It was a good night on the ice for the Allen Americans in the rubber match against the Arizona Sundogs as they won 4-1 before another small crowd (2340) at Tim's Toyota Center. It proved to be a good night in the standings as well as Missouri (SO), Denver & Tulsa all lost to catapult Allen into a tie for second place in the standings. Rapid City continued their winning ways beating Denver 6-2 and maintain a three point lead in the standings.
- Lots of variety on the four goals scored as the first was even strength (Snowden), the next two were power play (Lessard & Lavoie) and the last was a shorthanded empty netter (Fox).
- The special teams advantage Allen had coming into this series showed up in the game as the Americans were 2-4 on the power play and 1-6 on the penalty kill.
- The penalty kill has not been as strong in the last few games evidenced by the fact Arizona had only scored three power play goals all year at home prior to this series and they got four in the three games against Allen. Talked to coach Martinson about this and he told me with Corey Tamblyn being released the team is going to have to rely on skill players who have speed and move their feet to kill penalties. It would be ideal to roll six guys on the penalty kill. Look for Fox, Lessard, Lavoie, & Hanson to see more penalty kill ice time joining Lukin and Asuchak. For young guys Martinson sees the penalty kill as a way to develop their defensive skills.
- Coach Martinson was obviously pleased with the effort and outcome of the game. Here are a few of his post game comments:
*The goaltending tonight was very solid. Pitton made some big saves for us early in the game.
*We played very physical these last two games and we played a very intimidating game tonight.
*For me as a coach this was a fun game to watch and I am sure it was fun to watch as a fan.
*I am really looking forward to next weekend when we play Rapid City.
- Martinson was still worked up about how the league handled the "intent to injure" game misconduct penalty against Garrett Clarke where he shot the puck into the players bench at the end of the game on Friday. Clarke did not play in the game last night as he was serving a one game suspension which Martinson thought was much too light given the circumstances. In all of his years of playing and coaching Martinson has never seen a player blatantly try to injure players on the bench in that fashion. In reviewing the video it is obvious this was an intentional act which could have seriously hurt a player, coach or even a fan. The official announcement from the CHL said Clarke has been suspended one (1) game for what was deemed an
intentional clearing of the puck into the opposing team’s bench with
three seconds remaining in Friday’s game versus Allen. However, the league told Martinson the suspension was only one game because there was no way to prove what Clarke did was intentional and the video was "inconclusive" as to whether he meant to shoot the puck into the bench. Words like joke, embarrassment, and disappointment describe how Martinson felt about how the league handled this situation.
- Jarret Lukin did not play because of injury but hopes to be back in the lineup next weekend against Rapid City. He joined Tommy Daniels in the press box along with Dallas Ehrhardt who is on IR. Lukin proved to have some serious skill as a color commentator. Here are a few of his comments:
*The Americans physical play adds up in a three game series and that is what you see happening here in the third period.
* Our best penalty killer on that power play was Bryan Pitton.
* I wasn't looking when Garrett Clarke shot the puck into our bench. It could have hit someone in the face and hurt them really bad. Worse yet it could have gone over the glass and hit a fan. He should have gotten more than a one game suspension.
* Is it just me or does Allen rarely get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to referee calls.
* My phone is blowing up. Hope I have given a shout out to everyone. If I missed anyone hi from Arizona.
- Phil Fox had an empty net goal for the second night in a row. This one was on a nice play from Spencer Asuchak who started the play by winning the faceoff in Allen's end with Arizona on a two man 6-4 advantage. He took a pass from Ross Rouleau and headed up ice and could have scored the goal himself but passed to a trailing Phil Fox who put it in the empty net. An unselfish play by Asuchak who is only one shorty away from equaling the single season record (3).
- Kale Kerbashian's scoring streak ended last night at six games. He has 9 points (2 goals 7 assists) in the last seven games.
- Alex Lavoie had another multi point game with a goal and two assists. His 29 points are one point behind CHL scoring leaders Garrett Bembridge and Todd Robinson. In 19 games Alex has failed to score in only 5 games. He has 9 multi point games including three games where he had 3 points and one game with 5 points.
- Spencer Asuchak now has the longest current scoring streak on the team as he has scored in the last five games (1 goal 5 assists)
- John Snowden continues to score with another goal last night. Since returning to the lineup on November 23 (five games) John has six points (3 goals 3 assists).
- Jonathan Lessard with a goal and an assist was selected as the #1 star of the game. Alex Lavoie was the #2 star and Tyler Ludwig was the #3 star. Alex Lavoie is now tied for first (23 points) in the season long Oakley 3 Star contest. For those that don't know how this works a player gets 5 points for being named the #1 star of a game, 3 points for #2 star and 1 point for #3 star.
- It seems to me it is hard for goalies to get recognized in the three stars of the game. Last night was a perfect example where Bryan Pitton made some great saves to keep Allen in the game early. His GAA was 1.00 and his save percentage was .972 as he stopped 35 of 36 shots and he still couldn't crack the three stars. COME ON MAN!
DID YOU KNOW: An Allen Americans player has never won the Oakley Three Star contest. The top Allen point getter in each year were:
2009-2010 - Justin Bowers - 50 points - 6th place
2010-2011 - Colton Yellow Horn - 67 points - 4th place
2011-2012 - Bruce Graham - 49 points - 9th place
2012-2013 - Jamie Schaafsma - 46 points - 8th place
2013-2014 - Alex Lavoie - 23 points - 1st place (after 19 games)