Saturday, November 16, 2013

Martinson Post Game Comments, Stats & More

The Allen Americans won a hard fought game last night 5-3 before a surprisingly large crowd (4667) given it was Friday night football and the Allen Eagles had a playoff game at home. The Americans were led by Phil Fox who had two goals and was named the games #1 star. Here are my thoughts on the game:

- Allen out shot Brampton 39-24 and had the advantage in all three periods which is a good sign. Win percentage is very high when you have this type of shot advantage.

- As has happened all too often this year the Americans scored early and often to take a 3-0 but let Brampton back in the game which wasn't secured until Spencer Asuchak scored a shorthanded goal (their league leading fourth of the year) at 16:28 of the third period.

- Phil Fox delivered as predicted by coach Martinson. In just his third game back in the lineup after knee surgery he showed what he can bring to the team. Two goals on three shots including the game winner and a plus two on the night.

- The penalty kill was again outstanding as Brampton did not score in six opportunities and Allen got a shorty. The Americans penalty kill percentage is now at a league leading 90.12%

-  Seventeen of the 39 shots on goal came from the defense led by Tyler Ludwig (7) and Ross Rouleau (5).


- The game tonight is an indication of what we are going through this year as we outplay teams for long periods of time and then give up good scoring chances and they score.

- It is frustrating as I don't think we are completely clicking yet. I'll have to look at the tape but it seemed we got beat one on one to give them a couple of 2 on 1 odd man breaks.

- I am pleased with the goalie play and our penalty kill.

- I haven't liked the decisions we are making on the power play especially in the first period. Officially we did not score on the power play but one of the goals was scored just as their player stepped out of the penalty box.

- The guys will get the weekend off and with the great weather that is predicted they hopefully will be reminded why Allen it is such a great place to play. Since we don't play again until Friday we will get a good week of work in and will hopefully start playing better at home.

- We have a team that is capable of beating any team in this league but we are just not clicking yet. There are a lot more positives than negatives with this group. Most teams would be happy to be 9-3-1.

- We are counting on Phil Fox to score goals. He scored 21 goals in 44 games last year which was a better pace than anyone on our team except Scott Howes. He is starting to find his legs after the knee surgery.

- The Brampton goalie (Rollheiser) has made some very good stops against us both tonight and in Brampton. What has happened too often is we get a good scoring chance which gets stopped and then they get a guy out and come down and score. We need to concentrate a little bit less on trying to hit the home run and just be smart. We need to do a better job of not beating ourselves.

- It was huge when Asuchak scored the shorthanded goal. I am sure, like me, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

- I have a theory that we won a championship last year and the guys who re-signed and came back this year are very comfortable living in the fabulous place we live with a great community, a great rink and great fans, living on a golf course, and hockey maybe became secondary for some of the players. If you look at our team the new guys have been good and are playing up to expectations. The guys that are underachieving all played for us last year. Guys get in trouble with me as what you did last year gets your foot in the door but after that everything starts from scratch. You can't live in the past and I think that got some guys in trouble and behind the eight ball. I try to keep an open mind and give guys a second chance.

- I call Jarret Lukin a "glue guy" as you can put him in any situation and you know exactly what you are going to get every night. Your glue guys are what makes your team successful. Team killers are guys that are great one shift and then turn the puck over the next shift. My message to the team the past week is we need more "glue guys" and if you are not there it is best to get there sooner rather than later.

- I am trying to keep an open mind but I think we might need another puck carrying skill guy on the team. While we have been making some mistakes on defense I don't see making changes on defense.

- The plans for practice this week will depend on what I see when I review the tape. We need to get harder to play against and stop giving up easy goal scoring opportunities. I think the chemistry will come as long as we keep winning. I need to get some guys to understand you need to do more than one thing really well. We want more interchangeable parts. That is what we will be working on this week.

- Trades are difficult in the CHL because if a player gets traded and they are a good player they always have the option of playing in the ECHL. Teams are generally hesitant to trade with Allen.

- Not having a reciprocal agreement with the ECHL has changed the entire landscape of coaching as players can always jump to the ECHL. I know some of our players are being called by ECHL teams. If you are too hard on guys they can say I will just go play in the ECHL. That is why I am a little more patient than in the past. I want things to work out for the guys I have signed but as the general manager I need to find that balance between giving guys a chance and making moves that will improve the team.

- The focus this past week or at least one of them was are you a player others want to play with? Are you a glue guy? Do you make the right decision and the high percentage play? I am a big believer in "hockey sense" which is making the right decision quickly.

- I thought we were physical tonight and responded with some good hits.


- The Rapid City Rush entered the CHL record books on Friday night with their come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Missouri Mavericks extending their record-tying, season-opening win streak to 10 straight games.
The Rush tie the record for the best start in League history equaling the marks set by the 2007-08 Laredo Bucks and the 2002-03 Austin Ice Bats (the New Mexico Scorpions also won 10 straight games to start a season in the WPHL).
Rapid City jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the also undefeated Missouri Mavericks (8-0-0) but in the third period, the Mavs scored three straight goals taking a 3-2 lead.  The Rush would bounce back with a power play goal from Winston Day Chief tying the game and just 50 seconds later, the game winning goal from Eric Giosa.
Rapid City will host Missouri again tonight sitting one win away from taking sole possession of the record.

- Tulsa won in Wichita 7-4 and have won five of their last six games. They have gone from last place to sixth place very quickly and continue to play great hockey.

- Arizona has won two straight road games winning 1-0 in St. Charles last night. Garrett Clarke had the only goal of the game scoring on the power play in the third period.

DID YOU KNOW: Spencer Asuchak has two shorthanded goals in the last week. The American's single season record for shorthanded goals is three held by both Adam Pineault and Jarret Lukin.
Spencer Asuchak has two shorthanded goals in the last week - photo by

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