Thursday, October 20, 2016


While Barry is on vacation, the views contained in this blog do not represent Barry, or those of the Allen Americans Organization.

Before we cover last night's disaster we would like to Congratulate Aaron Dell on his first NHL game and win.  He made 21 saves in route to a 3-2 victory over the NY Islanders.  Way to go, Aaron!

Also Congrats go out to our former goalie, Jake Hildebrand who had 2 impressive wins last weekend for the Indy Fuel and earned CCM ECHL Goaltender of the Week.  We are proud of you!

Everyone was excited last night about seeing a new team in town; the Atlanta Gladiators.  Not so much at the end of the game.  Atlanta outplayed and outskated us.  The Americans have to realize that these teams are coming in here to see how they stack up against the Champs, and are going to play us hard.  We were not up to the task last night.

Game Recap:

  • Atlanta scored the first 3 goals of the game beginning at 9:59 of the 1st, ending at 8:54 of the third.
  • The Americans decided to get in the game  at the 13:16 mark of the third when Dyson Stevenson scored 
  • Allen would put up another goal at the 18:13 mark when Greger Hanson got on the board with a power play goal, but it turned out to be too little too late.  
  • Americans PK efficiency continues at 100%, successfully killing 19 consecutive power plays
  • Americans need to work on their power play as we are only 2 of 13 (15.4%)  to start off this season

Of the three stars awarded, Dyson Stevenson earned the third.

Our thoughts are with the linesman injured last evening, wishing him a speedy recovery.

Coach Martinson's Post Game Comments:

  • That sucked, didn't like that game at all
  • 2 turnovers at the blue line cost us a couple of goals
  • was not too happy with my decisions on personnel
  • looked like we were just going through the motions, got better in the 3rd period
  • have to play better Friday, have to be ready to play
  • Derek Mathers skated well for his size, just arrived this afternoon, he should be able to help us out
  • sent Aaron Dell a message last week congratulating him on making the Sharks roster
  • Kale Kerbashian and Kyle Neuber have been placed on injured reserve
  • light practice on Thursday, will work on power play
  • going to watch video to be better prepared for Friday night

Game Preview:

As stated above, Coach will review tape and correct mistakes made on Wednesday.  At this early stage of the season, it is hard to predict or advise based on few statistics.  We know we have to improve our power play as we have had many good chances that we did not take advantage of. The team has to start the game with a 100% effort so there will not be a repeat of Wednesday, losing control of the game from the start.

We sat down with Kale Kerbashian and Tanner Eberle for a couple of quick questions, and they were more than happy to get their message out to the fans.

Kale Kerbashian #18

How does it feel to be back in Allen?
     Awesome, just starts with the weather, it is starting to snow in my hometown.  Great to play with players that make you want to compete, even in practice, it raises your game "to be the best".  The level of the players here, alone, was enough to make me want to come back.

What, if anything, will you try to do differently this time?
     I am a little bit older, grew up a little bit, more of a leader, I was one of the younger guys back then, but now I am being looked upon as "lead by example", find my place and help out.

Any updates since you were last here that you want to share with the Allen Fans?
     Still have the same girlfriend, Amanda, she is going to try to come down here, it is hard for the Canadian girls, but she'll try to find something to do here.   My family is all good and they will also try to make it here. Not too much has changed other than I am older and more mature.

Tanner Eberle #22

How does it feel to be back in Allen?
     Glad to be back, feels really good, missed the hot weather.  It is nice to interact with the fans again, and see some familiar faces.  Overall, the skill of the players here is much better than most places, it feels really good out there, glad to be back!

What, if anything, will you try to do differently this time?
     (Laughing) Try to stay here longer, last time I only played 5 games, hopefully I will get a few more this time.

