Rapid City Journal blog writer, Jim Holland probably said it best, "A massive ice storm gripped the Dallas metroplex and Rush rookie netminder Keaton Hartigan froze the Allen Americans when he had to. Hartigan turned aside all four Allen skaters in a shootout, while Jesse Schultz and Konrad Reeder got the job done against Allen goaltender Mark Guggenberger on the other end of the rink as Rapid City finished off the defending CHL champions with another 3-2 decision Saturday night."
Another disappointing night for Allen fans as the Rush showed why they are the best team in the CHL by taking four points from the Americans in the two game set. If there was a positive in the game for the Americans it was they fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the score early in the second period. But neither team could score in the third period or overtime.
MARTINSON POST GAME COMMENTS:
- I thought we played a better game tonight than last night. In the second period we took advantage of some opportunities and tied the game early in the period but then we let them dictate the pace in our offensive zone. There forwards put a lot of pressure on our defense and we did not do the same thing back.
- We could have won the game but I would not say we outplayed Rapid City tonight. The game could have gone either way so it is a crappy weekend as we end up getting one point out of four and let the Rush get a big boost in first place.
- We have a lot of work to do. I am not happy with everything I see on the ice and we need to get more contribution from the older players. All in all it was a very disappointing weekend.
- I thought in the game on Friday our team was more interested in scoring than in winning. When you play against the team in first place, the best team in the league right now, they are playing the best hockey and we gave them at least six or seven odd man rushes last night (Friday) and they gave us two.
- I thought Guggenberger did a real good both nights. He kept us in the game on Friday and played well again tonight.
- Our problem tonight is we did not sustain much of a fore check. We just did not hold the puck in their zone enough. Fore checking is just hard work. If we are going to score on the rush we need to have more guys drive the net. We work on it all the time in practice.
- I don't think we are as interchangeable as I would like to be right now. We need to get more play out of some of our positions up front.
- Our goals for (75 which is 2nd in the CHL) is enough to win every game but we make too many bad decisions both on the back end and on the power play. We pass Rapid City the puck and we just keep skating as if they are going to pass it back. That breakaway tonight was very painful to watch. It goes back to our veteran guys as the young guys are pulling their weight but I would not say that for the established part of our line up.
- What I said to our guys this morning is we have 14 guys who have played in the American Hockey League while they have two. So what is going on? I like our line up but Rapid is playing the best team game and they showed us this weekend why they are in first place. We have to step it up before the playoffs. I don't think we are where we need to be and I don't believe you can
play this way now and then turn things on for the playoffs as some of
our established player believe. We have been in this funk for a month
now and it is not good enough. Nobody gives a rats ass that we won the championship last year. I am going to have to look at options. One way or another we have to get a little bit better.
- We have to have our offensive players be better defensively. In this game you need depth at offense and you need to teach them to play better defensively. The frustrating part for Richard and myself is we have players that have played better defensively in the past but for some reason are not at this point.
- Klotz acquitted himself very well against a tough fighter in Justin Sawyer. When you are as big as those guys and weigh 240 pounds they can do some real damage when they hit you. I'm not a big believer in fighting shifting momentum but I thought the fight did help us. It is then up to the players to sustain that momentum. We got ourselves back in the game on the scoreboard but Rapid City out played us the second half of the second period. They outplayed us with the fore check which again is just by hard work and skating. I don't think fore checking is a strength of some of the guys we have.
- We have this week to work on improvement as we have another big test next weekend against Missouri and hopefully we will do a better job with that.
- Thanks to all of the fans that braved this crappy weather to come out tonight. We might not have shown it in the way we played but we really appreciate your support.
- The Rapid City Journal staff must like the catchy play on word lines in their stories. Here is how they described the game and play of back up goalie Keaton Hartigan who was starting only his second game of the year and had not played since November 2nd:
"The goaltender with the dreadlocks deadlocked the Allen Americans when push came to shove Saturday night. Forced
into a shootout against the defending Central Hockey League champions,
Jesse Schultz and Konrad Reeder scored while rookie netminder Keaton
Hartigan stonewalled all four Allen shooters he faced to lift the Rapid
City Rush to a 3-2 victory and a weekend sweep of the Americans at the
Allen Events Center. Making his second start since backstopping
the Rush to a 5-3 win over Arizona on Nov. 2, Hartigan denied 26-of-28
in regulation. His three saves in overtime included stuffing Jonathan
Lessard’s penalty shot attempt. Hartigan, sporting dreads under
his goalie mask, turned aside Jamie Schaafsma, Tyler Ludwig, Alex Lavoie
and Phil Fox in the shootout."
- The official attendance for the night was 3789 and while there were many more people in attendance last night than on Friday the icy conditions still kept many fans at home.
- In addition to losing ground to Rapid City last night the Americans lost ground to the teams around them in the standings as Missouri, Tulsa, and Denver all won. Other than the Rush with a five point lead the teams at the top are really bunched up. Here are the point standings at the top:
32 - Rapid City
27 - Missouri
26 - Allen
26 - Tulsa
26 - Denver
- With the loss last night Allen is 3-2 in shootouts this year. The Americans have had back to back shootouts twice this year so if that holds form look for the game coming up on Friday to end in a shootout. The Americans are 6-26 on shootout attempts which is 23%. The leaders in shootout goal percentage are:
Tyler Ludwig - 67% (2-3)
Kale Kerbashian - 50% (2-4)
John Snowden - 50% (1-2)
At the other end of the spectrum are guys you would assume would be excellent in shoot outs. Schaafsma, Lavoie, and Lessard are a combined 0-11 in shootouts.
- Looks like there were some unhappy St. Charles Chill players after Denver beat them at home last night 4-2. Couldn't get any first hand accounts of what happened but the Chill ended up with 92 minutes in penalties after the game was over. Would expect some suspensions out of this one as Anthony Pisano got 42 minutes including leaving the bench and Anthony Perdicaro a game misconduct for physical abuse of officials.
- Attendance figures last night ranged from 5722 in Wichita to 1517 in St. Charles. League wide average attendance is down an average of 279 per game from last year and 615 from two years ago.
DID YOU KNOW: The Rapid City Rush have only been in two shootouts this year and have won them both. They have only had to take six shots to win the two shootouts and scored on five of the six shots, a whopping 83% conversion rate.