. The Rush were celebrating the 10th anniversary of their CHL championship which long time Allen fans remember because Rapid City beat the Americans in the finals. Last night was the home opener for Rapid City and they beat Utah 4-3. The star of the game was Kelly Klima who was just assigned to Rapid City by their AHL affiliate (Tucson). Playing in his first game, Klima score all four Rush goals. Klima's dad is Petr Klima who played close to 800 games in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1989-90.


- Rapid City is off to a great start with a record of 4-1-1-0 which has them tied for the ECHL lead in points with nine. It is still very early in the season but the Mountain Division looks upside down from last season. Allen and Rapid City had winning percentages of .389 and .479 respectively last season but are at .750 this season. Tulsa led the division at .625 last season and is at just .250 this season which is the worst winning percentage in the ECHL.


- Devan Dubnyk, the Minnesota Wild's top goalie who has been out with an injury is back at practice but is listed as day to day. The sooner he returns to the lineup the sooner Jake Paterson returns to Allen.


- Vincent Arseneau had two goals last night as Utica beat the Binghamton Devils 5-1. Arseneau was selected as the #1 star of the game. Arseneau has four points (3G, 1A) in six games this season to go along with eight penalty minutes. Utica is 6-0 on the season.


- Jake Doty is still waiting to play in his first game for the Ontario Reign. Ontario is 5-1-1-0 on the season and take on the San Diego Gulls at home tonight.


- Iowa lost to in Tucson last night 3-1. Josh Atkinson and Matt Register were in the lineup and Jake Paterson was the back up goalie. Atkinson has played in seven games for the Wild and has one assist, six shots, no penalty minutes and a -2 plus/minus. Register has played in four games and has one goal, no assists, one shot, two penalty minutes and a -1 plus/minus. Turner Ottenbreit who was loaned to Iowa 10 days ago has not played yet. Iowa plays Tucson again tonight.


DID YOU KNOW: Only two times in ECHL history has a team comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs to win the series.

2018 - Idaho trailed Allen 3-0 and won game four (2-1 in Allen), game five (2-1 in Allen), game six (6-3 in Idaho) and game seven (4-1 in Idaho).

2010 - Cincinnati trailed Reading 3-0 and won game four (6-4 in Reading), game five (5-0 in Reading), game six (6-3 in Cincinnati) and game seven (1-0 in Cincinnati).


     

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Jake Paterson Heads to Iowa, Nick Boka Returns to Allen, Three After Practice Presentations, Player Interviews with Tyler Sheehy and Alex Guptill


 The big surprise at the Allen Americans practice yesterday was the absence of goalie Jake Paterson who has been loaned to the Iowa Wild. Minnesota Wild top goalie, Devan Dubnyk, was injured and when that happens the dominoes begin to fall. Minnesota recalled Iowa's top goalie, Kaapo Kahkonen, which left Iowa needing a goalie. With their contract goalie, Dereck Baribeau, assigned to Allen and on the injured reserve list they asked for Jake Paterson who is a free agent when it comes to the AHL. The word out of Minnesota is Dubnyk will not be out long and is listed as day to day but it is unknown how long Paterson will be in Iowa.


-  If you wonder why Iowa would ask for Jake Paterson when they could have found other free agent goalies around the ECHL with much better stats than Jake's 4.76 GAA and .856 save percentage there are a couple of reasons. First, Paterson's stats are much better than they appear. He has played well with the exception of the one game he relieved  Dereck Baribeau after an injury. In the three games Jake has started he won all three (two in overtime) and had a cumulative save percentage of .905. Secondly and probably more importantly Paterson was in training camp with Iowa and they liked how he preformed.


- Coach Martinson has signed another goalie who arrived last night and will be at practice today. The Americans will not have to use an EBUG (emergency back up goalie) this weekend.


- After practice the team heard from the Allen Fire Chief about the "Fireman Intern Program" that coach Martinson and the Americans set up for players back in 2014. Here is a story I wrote about the program which provides the details along with some photos of the first class (Chad Costello, Jamie Schaafsma,  Kevin Young, Ian Schultz). This is a great opportunity for the players. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8080859446542191581#editor/target=post;postID=8903213674693441037;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=1136;src=postname


- Another speaker in the locker room after practice was Gary Steffes, who has volunteered to hold chapel services for those players interested. As you all know, Gary is the perfect person for this role with his hockey background and the way he lives his life.


- The last event after practice was a presentation to the players by Dr. Rick Royston he titled, "Hockey Nutrition Program." Dr. Royston is a Chiropractor who is the head doctor and owner of MaxLiving Health Center in Plano. His undergraduate degree is in Sports Medicine/Athletic training. He has worked with elite athletes in many sports including multiple World Team and Olympic athletes. Dr. Royston covered nutrition with specific suggestions of what and when to eat and drink to get peak performance and recover quickly. Everything from daily hydration, to meal planning on practice days and game days to recovery after games. The players got a handout with a lot of do's and don'ts about eating quality, nutrient dense food which are free of chemicals.