Any updates since you were last here that you would like to share with the Allen Fans?
     Do the same things I did before, I am a little older, more mature,  I have the same girlfriend, Savannah, who is in my hometown, Regina.  Not much has changed.
(We will have additional interviews with Joel Chouinard, Jamie Murray, and Travis Brown in upcoming blogs)

(Pictures contained above are all courtesy of Diane Webster Photography)

Pictured below are 4 members of the Teal City Crew, (San Jose Barracuda Fan Club), who were in attendance at this home stand.  The Americans appreciate their continued support.

(courtesy of Ted Hosterman)

Pictured left to right:  Jessie Heart, Vinnie Dewberry, Eric Banks, and Curtis Silver.

The next blog posting will be Sunday.

Monday, October 17, 2016


banner raising courtesy of Diane Webster

While Barry is on vacation, the views contained in this blog do not represent Barry, or those of the Allen Americans Organization.

Walking around the arena on Saturday night (season opener, banner raising), many of us die hard fans had mixed emotions as to whether or not the Americans should win this game.  In the past four years that we have won the championship, Allen had lost their game opener.  A superstitious bunch we are, and we'll now have to wait until the end of the season to see if this superstition rings true.  For all of us, we hope it does not, as before a raucous crowd of 5062, Allen went on to win Saturday night 6-3 over the Missouri Mavericks, followed by a shutout on Sunday. 

Games Recap: 
  • First goal of the season, a power play goal, was scored by Greger Hanson at 8:18 of the first period 
  • As game continued, Allen continued their scoring with goals by Chris Crane, Kale Kerbashian (2), Chad Costello, and Eric Roy
  • Missouri answered with 3 goals of their own and narrowed the gap to 1 goal midway through the 3rd period, that would be as close as the score would get  as Allen closed out the score with 2 additional goals.
  • Although American's goalie Riley Gill faced 47 SOGs (including a penalty shot), Allen was still easily able to prevail. 
  • With his 2 goals Kerbashian was awarded 1st star of the game, and Gill earned 2nd star.
Coach Martinson's Post game comments:
  • Always fun to beat Missouri
  • Played good defensively, had good chances to score more goals
  • Missouri had a lot of shots
  • Kerby showed good speed, he's in good shape, could have his best year ever
  • We beat a pretty good goalie tonight (Josh Robinson)
  • Eberle demonstrated good energy 
  • Pinkston is out (upper body injury)
  • Started juggling practice lines in first period, will find chemistry as season progresses
  • Travis Brown has a lot of upside - sees the ice well
  • Gotta get better defensively
  • Dyson Stevenson could be back by next weekend
  • Still expecting some players from San Jose both forwards and defensemen
  • The infamous "cat" remains in Illinois and is going back to its' original owners  
  • Sunday afternoon's contest was all Allen as they scored 4 unanswered goals with goalie Jamie Murray recording his first professional shutout. (Congrats! Jamie)
  • Shots on goal were markedly different from the prior night with Allen holding the edge 40-35
  • Gary Steffes led the scoring with the games first 2 goals. followed by Tristan King and Tanner Eberle, each with 1
  • As would be expected Murray was named the games first star, Steffes #2 and King #3
Coach Martinson's Post game comments:
  • Always nice to beat Missouri
  • Kerby injured, could  be out 4-6 weeks
  • Nueber also out with injury, if unable to return I have a replacement lined up
  • Dyson should be back Friday, but may play Wednesday
  • Did we have fun this weekend?  (followed by cheers from fans)
  • Tanner Eberle looked really good, moves feet good on both ends of the ice, overall good attitude
  • Good to have 2 quality goalies, 2 completely different goalies, but they both stop pucks
Through the first 2 games:
  • ,Allen's PK efficiency is 100% having stopped all 14 power plays against them.  
  • Allen's power play has recorded 1 goal for 9 attempts (11.1%)
  • Americans have scored 10 goals, 15 assists for a total of 25 points resulting in a +29
  • Allens' netminders recorded 79 saves of 82 attempts for a .963 SV%

how to tame a Maverick (courtesy of Diane Webster)
See many more great photos of both nights at:

Did you know:  Allen's former goalie Jake Hildebrand has started the season with 2 victories, saving 56 of 58 shots for the Indy Fuel.

