Saturday, May 4, 2013

Game 2 Recap & 3 Preview, Martinson & Dell

For anyone that wondered why no post yesterday no good answer other than it is busy being retired. I had many people inquire if everything was okay and yes it is. I do some volunteer work at the Assistance Center of Collin County on Friday. In addition, our fan club here at Heritage Ranch had lots of requests for tickets for game five after that great win on Thursday so I was dealing with those requests along with setting up a watch party for the game tonight. Okay, enough excuses.

So here goes some recap info from game two and some preview info on game three plus a bunch of other miscellaneous items from the last two days:

Martinson  Post Game Comments:
- We changed the system a little bit tonight to activate the offense a little more which opened up the ice and allowed us to play with speed.

- What happened with the "flex off" was all in fun. McClelland kept flexing his muscles and I thought don't bring a knife to a gun fight so I took off my jacket.

- The fighting in the third period was interesting. When we had enforcers early in the the year (Penner/Brennan) Wichita would not fight us. Now guys like Lizon want to fight. That is okay as we have lots of guys who can fight. So if that is what they want we will oblige them. It is not tough hockey however, to eye gouge a player like Nathan Lutz did to Berube. You don't see that type of match penalty in hockey very often.

- I apologized to our penalty killers after the second period for putting them in the 5 on 3 situation as I made a gesture (threw my hands up in the air) which I have done many times and normally a referee will give you a warning before they call a penalty. Needless to say that didn't happen and the referee called a "disputing the call" penalty on me. It was the longest two minutes of the night for me but what a great job by our penalty killers.

- We know it will be a hostile environment in Wichita but we have no problem with hostile environments as that has happened to us all year. We have no issue with rough play. If they want to play that way we are okay with it. 

- We need to do better on the power play in Wichita as I think we have been too stubborn in our approach and need to make some changes.

Aaron Dell Comments:

- I had a good night as the guys played well in front of me, especially on the penalty kill. I also had a couple of lucky bounces after some unlucky ones in the first game.

- Wichita is a tough building to play in. We are going to need to start out just like we did in game two.

- Torrie Jung has been great in goal for Wichita in the playoffs with nine straight wins. It was nice to get a few goals off him and break that winning streak. His style is more of an upright style and he comes out of the net a long way so straight on shots are hard to get by him.

Other Thought & Comments:

- How nice was it to have heavy weight media guys like Rick Gosselin from the Dallas Morning News and Ralph Strangis who is the play by play commentator for the Dallas Stars attend the game. And how great was it for Ralph to join Tommy Daniels for the second period to do the color commentary on the radio broadcast. The highlight was giving props to Brian McMillin on the play he made at center ice that ended up with him scoring a short handed goal on a great second effort from his knees. Ralph, who is from Minnesota and called many high school hockey games before working for the Minnesota North Stars  and then the Dallas Stars also talked about the hockey tradition of Brian's hometown, Roseau,  MN.

- Speaking of Rick Gosselin, he has an excellent article in the paper today (Saturday) about Richard Matvichuk and his desire to be a hockey coach and willingness to pay his dues to achieve that goal. If you google, Former Dallas Star Richard Matvichuk Getting Into Coaching The Right Way, you can find the article on line.

- The "flex off"  between the two coaches is on YouTube if you haven't already seen it. Hasn't yet gone viral but has had over 2000 views. Check it out if you haven't seen it. Pure entertainment and it is set to music. Martinson vs McClelland Coaches Fight/Flex Off 5/2/13.

- One of the funnier comments about the "flex off" I saw was a tweet form Garrett Clarke, My coach has bigger biceps than your coach!

- How about that crowd on Thursday of 5333 enthusiastic fans. We are now averaging over 4000 per game in the playoffs with almost all midweek games. If you are in the North Texas area help fill up the AEC for game five.

- Special teams in the first two games have been very similar as Allen has one goal in 15 opportunities and Wichita has one goal in 14 opportunities. You could say these two teams either have outstanding penalty kill units or awful power play units. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Look for the power plays to be a key factor in game three.

- The three stars of the game on Thursday were Kerbashian #1, McMillin #2, & Dell #3. Aaron Dell is running away with the Oakley three stars competition in the playoffs as he has 21 points. The points are awarded as follows: five for #1, three for #2, & one for #3. Brian McMillin is second to Dell with 14 points.

- Loved this description from Mike Heika's report on the game about Kerbashian. It was an incredible shift in our offensive end by Kale. He was not to be denied. Here it is:
The Americans fifth goal was a pretty one and was created by an unbelievable shift from Kerbashian who walked around Travis Wight to get a great scoring chance in front of Kevin Regan who made a great save but Kerbashian kept working and from close quarters to the left of Regan was able to backhand his second goal and third point of the night past Regan at the 16:28 mark of the final frame.

- I have talked to many Allen fans who are making the trip to Wichita for the weekend and it will be great to have so much hometown support. Look forward to hearing some stories from the diehards. And for those of us that are not going on the road trip don't forget there are several watch parties where you can get together with other Allen fans. Everyone is very welcoming at the watch parties and it is great fun. So check one of the watch parties out tonight and Sunday. Boston's is the official watch party where you will run into staff and players, Allen Wickers (Plano) with the drummers (the ones not in Wichita), 5th Street Pizza (Allen) with the fan club (the ones not in Wichita).

- With all of the great things about the game on Thursday one statistic that should be of concern is shots on goal. For the second game in a row the Americans were out shot by a large margin (41-21). The 5 on 3 power play accounted for some of the difference but Wichita will win most games with such a big shot advantage. In the series thus far the shots are Wichita 71 and Allen 37. 

- "It’s the finals.  We’ve got two good teams here, two passionate teams, and obviously that’s going to happen when it gets out of control on the scoreboard." "I don’t think it’s quite out of our system.  I think if a situation happens like this again where the scoreboard is kind of lopsided, emotions are probably going to get out of hand. The refs do what they can to keep it under control, but sometimes as players we control it ourselves."

Allen defenseman Trevor Ludwig from the Wichita Eagle (Jeffrey Lutz)

- Here is Wichita defenseman Kevin Young's diary entry from yesterday:
Hello.  I think if we were told we would come back from Allen with a 1-1 split everybody would have taken it.  I believe we outplayed them in both games and could have been up 2-0.  We made a handful of mistakes and unfortunately they capitalized on every one of them.   If we got a bounce or two early it would have been a different game entirely.
In the third period things got a little bit out of hand, but it was good for our team to make a statement and show we weren't going to be intimidated or pushed around.   It was a great showing of what being a team is all about.  If one guy is in trouble, then the rest come to his side.  We realize we came down to their level and got sucked into their game plan, but if there was a time to do that we chose the right one. 
Moving forward we have to get right back to our game plan.  Discipline will be huge and I think now that we have the pugilistic side out of our system we can get back to doing what we do best and that is winning hockey games by smothering the other team and out working them.  These two games at home are absolutely huge.  We know what is on the line here and we know how to go out and get what we want and deserve.  Expect a high paced game with a lot of checks and great discipline on our side.  This really feels like our year and it's time to take charge and let them know it too.

- Haven't heard anything one way or another on whether Nathan Lutz will be suspended tonight for the match penalty (intent to injure) he received in game two. Assume something will be said this morning.

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