Saturday, January 25, 2014

Martinson Post Game Comments, Game Recap, Stats, Injury Updates

#1 Star Spencer Asuchak (2 goals 1 assist) scores on a penalty shot - photo by

The Allen Americans outshot, outplayed, and outscored an outmanned St. Charles Chill team by a score of 5-2 last night before a crowd of 4317 at the Allen Event Center. The Americans scored twice in the first three minutes of the game on goals by Spencer Asuchak and Alex Lavoie and the outcome was never in doubt after that point. Darryl Bootland finally got the monkey off his back (great celly by Booter) with a goal midway through the first period and Allen had a 3-0 lead. St. Charles could never get closer than two goals the rest of the game. Spencer Asuchak added his second goal on a penalty shot for Allen's fourth goal and Jonathan Lessard put away the rebound off a Daniel Tetrault rocket for the fifth and final goal. The teams get a rare Saturday night off (Sidekicks play tonight at the AEC) before playing again Sunday afternoon at 4:05 pm.

Steve Martinson Post Game Comments:

- I really liked the start of the game as we had some great hits, we were moving the puck and we could have had four or five goals in the first period.

- The Chill had a different game plan as they would dump the puck and go into that one and four. After the first two goals their game plan was working a little bit as we were turning over the puck. We were trying to do too much. When you get a couple of goals early as we did, it is hard to hold guys back and play the right way. We were talking about this the entire game that we have to get the puck in deep if we don't have a solid play.

- Asuchak played great. He had that chance for a hat trick. He said he is so tired he needs an IV. One thing about Asuchak  is he gives you everything he has. He is like that dog that chases the bus and just goes and goes and goes.

- It was good to see Bootland finally get a goal. I told the guys maybe they should get him the puck as he was so happy to score as it has been a while.

- We have tomorrow off as there is no game and no practice which is rare. I will be at the community rink as my kids have a practice and a game tomorrow.

- I rested Fox tonight as he has been playing with a nagging injury that is almost healed and I felt giving him a night off would help. If necessary he could have played. He is a hard working guy, he is in great shape and trying to get him 100% will help. He is one of the guys you always know what you are going get. He is one of our glue guys that is consistent.

- I thought Grantham got a little tired as he is not used to playing as much as he did. Early in the game he was typically Ryley with some good hits.

- Grantham doesn't count against the salary cap or the roster for five games. This rule is to avoid having to cut a player when a player comes from an AHL team for what might be a short time.  It is an opportunity for me to bring Ryley in and get him some games. His agent has already fielded calls from some AHL teams. So who knows how long he will be with us. I won't have to make any adjustments to the roster until right at the trade deadline (February 3) if I end up making any.

- I thought we had really good puck possession tonight. We hit the post several times, Kerbashian made a great play on that two on one to Hanson with an open net and it didn't go in. We easily could have had eight or nine goals in this game.

- There are times you want to crack the whip and there are times you don't. Right now I am trying to talk about positive things and avoid being too hard on anyone because I felt we were always in control of the game.

- We were 0-3 on the power play again tonight. I tried some different guys on the point and it will get better once we get Zion out there. We went for a period where we were scoring power play goals every game and all of a sudden recently we have stopped scoring. It is the same group that was scoring that has stopped scoring. We need to get Tyler some more onetimers. What you saw tonight was guys trying to pass the puck to their linemate when they should have passed the puck to the point.

- I juggled the lines a lot tonight because I wanted to give some guys a chance to play with different people. This will help if we get injuries or call ups down the road. You never know when the lines will have to change.

- I told the guys they don't need to celebrate tonight like they won the Stanley Cup. We need to get the two points on Sunday so you need to take it easy and take care of yourself. They are like your children growing up in that you have to trust them and hope that they are smart and make good decisions so we are ready to go Sunday afternoon.

- Jonathan Zion will be in Allen tomorrow (Saturday) but he will not play on Sunday. I put him on injured reserve (seven day) which will allow him to get here, get practicing, and get settled. We knew we had an extra player if someone got hurt so this is the best approach.


- With three points (2 goals 1 assist) last night Spencer Asuchak has moved into third place in the CHL rookie points race with 26 points (12 goals 14 assists). Alex Lavoie leads all rookies with 52 points (20 goals 32 assists) and has a 15 point lead on second place Adam Pleskach (Tulsa) who has 37 points.

- Not sure what the Allen record is for most consecutive games with at least one point but Tyler Ludwig is on a streak. With his assist on Spencer Asuchak's first goal of the game Tyler has scored in the last 12 games. In that stretch he has fifteen points (7 goals 8 assists). Ludwig has climbed into third place in points by a defenseman (27 points) and he leads all CHL defenseman with 10 goals.

- The French connection (Lavoie & Lessard) each had a goal last night and are #1 & #2 on the team in goals scored. Lavoie has had multiple points in five of the last eight games while Lessard has had multiple points in three of the last five games.

- The three stars of the game were #1 Asuchak, #2 Bootland, #3 Lavoie.

- Had a chance to meet Jarret Lukin's mom, sister and nephew after the game last night who are here to visit Jarret and help celebrate his 30th birthday. They were very complimentary of the reception that have received in Allen. They are looking forward to the warmer temperatures the next couple of days. It is unfortunate Lukin is not playing and it appears his return to the line up is not close.

- Also spent a few minutes talking to Trevor Ludwig after the game and I have to say for a guy that has had some tough injuries the past few years he has such a positive attitude. Asked him the toughest things to do with one arm he said tie his shoes, buckle his belt and make food. If it isn't cereal his wife, Holly, needs to make it for him.

- Rapid City scored four unanswered goals in the third period to beat the Wichita Thunder  6-3 so Allen and Rapid City remain tied with 52 points atop the CHL standings. Third place Missouri also won their game last night.

- Denver lost to Arizona 4-1 in a game played in Vail, Colorado before a crowd of 401. It is difficult to see how this team survives. They have the lowest average attendance (1321) of all 72 minor league hockey teams across four different leagues. What is more disturbing is they are drawing less than half the fans they had last year.

- Special teams play was the one area where St. Charles had the advantage last night. Allen gave up one goal in three penalty kill opportunities and scored no goals while on the power play. The power play is 1-17 (5.9%) in the last four games.

DID YOU KNOW: Allen's current penalty kill percentage (85.02%) is second highest in team history trailing only the team from last year who finished with a penalty kill percentage of 85.67%. The CHL record for penalty kill is held by two teams at 89.34% (Laredo in 2003-2004 & Colorado in 2004-2005).

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