Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bizarro Game, Martinson Comments, A Shorthanded Hat Trick

The game last night was one for the ages and not in a good way. You can pick your adjective to describe this one as many fit such as crazy, sloppy, strange, bizarre, peculiar, weird, lackadaisical, surreal or odd. When it was all over you could say the 4392 fans at the Allen Event Center got their moneys worth as Allen lost to the Tulsa Oilers 10-8 but the hockey purists must have all been sick to their stomachs. Lots of interesting tidbits on this game so here goes:

-  The eighteen total goals was a franchise record as were the ten goals in the second period of which seven were scored by Tulsa.

- Obviously in a game like this it is not all the goalies fault but the combined save percentage for the game was a paltry .773.  Imagine Tulsa goalie Shane Madolora stopped only 27 of 35 shots (.771 save percentage) and he won the game.

- In addition to the 18 goals there were 101 minutes in penalties including seven fighting majors.

- In one stretch toward the end of the second period and the beginning of the third period there were eight straight special team goals with four power play goals, a shorthanded goal and then three more power play goals.

- The Americans league leading (no more) penalty kill really took it in the shorts in one of the most bizarre looking stats on the score sheet. Allen allowed five goals in four power play attempts as one of the attempts was a five minute major. In this one game the penalty kill percentage for the season went down over five percent from 90.80% to 85.71%.

- It was definitely a point padding night for both teams led by former Allen player Todd Robinson who had eight points (2 goals 6 assists) and Adam Pleskach who had six points on (4 goals 2 assists). For the Americans Alex Lavoie led the barrage with five points (3 goals 2 assists).

- What is probably another record out of this strange game Alex Lavoie's three goals came on a penalty shot, a shorthanded goal, and a full strength goal.

- With less than one minute remaining in the second period the Americans were down 8-4. They  scored the next four goals to tie the game 8-8 and a comeback was looking good. Not in this weird game as Tulsa scored on the next shift just 19 seconds later.

- So let me recap this infamous game that will be talked about for years to come. Tulsa beats Allen 10-8, a franchise record for goals scored in one game. The game includes 101 minutes in penalties, seven fighting majors, a player ejection, eight straight special team goals, a successful penalty shot, a shorthanded goal and an empty net goal. And oh yes, Tulsa scores five power play goals in four power play attempts. This qualifies for a COME ON MAN.

Needless to say coach Martinson was not a happy camper when he addressed the press and season ticket holders after the game. A lot of the same themes that he has been talking about for the last few press conferences came up again but you can tell there is a greater sense of urgency and changes are on the way. Here are some of the highlights:

 - I thought the ten feet around our goal was a soft area. When I look at how Richard Matvichuk played during his career and I see the way we are in front of our net it is disappointing. There are too many guys standing around getting shot after shot after shot. I would not want to be a goalie on our team tonight.

- It goes back to the fact that the priority and focus for this team really wasn't in playing hockey and playing the image we want to play. It is more about living in Allen, living on a golf course, having a nice meal set up by the team, having your apartment all furnished by the booster club, and playing soft. That was a soft game tonight. It is painful as a coach to watch that stuff.

- Tulsa's power play was marginal coming into this game, but they have some skill and we let them pass the puck especially cross ice passes. We know exactly what Robinson wants to do and we have our sticks in the wrong lanes.

- It is difficult to understand how we ended up with an extra five minute penalty when that whole melee started when Snowden was crossed checked into the goal and there were two players hitting Bootland including the goalie. It is very frustrating. All you can do is share the video with the league but nothing will happen. It is also important to note all of the frustration with the officiating doesn't change how we are playing. We didn't give up 10 goals because of the officiating.

- The attitude from some of the older guys is we will be there when it counts, we will be there down the stretch, we will be there in the playoffs but that will not work. You have to work game in and game out, shift in and shift out. Things don't magically appear.

- Our young guys are great. Hansen is a spark plug out there that has to be fun to watch,  Lavoie and Asuchak are playing great. We are getting everything out of the young guys we expected. The guys that were here last year built a pretty nice place to come to. We had guys called up to the AHL and we won a companionship. I am disappointed where we are at from that standpoint this year. I am looking for answers. I could have brought in three or four more young guys as lots of guys want to play in Allen when they see a young player like Lavoie being called up. My phone has been ringing off the hook but I wanted to give things a little more time with the older guys. I challenged some of the older guys tonight and I am not happy with the results.

- I am also not happy with our defense as we are not playing with an edge. Our defenseman with an edge has been sitting out but that won't be the case tomorrow (Sunday) as Trevor Hendrikx will be in the line up. It doesn't seem to me with all the experience we have at defense the focus is on playing hockey. This group of defensemen is the most experienced I have ever had, it has the largest percentage of salary I have ever allocated to the blue line. I will have to review the tape but I don't need to review the tape to figure out we are not playing with the edge we need, the edge we expect, and it is not acceptable.

 - Sometimes you can throw out one game as atypical but there is a trend we are seeing that we don't like. We are not about to change the style of play that has made us successful. If guys don't want to play that style we will have to get some new guys.

- I expect our young guys to go out and play like they did tonight in tomorrow's game. I expect they will carry the charge but I am not sure with the older guys. It is up to them but I expect them to show up. The team will travel to Tulsa Sunday morning and return to Allen immediately after the game. They will leave for Arizona Monday afternoon for games Wednesday, Friday & Saturday.

- Brett Skinner got released by the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) and I have been talking to him about coming to Allen. He will be probably be heading to Europe to play but we may see him down the road.


- Rapid City won again in Wichita and have opened up a three point lead over Allen and Denver in the standings. Rapid is now 12-1 and has a perfect 7-0 road record. Meanwhile the frustration continues for the Thunder fans as the team has still not won at home (0-7-2). This early in the season and Wichita is already 16 point out of first place.

- The team on the move is Arizona who won their fifth straight game last night beating Quad City in a shoot out.

- The fan club Christmas ornament silent auction concluded last night. Heard the top bids went to a Dallas Ehrhardt design that went for $50 and a mystery designed ornament (rumor has it was a Booter design) that fetched $55. Kudos to the fan club for a great idea which attracted a lot of interest.

- A tip of the hat to Wichita Thunder fans for the continued support in what has been a difficult start to the season. Despite not winning at home thus far this season there were 5484 fans at the game last night which the Thunder lost 4-2. 

- Brian McMillin finally got his first goal of the season and was named the games #1 star for the Coventry Blaze yesterday.

- The Allen vs. Tulsa game Sunday afternoon (4:05 start) is the only game scheduled in the CHL today.

DID YOU KNOW: Before the 18 goal outburst last night the most goals ever scored in one game at the Allen Event Center was 17 on New Years day in 2011. The Colorado Eagles beat Allen 11-6.  Another bizarre game by the Americans as they gave up three shorthanded goals all to Kevin Ulanski who is still with the Eagles as they now play in the ECHL. A hat trick with shorthanded goals, wonder how many times that has ever happened?  Ulanski had four goals in the game. Bruce Graham had a hat trick for the Americans.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, hope we never,ever see another game like that! Thanks (I think) for the recap!