|Photo by chlphotos.com|
|photo by chlphotos.com|
Jamie Schaafsma (left) and Tyler Ludwig (right) each had two goals in Allen's victory.
- Following the same pattern as the first round Allen came back from a poor showing in the first game loss with a great effort and a victory in the second game. Seems like many times at the end of the regular season when they were battling for the Governor's Cup and also now in the playoffs the team needs some pressure such as the opening game loss to play their best hockey. Let's hope the pattern of playing well on the road continues on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday in Missouri.
- I know coach Martinson always says we are a blue collar team and need to get goals by going to the tough areas in front of the net. Last night was an exception to the rule as all four goals were the "white collar" type. On the first goal Jamie Schaafsma made a great individual effort with a deke around the defenseman and a high shot over Corbeil's blocker. Jamie's second goal was a great pass from Chris Doyle and the third goal was a slick pass on the rush from Jim McKenzie to Tyler Ludwig. Even Tyler's empty net goal was fun to watch as it literally traveled the length of the ice. The four goals were "suit and tie" all the way and fun to see!!
- Inspite of all of the goals coming from slick passing and shooting I thought the team did a good job of getting in front of the net and getting shots on goal as Allen had the edge with 33 shots compared to 25 for Missouri. While we didn't get any of those blue collar ugly goals if we keep crashing the net like we did last night they will come.
- Two keys to the game were the penalty kill which did not allow a goal in four chances and holding the Mavericks number one line (Thinel, Tochkin & Miller) scoreless. Thinel only had one shot and was a -3 for the game.
- The power play was held scoreless again and is 0-7 in the series. Having gotten a power play goal in four of the five games with Denver it looked like things were back on track. The power play percentage (15.15%) is now the lowest of any of the teams remaining in the playoffs.
- I kiddingly used the headline for this post because it is true the referee was much less involved in the game than Sunday but it is also true that the Americans came out much more disciplined last night. If it is any consolation to the Allen fans I also heard second hand but from a reliable source that upon reflection after the game Sunday, the referee (Peter Tarnaris) realized he could have handled the situation better. If this is true I give him credit. We have heard many times from Martinson & Mullins the young referees in the CHL are just like our young players and they make mistakes. As long as they learn from them that is all we can ask. Both coaches have said they prefer these young referees that are trying to make it to the AHL & NHL over experienced referees that are on the back side of their careers.
- I have been asked about the fact that the Mavericks flew to Allen while the Americans are riding the bus. It is true that Missouri did fly to Allen on Saturday and are flying home this morning while the Americans took the long bus ride overnight. A couple of things to keep in mind. While the Americans were taking it easy at home after their series ended on April 6 the Mavericks had to travel to Rapid City. There was a big snow storm that delayed their game until last Wednesday (April 10th). To make matters worse they could not leave Rapid City after the game because of the road conditions so they left on Thursday morning and it took a long time to get home. Since this would have created a short turn around back home to get ready to leave for Allen the Mavericks made the decision to fly. The Mavericks will be back on the bus for the remainder of the series.
- Brian McMillin's five game scoring streak ended last night but his five goals place him second in the CHL in goals scored. He is also second in the league with a +7.
- Tyler Ludwig is having an outstanding playoffs as he is 7th in the league (second among defensemen) in scoring and leads the CHL in plus/minus with a +9.
- The Americans have the top three players in the league in plus/minus with Tyler 1st, Brian 2nd and Jamie Schaafsma 3rd.
- Aaron Dell is back on top of the league in GAA with a 2.30.
- If you live in the North Texas area and want the real fan experience watching the away games with other great fans there are several options. The official watch party (that means they pay for the privilege) is always at Boston's off 121 in McKinney so it is where you can find those directly connected to the team. There is also a group (I'll call them the rowdy crowd) that would be a lot of fun that watches the games at Allen Wickers Pub in Plano. This group includes the drummers. The Americans fan club has their watch party at 5th Street Pizza. Everyone is welcome to join in at any of these watch parties.