- If you track AHL transactions you noticed yesterday that in addition to Jake Paterson signing a PTO with Iowa, defenseman Nick Boka has been loaned to Allen. Nick has been recovering from an injury and has not played in a regular season game thus far. Nick played four games in Allen at the end of last season and in those four games had a plus/minus of +6, which led the team for all of last season.


- After practice I have been asking players about their jersey number, their nicknames and what advice their father gave them when they were young that they still remember today. Here are the latest:

Tyler Sheehy #8 - There is nothing special about wearing #8 as it was just the number given to me. I usually wear #22. I wore #22 in high school and it was available in juniors and again in college so I just stuck with it. I have worn #22 for the last seven years. No nicknames that stand out, it usually has been "Shees." I don't know how it came about but when I got to Iowa at the end of last season guys started calling me "She Cat." I don't know where that came from or why. A few of the Iowa guys call me that here in Allen. The one thing my dad would always say to me is if you are going to do something make sure you do it the right way whether it is playing hockey or life in general. My dad was my coach in every sport growing up so his advice has carried over to my mentality and work ethic.

Alex Guptill #27 - I had #27 in college and I picked that number because it is the date of my parents wedding anniversary. So I have stuck with that number and like it. As for my nicknames it has always been Guppy, Gupper or Gup. I won't go into why but Marty came up with Eddie Haskell. The biggest thing my dad has told me is work hard and have fun. Hockey is an easy game to get down on yourself, especially at the professional level. Those are the times you rely on your family to bring you up a little bit as they are always supportive.


DID YOU KNOW: The most 20+ goals scorers the Allen Americans have had in one season is six and that has happened twice, in 2010-11 and in 2013-14:

2010-11:  
34 Bruce Graham
34 Nino Musitelli
33 Colton Yellow Horn
21 Jarret Lukin
20 Dave Bonk 
20 Judd Blackwater


2013-14:  
28 Jonathan Lessard 
25 Alex Lavoie 
21 Spencer Asuchak
21 Greger Hanson 
21 Jamie Schaafsma 
20 Tyler Ludwig

           

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Practice Update, Allen Website and YouTube Channel Content, Shawn O'Donnell and Jake Paterson Interviews, Special Teams Compared and More


Not much new to report from Allen practice yesterday. There are some bumps and bruises but it looks like everyone will be available for the weekend. There was plenty of time spent on drills to reinforce getting pucks in deep and avoiding turnovers in the neutral zone. Coach Martinson said after the win on Saturday (despite being out shot 42-26) the team needed to be in better shape. Martinson lived up to those comments with plenty of skating without the puck at the end of practice.


- After practice today the team will have a guest speaker talk about "Hockey & Nutrition" which should be informative. You read a lot about pro athletes turning to more of a plant based diet to improve performance. The current roster has everything from big time meat eaters to vegan diets. Rumor has it lunch will be soup, salad and a baked potato bar.


- Here is a recap of the last week from Tommy Daniels: https://allenamericans.com/allen-americans-weekly-18/


- If you don't frequent the Allen Americans website (allenamericans.com) I encourage you to visit each day to see what is new. There is a concerted effort by everyone on the staff to provide more content on the website. The Allen Americans Weekly (linked above) is from the website but new  stories are also posted about Spencer Asuchak's visit to Allen City Hall and the Captains of the Ice Angels. The website is a great place to see all of the latest content in one place.


- Another place you will see more content is on YouTube. The Allen Americans have their own channel (allenamericans) and if you don't know how to find it just Google "Allen Americans YouTube Channel" and you will see all of the videos. There have been 11 videos added just in the last week including player interviews, Martinson interviews, game highlights and marketing videos. Make sure to hit the subscribe button. Just like the website, the YouTube Channel is a great place to see all the latest videos in one place. If you scroll to the bottom of the channel you can see the all-time favorites. If you are wondering what is the #1 all-time here it is:




- After practice I have been asking players about their jersey number, their nickname and what advice their father gave them when they were starting out playing organized hockey that they still remember today. Here are the latest:

Shawn O'Donnell #92 - I picked the #92 last year because nobody had it so I just stuck with it this year. There is nothing behind it other than it is a number not many people wear. Odie has been the most common nickname I have had but sometimes people also call me Donny. My dad played hockey and he always said get your speed up, take lots of shots, have fun and enjoy the game. It is funny he gives me the same kind of pointers when I talk to him today.

