Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Allen Wins - Martinson and McMillin Post Game Comments

Two Handshakes Down, One To Go As Allen Is Victorious In Winner Take All Game Against Missouri 7-3 - photo by

The Allen Americans defeated the Missouri Mavericks last night 7-3 in a winner take all game to advance to the CHL finals for the second time in their four years as a franchise. A disappointing loss for Missouri as they came up one game short of a finals appearance for the second straight year. There is nothing like attending a game seven at home and last night was no exception as an enthusiastic crowd of 4847 saw the Americans get off to an early lead when Brian McMillin scored less than two minutes into the game. Allen would never relinquish the lead. After a hiatus thus far in  the playoffs there was a press conference after the game. Here are some of the comments from coach Martinson and Brian McMillin.

Coach Martinson:
-   Tonight was a great outcome after a tough couple of losses the last two games. I thought we outplayed Missouri in the overtime game on Saturday and did a good job defensively but the goal at the end of regulation had seeing eyes, got through traffic and got to their hot scorer who one timed it and then 30 seconds into overtime you go from playing in the championship to coming back home for game six. Since we played such a good game five, even though we lost, the last thing I expected was for us to come out flat on Monday. Needless to say the loss on Monday was painful for everyone.

-  We went over the goals from the loss on Monday with the team this morning as I wanted the guys to see we weren't being outplayed and while our goalie play wasn't great it was okay. We just gave up too many gifts that led to goals. We emphasized what has become our motto and that is "don't beat ourselves."

- Tonight everything was positive. Even when that goal was disallowed, which I am sure was a goal, the guys on the bench were saying stay calm and move on. It was disappointing that the referee would not check with the other officials or the goal judge on what they saw.

- We missed a couple of great chances to extend the lead after the Mavericks closed to within one goal (3-2) and then Robinson hammered that power play goal at the end of the second period and then followed that up with a steal, slip slide, five hole goal early in the third period. There is nothing like a game seven in the third period and you are up by three goals.

- Tonight was a great effort by the entire team. We did a much better job possessing the puck down low. We were holding the puck and not giving it up which will lead to the other team making a mistake or taking a penalty. Schaafsma did a great job on the first goal by holding the puck down low until Deitsch came open and then Jason got the puck to McMillin for the goal.

- We will give the players a couple of days off and then get ready for Wichita. We look forward to the next series.

- It was great having the fan support tonight. You battle all year to be able to play a critical seventh game at home at that certainly helped. Getting last change helped and I thought we had the lines right as we were balanced and did a good job defending.

- Bootland left the ice early because the stitches he took earlier in the game were opening up but he will be okay.

- As Martinson was leaving the press conference to turn it over to Brian McMillin he took the time to comment on Brian's contribution to the team. Brian is the unsung hero of this team. He had to battle himself into the line up early this year. That won't happen next year!  He is the leading goal scorer (8) for our team and second in the league during the playoffs. He had a great season, and after having an injury earlier in the year really found his groove in the last month. Not only is he a great penalty killer, he is a solid two way player you can put out in any situation and he will make the right decisions and battle hard to give you everything he has got on every shift. He is now being rewarded by being the top scorer left in the playoffs. I could not be more proud of this young man from Minnesota. Some guys could have gone through what Brian did at the beginning of the season where he was fighting for ice time and pouted and been disruptive. What Brian did was keep working and said I'll be ready when needed. When he got his chance he made it impossible to take him out of the lineup.

Brian McMillin Comments:
- When asked about what it was like in the locker room before game seven Brian said if you can't get up for a game seven you probably don't need to be playing. While we didn't want to be in a game seven as we should have closed out the series earlier we were excited and ready to go. To seal it in the third and not make the game a barn burner and pull away was a good feeling for us.

- While the first goal was big we talked about sticking with our game no matter what happened in the first period. We felt if we played they way we wanted we would win.

- Last night (Monday) we only gave up 15 shots but they made them count and we didn't. Tonight we got everything to the net, we got people to the net, we got pucks to the net and we were able to capitalize.

- The series with Wichita will be a battle. They are a good team and we had some great games with them this year. This series with Missouri will help us in the finals. We have learned to play our best hockey in the most important games. If you recall we had a big points lead early in the season and then had that slump. If we had played half decent during that slump we would have won the league by a big margin. As it was we had to win a couple of crucial games just win the league. Living through this adversity and being successful in the end has made us stronger and will helped us in the long run.

- I feel we have the most depth in the league and if we have our full team and we all play like I know we can we should by okay.

Here is the news release about the championship series along with the schedule:
This is the second time in franchise history the Americans have advanced to the League Championship Series. Allen lost in six games to the Rapid City Rush in 2010.
The Wichita Thunder began play in the CHL during the 1992-93 season and are looking to add a third President's Cup Championship, after winning back to back titles in 1994 and 1995.

Allen advances to the CHL Finals after eliminating the Missouri Mavericks in seven games, while the Wichita Thunder swept the Fort Worth Brahmas to close out their Semi-Final series.
Call 972-912-1000 for ticket information or log on to Allen Americans Playoff Hockey, “Rock Your Red”
Below is the entire schedule of the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals.

CHL Finals (best-of-7) - - Allen Americans vs. Wichita Thunder
Game 1 – Tue., Apr. 30 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05
Game 2 – Thur., May. 2 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05
Game 3 – Sat., May. 4 – Allen at Wichita, 7:05
Game 4 – Sun., May. 5 – Allen at Wichita, 5:05
*Game 5 – Tue., May. 7 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., May. 10 – Allen at Wichita, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sat., May. 11 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05

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