Please note: due to prior commitments the next posting will be Thursday, 10/20

Saturday, October 15, 2016


While Barry is on vacation, the views contained in this blog do not represent Barry, or those of the Allen Americans Organization.

Fooled you guys!  Thought we were going to say HOCKEY, but what we are really saying "time for Barry's Vacations".  Barry is taking a vaca to New Zealand.  Hoping he and Nancy have a wonderful time.  We will be periodically posting and expect to provide game recaps and a Wednesday night game preview on Monday.

Make certain you come early as tonight is banner raising.  Old hat for us Allen fans, but nonetheless exciting.

Tonight we begin the "Drive For Five" and we all know if anyone can accomplish this feat, it is Coach Martinson and the Allen Americans.  We believe we are in for another exciting season. Whatever the outcome, it will be one hell of a ride!

Please take a few minutes tonight to stop by the Fan Club table to see all the new items, and the lawn sign available for purchase.  Also speak to one of the members about joining the club if you have not yet done so. We are growing, therefore, you will not be asked to volunteer as much as may have been expected in the past. Every little bit helps and we need you! The Fan Club atmosphere is that it should be fun, and not work!  Give it a try!

lawn sign front

lawn sign back

See you all tonght at the game!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Allen Americans 2016-17 Season Preview - A Drive For Five

The Allen Americans are about to embark on a quest for a fifth straight championship and third straight Kelly Cup. Winning one Kelly Cup is an amazing feat but winning three in a row is unprecedented, having never been accomplished since the inception of the ECHL in 1988. It is definitely a tall order but coach Martinson has put together a team that is capable of giving it a shot. Here is a preview:

Head Coach: Steve Martinson - There are many statistics you can cite when talking about Martinson. He is an outstanding coach and an even better general manager. He will be starting his 21st year as a head coach and has missed the playoffs just one time. One statistic says it all about Martinson, he has won 10 championships in 20 years as a head coach. He has played in 14 playoff series since becoming the coach in Allen and has yet to lose. When it comes to seven games series there is nobody better.

Captain/Leadership: There has been no announcement about team leadership but when you win the championship it doesn't make sense to make a change. Everyone is back from last season so would expect Chad Costello and Gary Steffes to be co-captains again with Aaron Gens and Dyson Stevenson as the alternates. Locker room leadership comes from more than those wearing the letters and this team is loaded with leaders on and off the ice.


Anytime you win the Kelly Cup it is an outstanding season but Allen struggled at times during the regular season last year. They finished with 89 points compared to 106 points in 2014-15 when they won their first Kelly Cup. The Americans didn't even win their division and were the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The saving grace for the team during the regular season and playoffs was special teams where they were the best in the league. Sometimes you forget that Allen almost was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by a very good Idaho team. The Americans lost game five in Idaho by a score of 7-1 to go down in the series 3-2. They then won game six and seven at home to advance.


 If the saying, "go with what got you there" is true the Americans have it in spades this season. The opening day roster will have 20 players on it and 18 of them have played in Allen during at least one of the championship seasons. The team is anchored by Chad Costello who has been amazing in his two seasons in Allen, along with the winningest playoff goalie in ECHL history, Riley Gill.

- Costello has been the league scoring champion the last two seasons, has been a MVP the last two seasons  (by the PHPA in 2015 & the ECHL in 2016) and was the Kelly Cup MVP this past season. He has not missed a game in two years and has a staggering 292 total points (81 goals 211 assists) between regular season and playoffs.

- Riley Gill is made for the playoffs and has put the Allen Americans on his back the last two seasons and led them to consecutive Kelly Cups. He has more playoff wins (48) and playoff finals wins (11) than any goalie in ECHL history to go along with a Kelly Cup MVP award and three Kelly Cup championships.