Jake Paterson #35 - I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and our local junior team was the Mississauga IceDogs. They had a really good goalie by the name of  David Shantz and he wore #57, so growing up I always wore #57. When I got to Toledo I don't think we were allowed to pick a high number so I went with #35. It worked for me then so hopefully #35 will work for me in Allen. My nickname has always been Patty or Patter and that is what the guys call me here. The biggest thing my dad always told me was to work hard, in hockey and just in life in general. I try to bring that to the rink everyday.


- Former Allen forward Jack Combs is headed to Wichita to play for the Thunder. It hasn't been on transactions but Jack retweeted a tweet from a friend that said, "Shoutout to Jack Combs as he heads to Wichita to tear up the ECHL, those goalies don't stand a chance."

Jack spent 32 games with Allen in 2014-15 and the goalies really didn't have a chance as he had 56 points (22G, 32A) in those 32 games. What remains to be seen is whether Jack has made a season long commitment to Wichita or will be make the jump to Europe in a couple of months.



DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have a combined PP% and PK% of 100.9%. If you add together PP% and PK% and it exceeds 105% it is considered exceptional. It is early in the season so these numbers will come down but here are the teams off to the best start:

120.0% - South Carolina Stingrays
119.9% - Indy Fuel
118.3% - Newfoundland Growlers
118.2% - Worcester Railers
115.7% - Atlanta Gladiators
115.6% - Rapid City Rush
115.5% - Utah Grizzlies   

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Practice Update, Former Player Update, Waivers Explained, How Allen's 3-1 Start Compares to Past Seasons



- It was kind of back to practice for the Allen Americans yesterday after a weekend where they split two games with the Utah Grizzlies. You can call it practice but in reality is was more like a bunch of friends saying, let's meet at the pond an 10:30 am, divide up sides and have some fun. No coaches, no pressure, just a bunch of guys that love hockey and having some fun. It was a rematch of the Lefties vs Righties and from what I observed a good time was had by all.


- While the players were on the ice the coaches were going through the video of the Utah games to prepare for the rest of the week. Don't think it was very difficult to find clips of defensive breakdowns, turnovers, and not getting pucks in deep that will be the focus of practice this week.


- The good news for Allen is they are off to a great start with a 3-1 record which is good enough for the fifth best winning percentage in the ECHL. Coach Martinson has emphasized despite the good start there is plenty of work to be done. Here are some stats that point out that there is much room for improvement.


- Allen is the only team in the top 10 in winning percentage that has a negative goal differential. The Americans have scored 17 goals but allowed 20 goals. Their team plus/minus is -20.


- Over the first four games Allen has been out shot 136-115 and are dead last in average goals allowed per game (5.00).


- With the bad there is certainly some good news as well. Allen's shooting percentage of 14.8% is ranked #3 in the league trailing only Indy (15.3%) and Toledo (15.0%). The Americans have also shown the ability to come from behind which was the case in all three of their wins.


- Here is the weekly update on the Mountain Division issued by the ECHL:  https://www.echl.com/en/news/2019/10/mountain-division-weekly-oct-21


- If you want to take in the Allen Americans practice the time is 10:00 each morning this week. Practice will be in the main rink.


- Here is an update on how some former Allen players are doing this season. In some European leagues there is a tournament or other games that are not part of the regular season but are official games. In those cases I have included the total games. Info courtesy of Elite Prospects.

Tanner Eberle - 17 points (10G, 7A) in 17 games (England)
Chad Costello - 17 points (7G, 10A) in 13 games (Germany)
Alex Lavoie - 17 points (7G, 10A) in 16 games (Norway)
Kale Kerbashian - 9 points (5G, 4A) in 13 games (Slovakia)
Zack Pochiro - 9 points (4G, 5A) in 10 games (Denmark)
Riley Bourbonnais - 9 points (3G, 6A) in 9 games (Denmark)
Colton Yellow Horn - 6 points (0G, 6A) in 9 games (Austria)
Cris Crane - 5 points (3G, 2A) in 5 games (Wichita Thunder - ECHL)
Jonathan Lessard - 4 points (3G, 1A) in 9 games (France)
Miles Liberati - 3 points (1G, 2A) in 3 games (Tulsa Oilers - ECHL)
Vincent Arseneau - 2 points (1G, 1A) in 5 games (Utica Comets - AHL)
Casey Pierro-Zabotel - 1 point (0G, 1A) in 4 games (Adirondack Thunder - ECHL)
Dyson Stevenson - 0 points (0G, 0A) in 2 games (Utica Comets - AHL)

Thomas Frazee (Atlanta), Dalton Thrower (Jacksonville), Josh Thrower (Atlanta) and Bryan Moore (Cleveland - AHL) have not played because of injury and/or being a healthy scratch.


