Sunday, March 3, 2013

Martinson Post Game Comments & Player Milestones

Darryl Bootland Notches 200th Professional Assist - Photo by
The Americans continued their winning streak last night with a 3-2 win over the Missouri Mavericks before a big crowd (5352) bolstered by the annual Police vs. Fire game that was the first part of a doubleheader. Allen now has a seven point lead on Ft. Worth and an eight point lead on Wichita.

Here are some of Coach Martinson's comments after the game:

- He started out the press conference by bringing up Alex Penner and he wanted everyone to know that he thought Penner had done a great job for the team and his presence was missed in a game like tonight as the Mavericks would not challenge us with Penner in the line up but they did tonight. "I always tell my tough guys when a guy goes down you can only hit him once, you can't hit him again. You do no good sitting in the stands under suspension." He is a real nice guy who went overboard on that play, he is great on the bench, always encouraging his teammates even if he isn't playing a lot,  he is great in the locker room, when we were struggling he was always a positive voice. The whole thing is unfortunate.

- The first two periods were ugly with very few shots on goal. We played well defensively in general but were soft on both of the goals allowed as we gave them too much time behind the net.

- Berube will be out three or four weeks so we will be looking to bring in a defenseman. Nothing certain at this point but we are working on it. We are looking at ECHL guys and also amateurs.

- We have lost a lot of toughness recently with Grantham, Penner, and now Berube out of the line up. I prefer to win with toughness this time of year. But the important thing is to win so we will have to win with less toughness.

- Pineault should return to the line up next week.

- The lack of a tough guy (aka fighter) was evident tonight as the last two times we played Missouri Penner challenged their tough guys and the game was calm. Tonight Bootland hit their top scorer on the first shift and it was like hitting a bees nest. Since we have nobody in the line up that can beat the Missouri tough guy in a fight and with the injuries we have I can't afford to get anyone else hurt. Right now our toughest guys are some of our best players and I don't want them to fight and get hurt.

-  When asked about Penner being at the game the past two nights Martinson said he is looking for another spot but he can't go to the SPHL or ECHL as they honor CHL suspensions. There have been a couple of inquiries from AHL teams. Penner would like to find a place to play for the reat of the season and not just head home.

- One of the European players we have lined up is a 6' 4" 225 pound forward who is a top line player who is tough as nails. If his team looses in the first round of the playoffs he could be here in two weeks.

- Our defense has been better recently because we are getting on the opponents players better, we are not chasing as much in the defensive zone. One of the things we have told the players and stressed is we would rather have the players pressure and get beat than lay off and allow them to find someone. We have a good skating defense and we should be able to take away time and space in our zone. We have always had skill in the back line but we haven't always shown it.

- Coach Martinson is headed to Chicago this morning to see his family as it has been a month since he has seen them. He will join the team later in the week in Rapid City. Hockey will still be the focus as both of his children are still playing in the Chicago Area Youth Hockey Blackhawks Cup tournament.


- Congratulations to Darryl Bootland on getting the 200th assist of his pro career. The first one was 2002 with the Toledo Strom of the ECHL. And don't forget included in those 200 assists is one as a member of the Detroit Red Wings and one as a New York Islander. And a big congratulations to Booter & Sarah on the birth of their baby girl this morning at 11:05. A healthy 8 lbs. 11 oz. bundle of joy.

- Congrats also to Mike Montgomery who played his 100 pro game last night. It was just two years ago this week that Mike started the run to the NCAA hockey championship as the captain of the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs. Check out Mike and the answers to his favorites from his UMD days.

Mike Montgomery NCAA Champion 2011
Opponent: North Dakota
Opponent Arena: Ralph Engelstad Arena (North Dakota)
Road Trip: St. Paul, Minn. (for the WCHA Final Five)
Professional Athlete: Evan Oberg
Professional Team: Minnesota Vikings
College Course: Beethoven to the Beatles
Pastime: Taking part in the fishing opener
Prized Possession: My Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar
Book (Author): Aaron Crandall’s yet-to-be-released autobiography
Television Show: Dexter and Family Guy
Actor/Actress: Vince Vaughn
Movie: Kung Fu Panda and Gladiator
Singer/Group: Eric Clapton, Kings of Leon, Led Zeppelin, and The Black Keys
Food: Anything homemade
Restaurant: Chipotle
Video Game: Mario Party 8
Vacation Spot: Shell Lake, Wis.
Web Site:

Why I Chose UMD: The lake, city and location
First Played Competitive Hockey: Around age 7
Hockey Strength/Weakness: My skating/My consistency
Game Day Ritual: I take a nap
Most Memorable Hockey Moment: Getting the call from the UMD coaches asking me to play here.
Best Player I’ve Ever Played Against: Sidney Crosby
Pet Peeve: Flight delays
My First Job: Construction/demolition (age 15)
Person I’d Most Like to Meet (Dead or Alive): My ancestors
Biggest Fear: Finding scratch in Jake Hendrickson’s red Dodge Dakota
What Most People Don’t Know About Me: I hate ketchup and ranch dressing
Advice to an Aspiring Young Athlete: It’s just a game.
If I Could Change One Thing About Myself: I’d grow a mustache like Drew Olson
Why I Wear No. 24: No particular reason, it just happened to be available.
Influences on My Athletic Career: My family
Sport I’d Like to Try But Never Have: Fly fishing
Something I Never Leave Home Without: Somewhere to go
Post-UMD Plans: Start a rock band that changes the world (plan B)
What I'll Miss Most About Playing for the Bulldogs: My teammates, the atmosphere at games and the city.

- Congrats are also in order for Jim McKenzie who played in his 300 pro game last night. He has lots in common with Montgomery as they are both Minnesota natives and both won NCAA hockey championships. Jim won his in 2007 as a member of the Michigan State Spartans (MSU) and had points in both games of the Frozen Four. He had a goal in the semi finals win over Maine 4-2 and an assist in the finals which was 3-1 over Boston College. Check out the picture and info from the MSU web site about Jim.

Jim McKenzie NCAA Champion - 2007
PERSONAL: Born Jan. 10, 1984 ... Human resources major ... Enjoys hunting, fishing, disc golf, golf and playing cards ... Graduated from Woodbury High School ... Favorite NHL team: Minnesota Wild ... Favorite NHL player: Brett Hull ... Says his father is his idol "because of all the adversity he battled through to become who is today" ... Son of Tim and Leighann McKenzie ... Says Wayne Palodichuk is his biggest hockey influence as "he was my youth hockey coach, and he pushed me to work hard and taught me a thing or two about commitment" ... Drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

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