- Spencer Asuchak and Greger Hanson (2015 Kelly Cup MVP) both return. They have been key players on the last three Allen championships. Chris Crane is back after missing the end of the season and playoffs last year. Chris is a key piece to this team as he can play in all situations and works hard all over the ice. If he stays healthy he could have a big year. Gary Steffes is back and has looked great in training camp. Gary scored six goals against Wheeling in the Kelly Cup finals after scoring four goals in the finals against South Carolina  in 2015. His 10 goals in the finals ranks him second all-time. You can go down the list of returning players from last year's playoff roster, Dyson Stevenson, Aaron Gens, Tristan King, Eric Roy, J.P. LaFontaine, Rick Pinkston and Kyle Neuber and see players that have been successful in the playoffs.


- There are several categories of players that did not return this season. You have the players that joined the team at the end of their college careers (Thomas Carr, Jordan Rowley, Jake Hildebrand) and were on the playoff roster. Part of their deal with the Americans was they would not be protected by Allen so they could pursue all options for their first full professional season. Carr and Rowley signed overseas and Hildebrand signed a one year deal with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL). The IceHogs recently assigned Jake to their ECHL affiliate, the Indy Fuel.

- The second group of players that are not returning are those that didn't fit with coach Martinson's plans. There are many factors to consider when putting a team together and some don't relate to on ice performance. Factors such as is a player a veteran, housing & insurance costs, what a player is like in the locker room are considerations as well as how well players fit into the system Martinson wants to play. These are players that don't receive an offer to return.

- Finally, there are those players that Martinson tries hard to sign but the player chooses another option. The two players that he really wanted back that opted not to return were David Makowski who signed in Hungary and Vincent Arseneau who signed in Wichita.


- Two of the new guys are really old guys as Kale Kerbashian and Tanner Eberle return. Kerbashian  won two championships with the Americans in 2013 & 2014. Kale is strong on the puck, can score and pass and is happy to be back on a winning team. He could have the best year of his career and should be a point a game player. The other returnee is Tanner Eberle.  Tanner returns to Allen where he originally signed in the 2014-15 season. Tanner played just five games (2 goals 2 assists) before he was loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and never returned. Last season he was scheduled to come back to Allen but signed a one way deal with the Iowa Wild (AHL). Let's hope the third time is a charm and Allen fans will be able see more of Eberle this season. Eberle’s speed and ability to hit have made him an effective two-way player. If Tanner can stay healthy (he played in just 45 games last season) he will be a great addition for Allen. 

- The two new players to Allen are defensemen Joel Chouinard and Travis Brown. Chouinard is a 6th round draft choice of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2008 NHL draft and has 204 AHL games to his credit. He is an offensive defensemen who is good at both ends of the ice. Brown was a fifth round draft choice of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2012 NHL draft.  He is described in scouting reports as a balanced defenseman who combines puck moving ability with a 6'2" frame and commitment to the physical game. He skates very well and has good mobility in all directions. When the puck is on his stick, he can make safe plays on the breakout as well as get his shot through on the offensive end.

- There are still 2-4 players to be assigned by San Jose which will make a strong Allen team even stronger. If the Americans get two or three forwards from San Jose, they will have three lines of players that could all be top line players in the ECHL.


 The Allen Americans roster is full of players that could see time in the AHL this season. Obviously, all of the San Jose contracted players assigned to Allen could be recalled. Currently there are just three (Jamie Murray, Eric Roy, Travis Brown) but that number will increase by three or four in the near future. The players that do not have an AHL contract are free agents and can be loaned to any AHL team. With the talent on the roster many of the free agent players could get loaned to AHL teams. Steve Martinson is a coach known for loaning players and feels it helps his team in the long term to loan players even if it can cause short term issues. Joel Chouinard, Tanner Eberle, Spencer Asuchak, Gary Steffes, Chris Crane, Greger Hanson and Rick Pinkston all played AHL games last season and would be candidates to be loaned again this year. Who gets loaned will depend on performance but the younger guys might have an advantage. The youngest of the group are Eberle (22), Asuchak (24) and Crane (24).