- I have had many questions about waivers after Allen goalie Evan Weninger was released and then re-signed over the weekend. I will devote a blog post to this subject with all of the nitty-gritty details about waivers if I can track them down but here is the Cliff's Notes version. Waiver is a method for a team to release a player and offer their contract (SPC) to other teams. Once a player is released and placed on waivers, it cannot be revoked. Some sports and leagues have revocable waivers but that is not allowed in the ECHL. Once a player is placed on waivers, teams have 24 hours to make a claim. The timing varies a little bit (weekday vs weekend) but it is about 24 hours. The waiver order is set by the standings but only updated once per week. The last place team has the first choice to claim a player and then the option goes down the list in standings order. If a team is successful in claiming a player they go to the bottom of the list until the next week when the order is reset in standings order. If a player is not claimed they become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team including the team that just released them.
   


DID YOU KNOW: How does Allen's 3-1 start compare with other seasons? Here is the Americans record after four games each season since joining the ECHL.

3-1-0-0    2019-20
1-2-0-1    2018-19
3-0-1-0    2017-18
3-1-0-0    2016-17
2-2-0-0    2015-16
2-2-0-0    2014-15


 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Allen Wins Overtime Thriller, Game Recap, Video Highlights, Steve Martinson's Post Game Comments and More


The Allen Americans moved their record to 3-1 last night as they defeated the Utah Grizzlies 5-4 in overtime. A Saturday night crowd of 4805 at the Allen Event Center (AEC) watched the Americans come from behind in the third period and win in overtime on a goal by Gabe Gagne. The moniker of "come back kids" has applied to the Americans thus far this season as all three of victories their have involved a third period comeback.


- Unlike Friday night when Allen was outplayed, outworked and outscored 4-0 in the first period, last night the Americans came out with great energy and jumped on Utah with an early goal (3:58 mark) by Shawn O'Donnell. After Utah's Josh Dickson scored his fourth goal in four periods against Allen to tie the score 1-1, Olivier Archambault scored late in the period to give Allen the lead 2-1 going into the first intermission.


- Everything changed in the second period especially after Allen took a 3-1 lead on Gabe Gagne's first goal of the season. When the dust settled on the second period the Americans were out shot 21-6 and out scored 3-1. Utah took a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.


- The third period was a stellar one for the Americans. The only goal of the period was the game tying goal on a great individual effort by defenseman Stepan Falkovsky. What saved the day for Allen was two long 5-on-3 penalty kills with some great saves by goalie Jake Paterson.


- It took just 78 seconds into the overtime period for Gabe Gagne to take a pass from Les Lancaster and rifle a shot passed the Utah goalie. Here is the Sporfie highlight where you can see how an odd man rush for Allen was set up when a Utah player slid into Jake Paterson.






- Here are the complete game highlights with all of the goals and some great saves by the goalies:




- Here is the game recap issued by the Utah Grizzlies:  https://www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/grizzlies-news/grizzlies-lose-5-4-in-overtime-at-allen



STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS

- Here is coach Martinson's post game interview:




- Here are some comments from coach Martinson's post game meeting with the season ticket holders:

"We have some work to do, we have to get in a little better shape. Utah's small and fast, speedy forwards did some damage to us."

"We had a great start and scored some good goals and then we had trouble getting pucks and made too many turnovers and that gave them momentum."

"Killing off two 5-on-3 penalties in the third period was huge."

"I don't think we have worked enough on our down low game, getting pucks in and working the corners."

"With all of the turnovers and not getting the pucks in deep we made their good forwards look very good."

"The good news is we are 3-1 and we have some work to do and can play a lot better. We have the guys capable of doing that."

"One advantage of playing so many home games this early in the season is we have a lot of practice time to work on things. We will have drills all four days next week getting the puck in deep and grinding out shifts. We want to carry the puck and make plays but if there is no play to be made we have to get pucks in deep."  


OTHER COMMENTS

- Goalie Dereck Baribeau has been placed on injured reserve so he will be out a minimum of 14 days. Baribeau has been replaced Evan Weninger who cleared waivers and has been re-signed by Allen.


- Matt Register and Josh Atkinson were in the lineup for Iowa last night as the Wild beat Manitoba 4-2. Turner Ottenbreit was a healthy scratch.


- Les Lancaster leads all ECHL defensemen in scoring with six points (0G, 6A). Stepan Falkovsky is tied for second with five points (2G, 3A).


- Three ECHL teams remain undefeated. Idaho is 4-0 and will be in Allen for games on Saturday and Sunday next weekend. Florida and South Carolina are 3-0.


- Florida leads the ECHL, taking an average of 37.67 shots per game while allowing the fewest shots per game at 23.33. A shot differential of +14.34 says the Everblades will be a team to beat again in 2019-20.


- No blog tomorrow (Monday) but will post a blog Tuesday morning. 




DID YOU KNOW: Allen is yet to take a major penalty this season but is averaging six minor penalties per game. Last season the Americans led the ECHL in minor penalties (423), 10 minutes misconduct penalties (23), game misconduct penalties (30) and match penalties (7).