Sunday, March 9, 2014

Martinson Post Game Comments, MN Champs, Rush vs Mavericks Special Teams & More

It what was undoubtedly the most disappointing loss of the season as the St. Charles Chill took the energy from a franchise record breaking crowd of 6839 and having the "golden jet" Bobby Hull in attendance to beat the Allen Americans 5-2 last night in St. Charles. The Chill snapped a twelve game losing streak. In the second period Allen fought back from a 2-0 deficit with goals by Greger Hanson and Bruce Graham only to have former American, John Snowden, score the game winning goal at the 15:43 mark of the second period. The only good thing about the loss is there will not be much time to dwell on it as the two teams are back at it this afternoon (Sunday) at 4:05 pm.


- If I had to describe this game in one word it would be SOFT. We did not win enough battles in either end of the ice. Very disappointing.

- We were soft all over the ice but it was particularly bad in the offensive zone battles when we were on the power play.

- With Hendrikx out we were not very physical on defense with the exception of Ross Rouleau who had most of the hits.

- When this team tries to win with skill rather than physical play they are in trouble. It is okay to carry the puck into the offensive zone if the play is there but if it is not there we need to dump the puck, win the battles and have guys in tough areas in front of the net.


- As is often the case, special teams were the difference in the game as Allen struggled on both the power play and penalty kill.  St. Charles was ranked #8 on both the PP & PK but came up big allowing Allen only one goal in eight power play opportunities while scoring two goals of their own on just four power play chances.

- Tyler Ludwig has the current longest scoring streak on the team. With an assist last night he has scored in eight straight games and has at least one point in 23 of the last 25 games. Tyler now leads all defensemen in the CHL in goals (17) and points (43).

- With a goal last night Greger Hanson has scored goals in the last three games.

- Jon Zion did not play in the game which brings the total number of players out of the line up due to injury to seven: Trevor Ludwig, Jarret Lukin, Darryl Bootland, Dallas Ehrhardt, Kale Kerbashian, Trevor Hendrikx and Jon Zion. Zion is doubtful for the game this afternoon.

- With their second loss in as many nights Allen has dropped to fourth place in the standings all by themselves with 66 points, just two points ahead of Brampton and Quad City. How quickly the conversation has gone from, we can catch Missouri to can we hang onto fourth place and home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

- With the game winning goal and an assist, John Snowden was selected #1 star of the game. If the Americans had to lose it was nice to see a former player do well.

- Rapid City cooled down what was the hottest team in the league beating the Tulsa Oilers for the second consecutive night. Last night was a 5-0 shutout for Rush goalie Tim Boron. In the two games Rapid City outscored Tulsa 10-2. The Rush have gotten back on the winning track despite their continued struggles on special teams. In the two game series Rapid City had one power play goal in sixteen chances while Tulsa's only two goals of the series came on the power play. The Rush gave up two power play goals in only eight chances. It is difficult to see Rapid City going deep into the playoffs with the worst power play unit and the worst penalty kill unit in the CHL. To be ranked #10 on special teams and still be in the battle for the regular season championship tells you how strong Rapid City is at even strength.

- I promise this is the last you have to hear about the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament. How fitting the championship game was the same night as Mike Modano was honored with his #9 retirement ceremony. Lou Nanne, who was responsible for drafting Modano #1 overall in 1988, could not be in Dallas because he was broadcasting the Minnesota high school tournament for the 50th year. As for the tournament, Brian McMillin's high school (Roseau Rams) won the consolation championship winning two games after an overtime loss in the opening round. And in the championship final the Edina Hornets, the team everyone in Minnesota loves to hate, beat Lakeville North 8-2 to take home their 12th state title. The attendance for the four day tournament was 119,175 and for the championship game the attendance was 18,879.

-  Aaron Dell has once again been signed by the Abbotsford Heat (AHL). Not sure if this is a short term promotion because of injury or call ups but Aaron did get into the Abbotsford game last night in relief. With his team trailing 5-2 he played the last 11 minutes of the game and faced eight shots, giving up two goals. Final score was Chicago 7-2 over Abbotsford.

- Here is day four of the Trevor Heinzerling, Denver equipment manager's blog. The team did what it seems like every team has done when playing in Brampton and that is visit the Hockey Hall of Fame. Interesting he made no mention of the CHL display in the Hall which recognizes Allen as the current champions.

Day 4:
It’s about 10:30 pm after an eventful day in Toronto. We had a 10:30 am bus to the rink for a noon practice. Typically practice before a game day isn’t too long, but there was one highlight. As they often do, the team focused on the special teams to stay sharp and work on a few details. The team also concludes every Wednesday or Thursday practice with a shootout competition. They use this to try new moves and to see who will be the dreaded “suit boy.” The player who is the last to score has to wear a suit whenever in public or at the rink, until the next time the event is held. Phil Tesoriero has the honors for the second week in a row, much to his dismay. 
"Souds" and "Barchie" goofing around before practice
After practice we headed straight for Toronto. We grabbed a quick meal at the food court and then went to the Hall of Fame. If you’ve never been, the amount of memorabilia and history is incredible! The upper floor is for all the trophies, inductees, plaques, and of course, Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Cutthroats were actually found in two areas of the Hall. First, every NHL teams minor league affiliations were detailed, and sure enough, we were listed under the Avalanche. Second, was a list of recent minor league expansion teams’ first goals. A.J. Gale was listed for the Denver Cutthroats first goal in franchise history on 10/19/13.
From there, everyone wandered around for a while longer and bought a souvenir or two at the gift shop. After the HHOF, we all walked around the city and did some shopping at the nearby mall. By that time, we were ready to get back to the hotel and rest up for a big day tomorrow. That’s it for now, but come back for more Fish news tomorrow.  
"Cohzie" looks on at the Norris Trophy

The guys comparing their new purchases

DID YOU KNOW: While Missouri and Rapid City battle for first place in the CHL standings their special teams are ranked #1 (Missouri) & #10 (Rapid City). On the power play Missouri is at 22.02% while Rapid City is at 12.74%. Missouri kills penalties at 86.96% while Rapid City kills penalties at 74.37%.

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