- It is difficult to know what impact the new division alignment will have on the season. Since the schedule didn't change after the teams were realigned the regular season will have the Americans play less than half of their games against teams in their division (Mountain Division). The Americans will play their division rival Missouri 13 times but the other five Mountain Division teams (Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Rapid City, Utah) a total of  just 18 games. Meanwhile they play their non-division rivals Wichita and Tulsa 14 time each.

- The big impact with being in the Mountain Division will be in the playoffs. The first two rounds of the playoffs are within the division. Historically, the Americans have been required to travel by bus and the miles to the other Mountain Division cities is substantial. They would fly to Alaska but could have to bus to all the other locations. Here is the mileage from Allen to the other cities in the division:
Alaska - 4000
Idaho - 1605
Utah - 1238
Rapid City - 1058
Colorado - 842
Missouri - 473

- Another intangible to consider is what I would put under the umbrella of "treatment of players" and it covers a myriad of issues. While many ECHL teams in the Division will be traveling by air, the Americans will be climbing on "Big Red" which is a 1998 Prevost bus which has seen its better days. No satellite TV, no wifi and little doubt some breakdowns along the way. All teams deal with budget issues but some of the problems the players have had to deal with would surprise even the most frugal teams. With the opportunity to do something very special in the pursuit of a third Kelly Cup, ownership/budget support will be crucial. The team has persevered through issues in the past but it would be great if things were a little different this year.


With the best team Steve Martinson has assembled since arriving in Allen, this team has a chance to do something very special. This quote from Martinson captures his sentiment, "With the players we have signed and those I expect to get from San Jose, I wish we could go right to the playoffs. You never know what the team will look like when the playoffs arrive but I really like the team we have assembled."

So Martinson has built a team of experienced players most of which have playoff success. They are players that want to be in Allen because of the winning tradition. They know what it takes to win and have great leadership on the ice and in the locker room. You never know what the season will hold in terms of injuries and call ups and winning three straight Kelly Cups is certainly unprecedented. With that said, coach Martinson has put together a team that any coach would love to take into the playoffs. Throw in the fact that Allen is 14-0 in playoff series under coach Martinson and you have the possibility of a third Kelly Cup this season. Allen fans have great trust in Steve Martinson. If he says there is a chance to do something special this season they are more than willing to go along for the ride no matter what the outcome.

I had a chance to ask coach Martinson what he would include in a season preview of his team and got some interesting insight. Here are some of his thoughts in his own words:

"We have players that want to win in the playoffs and we have guys that want to be loaned to AHL teams. The trade off of having a team like that is you have to have a lot of depth and players are going to have to rotate through."

"We are not like the NHL where six guys play on the power play and six don't.  We want to have our cake and eat it too so there will be times when we have too many good players available."

"When we have all of our guys available along with the San Jose players we will have some salary cap issues to deal with."

"I am going to carry extra players this year which I didn't do last season as that will help us win."

"Our goaltending should be really good with Jamie Murray, who was the Division III player of the year and had a .963 save percentage in his short time with us last year, along with Riley Gill, the winningest playoff goalie in the history of the league. It is nice to know with Gill you have the best goalie on your team. Riley has settled in North Texas with his family and has recommitted himself to being the best. Having a contract goalie like Murray to take some of the load will help Riley extend his career."

"Our playoffs are important to San Jose. I have been in situations where playoffs aren't important to affiliates. It is so important to have a good relationship with your affiliate and San Jose has been great."

DID YOU KNOW:  The Allen Americans ranked in the bottom fourth of the ECHL in total player salaries during the 2015-16 season.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Training Camp Part 2 - Where Does Everyone Fit?

There was little doubt when observing the Allen Americans practice yesterday that there was a different look and feel. The tryout players were all gone, Greger Hanson, Kyle Neuber, Eric Roy, Travis Brown and Chris Crane were back and the competition for opening night playing time was in full swing. This team is loaded with talent but the old adage of hard work beats talent if talent doesn't work hard will be a difference maker, even in practice. 

- Dyson Stevenson was at the rink but in street clothes after being injured in a preseason game in San Jose. I would not expect Stevenson to be ready for the home opener on Saturday. 

- Tanner Eberle was released by San Jose and returned to Allen last night. He will be at practice today (Tuesday).

- While additional players will be assigned to Allen in the near future, it is unlikely any more players will be assigned this week. With the addition of Eberle there are now 20 players on the roster. 
Riley Gill
Jamie Murray

Aaron Gens
Joel Chouinard
Eric Roy
Rick Pinkston
Travis Brown
Mike Gunn
Nolan Descoteaux 

Chad Costello
Gary Steffes
Dyson Stevenson
Greger Hanson
Spencer Asuchak
Tristan King
Chris Crane
J.P. LaFontaine
Kale Kerbashian 
Kyle Neuber
Tanner Eberle 

- One of many things coach Martinson will be deciding this week is line combinations for opening night. The lines at practice yesterday were King-Kerbashian-Steffes, Costello-Crane-LaFontaine, Hanson-Asuchak-Neuber. With Eberle returning today, you might see him with Costello and Crane and LaFontaine with Hanson and Asuchak. It is always nice to have a tough guy with Costello and Eberle fits the bill. One thing is clear and that is, however the lines end up all three will be scoring threats. 

- Defenseman Travis Brown may be a new name to Allen fans. He was a fifth round draft choice of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2012 NHL draft.  Brown is described in scouting reports as a balanced defenseman who combines puck moving ability with a 6'2" frame and commitment to the physical game. He skates very well and has good mobility in all directions. When the puck is on his stick, he can make safe plays on the breakout as well as get his shot through on the offensive end. He played in Brampton last season. Here are his stats courtesy of hockeydb:


Travis Brown

Defense -- shoots R
Born Mar 15 1994 -- Winnipeg, MAN
[22 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 194
Drafted by Chicago Blackhawks
- round 5 #149 overall 2012 NHL Entry Draft

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2010-11 Winnipeg Blues MJHL 1 0 0 0 0

2010-11 Moose Jaw Warriors WHL 3 0 1 1 0 -1 3 0 0 0 0
2011-12 Moose Jaw Warriors WHL 66 7 24 31 45 19 10 0 2 2 4
2012-13 Moose Jaw Warriors WHL 70 9 30 39 54 -22 ----------
2013-14 Moose Jaw Warriors WHL 43 9 29 38 48 -32 ----------
2013-14 Victoria Royals WHL 28 5 10 15 24 20 9 2 5 7 4
2014-15 Victoria Royals WHL 71 18 39 57 77 4 10 2 2 4 12
2015-16 St. John's IceCaps AHL 3 1 0 1 2 0----------
2015-16 Brampton Beast ECHL 55 8 14 22 32 -12 ----------
This video is from when Travis was called up to the St. John's IceCaps (AHL) last season:

- Here are some photos from yesterday's practice courtesy of Dianne Webster:

Joel Chouinard get new laces from trainer Jaime Garcia

Goalie coach Thomas Speer working with Jamie Murray

Drills were serious yesterday

Travis Brown

Eric Roy cheering on the guys

All eyes on the whiteboard

DID YOU KNOW: One year ago today this was news in the blog. In a move that caught many by surprise the Allen Americans traded Trevor Ludwig yesterday to the Missouri Mavericks for forward Tristan King. With the trade the four players that were in Allen for all three championships (Brian McMillin, Jamie Schaafsma, Trevor & Tyler Ludwig) are now gone.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Opening Day Roster Starts To Firm Up for the Allen Americans

As the Allen Americans return to practice today after a 2-0 win in their only preseason game on Saturday, it will be a different environment for sure. Coach Martinson said after the game in Wichita that he would not be keeping any of the tryout players so they will most likely not be at practice this morning and have already been released. With most of the regulars back the emphasis this week will be working on line combinations, system drills and special teams. Make no mistake there is still plenty of competition going on in training camp, not to see who makes the team but to see who gets the playing time.

- Five players returned to Allen on Friday from San Jose and Chris Crane is on his way back from Chicago where he was in camp with the Wolves. Look for more players to be sent to Allen from San Jose today or tomorrow. Two Allen players (Tanner Eberle & Harrison Ruopp) are still in San Jose on tryout contracts. In addition, several San Jose contracted players will be assigned.

- It is hard to tell the team without a scorecard so as a reminder, here are the players that are now with the Americans and will definitely be at practice this week.

Riley Gill
Jamie Murray

Aaron Gens
Joel Chouinard
Eric Roy
Rick Pinkston
Travis Brown
Mike Gunn
Nolan Descoteaux 

Chad Costello
Gary Steffes
Dyson Stevenson
Greger Hanson
Spencer Asuchak
Tristan King
Chris Crane
J.P. LaFontaine
Kale Kerbashian 
Kyle Neuber

- What is still undecided is what players in San Jose will return this week. The most likely would be Eberle and Ruopp who are on tryout agreements but it is not a certainty. The hard nosed Ruopp is the most likely to stick because the need in San Jose is greater on defense especially in the short term, as one of their defensemen will start the season on suspension from last season.

- According to the website Elite Prospects, the Barracuda still have 17 forwards in camp so you can expect a minimum of two and possibly three being sent to Allen. I have no idea what players will be assigned but the list includes Nikita Jevpalovs and Alex Schoenborn who spent time in Allen last season. Another possibility is Matt Willows who was the ECHL rookie of the year last season playing for the Florida Everblades. Willows was signed by San Jose as a free agent this summer. Other names I have seen in stories out of San Jose that mention players that may see time in the ECHL include Jonathan Martin and Rourke Chartier. No matter which players get assigned they will strengthen the Americans lineup. In addition to the forwards a contracted defensman may also be assigned to Allen.

- Exactly who gets sent to Allen is difficult to predict because it depends on injuries, how many extra players will be kept in San Jose and who they want to develop by getting more ice time in the ECHL. The answers to these questions should become more clear throughout this week.

DID YOU KNOW: A lot changes in two years. Here is the Allen Americans opening day roster from just two years ago, 2014-15.

Jamie Schaafsma
Chad Costello
Gary Steffes
Travis Ouellette
Jesse Messier
Brian McMillin
Geoff Irwin
Sy Nutkevich
Brett Lyon
Devin Di Diomete
Kevin Young
Aaron Gens
Garrett Clarke
John Ryder
Trevor Ludwig
Tyler Ludwig
Aaron Dell
Riley Gill

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Allen Beats Wichita 2-0 In Preseason Game - Details & Quotes From Both Coaches

The Allen Americans picked up where they left off last season with a 2-0 victory over the Wichita Thunder last night in their only preseason game before ECHL league play commences on Saturday. The Americans were led by Gary Steffes who had both goals and the goalie tandem of Riley Gill and Jamie Murray, who combined for a 22 save shutout. Gill played the first half of the game and recorded 12 saves, Murray played the second half and had 10 saves.

- The first Steffes goal came at the 10:05 mark of the second period with assists to Joel Chouinard and Aaron Gens. His second goal was scored at the 10:00 mark of the third period assisted by Kale Kerbashian and Tristan King.

- The win by Allen was the 14th straight against Wichita as the Americans won all 13 regular season games last season against the Thunder. The last Wichita victory over Allen came in a preseason game a year ago.


Here are some post game quotes. Thanks to Matt Harding from Team Sin Bin for sharing his post game interviews with both coaches.

"The goalies were sharp and I liked what I saw from the defense.".....Allen coach Steve Martinson

"We had some young new guys in the lineup from the NAHL and tier two in Canada and they showed some jitters but I thought they played well.".....Martinson

"We started out a little slow but it is tough when you come into an Olympic size rink in preseason as it is a different game.".....Martinson

"None of the lines tonight have worked together all week and I am sure it was the same for Wichita. We didn't have some our regular guys back from San Jose and sitting Chad Costello out changed the lineup so I switched up the lines in the third period. I liked Kerbashian, Steffes and King together as they have good speed and good skill.".....Martinson

"We got a couple of defensemen (Eric Roy & Travis Brown) back yesterday and will get a few more guys back next week. It will be good to get a few more guys back in town and start working on some stuff.".....Martinson

"I am not keeping any of the tryout guys even though they showed well. Basically, I was looking for guys I could bring up during the season.".....Martinson

"Depending what happens with San Jose, we could get two or three forwards assigned next week and we still have Tanner Eberle and Harrison Ruopp in San Jose.".....Martinson

"We will have three lines capable of scoring and six real mobile defensemen that can jump in the play and shoot the puck from the point.".....Martinson

"Normally I don't talk about winning, I talk about all of the stuff that adds up to winning but obviously we want to try and do it again. The line up I have now I would love to have going into the playoffs but that is a long way off.".....Martinson

"I thought the first period was ours and the majority of the second period was theirs. It was back and forth in the third period and we had a good push at the end.  We had a three on one and couldn't finish, a couple of good opportunities in the slot, a couple of good looks on the power play and some chances at the end when we were six on five.".....Wichita coach Malcolm Cameron

"The majority of that group we played against tonight have been together for two years. We have been together for six days so I am pretty pleased with what I saw.".....Cameron

"We have a new coach, a new style and a bunch of new players that have never played together. I think in six weeks we are going to look pretty polished.".....Cameron

"The big difference tonight was Allen managed the puck a little bit better in the offensive zone than we did. Some of that was nervousness on the part of our guys. They (Allen) have the benefit of the same coach, same system and same teammates.".....Cameron

"My style is very similar to Steve Martinson. If you don't have a play with the puck you have to make the other team take it off of you. You don't just give the puck away. For me, tough hockey and tough teams to play against are ones that make you take the puck off them. I think we gave the puck over unnecessarily on both of the goals tonight. I think guys were trying to do too much offensively looking for the sweet play. But you can't teach everything in five days. Again, overall I am pretty pleased.".....Cameron

"It was fun to get back into game action tonight. Coach Martinson has put together another great team and we are ready to get things going next Saturday.".... Number one star of the game with two goals, Gary Steffes


- Chad Costello, Dyson Stevenson and Nolan Descoteaux did not make the trip to Wichita.

- The makeup of the team will change quite a bit in the next few days from the team that played in Wichita last night. All of the tryout guys will be released and several players from San Jose will be sent to Allen after the last Barracuda preseason game tonight.

Look for coach Martinson to spend a lot time this week at practice putting line combinations together for next weekend.

- Former Allen American players have made their presence known this weekend. Jamie Schaafsma had two goals for Fort Wayne in a losing cause. If Jamie, who is a notorious slow starter, gets hot early everyone better watch out. Trevor Ludwig had a goal last night for Orlando and Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored for Colorado. Two former Americans fought each other when Reid Halabi from Rapid City took on Jessey Astles from Colorado. Astles also scored the first goal for Colorado. Daniel Tetrault had his first two games behind the bench as the assistant coach for the Rapid City Rush.

DID YOU KNOW: The first regular season game ever played between Allen and Wichita took place on New Years Eve in 2009. Allen won 3-0 on goals by Nathan O'Nabigon, Christian Gaudet and Tyler Wooddisse. Goalie Charlie Effinger had a big night with an assist in addition to a 33 save shutout.