Monday, March 17, 2014

Martinson Post Game Comments, Successful Roadtrip, Shootout Analysis, CHL Memes

When this past weekend started most everyone would have said getting five of six points from Rapid City and Denver would be a great weekend. And with a minute left in the game last night in Denver most everyone would have been happy to come away from the game with one point. That is exactly what happened as Allen pulled the goalie and Greger Hanson scored an extra attacker goal with 46 seconds remaining in the game. The game ended up in a shoot out and after seven rounds Denver was victorious by a score of 4-3 in front of one of the bigger crowds of the year (2791) at the Denver Coliseum. By any standard the weekend was a huge success considering all of the travel, playing three games in three days and playing with only fourteen skaters. The team will arrive home this morning, have the rest of the day off and then tomorrow start preparing for a grueling rest of the season where they will play seven games in eleven days. The good news is six of the seven games are at home.


- The game tonight was a great character comeback by the guys. It was a long, tough weekend with a short bench and it said a lot that the guys hung in there and got that extra attacker goal to tie the game.

- We have had a lot of travel recently and now have the luxury of spending most of our time at home for the rest of the season with just the trip to Wichita for a game next Sunday. We now need to take advantage of home ice.

- Two of Denver's goals were scored with an extra attacker on what I thought were questionable penalties and on their third goal we had a bad change but our guys were tired and were trying to get off the ice and get a change.

- I thought our experienced players stepped up this weekend and led by example. That is so critical this time of year and just what we needed.

- Bryan Pitton was very strong in goal in a tough circumstance as he faced 49 shots.


- Bruce Graham had his scoring streak snapped last night but Greger Hanson extended his streak to seven games with two goals (plus a goal in the shootout) and an assist. Hanson has fourteen points (5 goals 9 assists) in the last seven games.

- Lavoie (73 points in 59 games), Hanson (44 points in 42 games) & Graham (14 points in 8 games) are the three players on the team scoring at a point per game pace.

- Allen once again won the special teams battle scoring two power play goals on five opportunities while allowing Denver no power play goals. For the weekend Allen was 7-17 (41.1%) on the power play and 1-13 (92.3%) on the penalty kill. Job well done by the special team guys.

- Kale Kerbashian who was supposed to meet the team in Denver, never made it because his flight was cancelled. The team could have used Kale in the game and also in the shootout as he has scored the most shootout goals this season having made three in six attempts.

- A great as it was to get a point against Denver with the late goal, Allen had an excellent chance to win the game in the shootout. Shootouts have been mediocre this year as the American's record now stands at 4-4. They have taken 42 attempts and scored 9 goals for a 21% success rate. Last night coach Martinson went with the percentages as the first two guys out were the best this year (other than Kerbashian) in shootouts however both Darryl Bootland (2-6) and Tyler Ludwig (2-4) missed. Greger Hanson (1-2) made his shot and the shootout score was tied going into the fourth round. Both fourth round players (Bruce Graham & former American Steve Kaunisto) missed. Denver went first in the fifth round and missed so if Allen scores in the fifth round they win the game. It was at this point it looked like the game was Allen's. Two of the most creative guys around the net, Alex Lavoie and Jamie Schaafsma had not yet taken a shot. Both of them have had tough luck as they were 0-6 on the year in shootouts but tonight would be the night to break out. With the win in his grasp Lavoie rattled one off the pipe in the fifth round and Jamie missed his shot to win the game in the sixth round. Finally, Denver scored in the seventh round which required Daniel Tetrault to make his shot to keep the shootout going and he too missed. It was great to get the one point with the last second goal in regulation but that second point was so close.

- It is always dangerous to predict the final standings with so many games left in the season but it is starting to look like Allen will finish in third or fourth place. Currently Rapid City is in third with 74 points and Allen is in fourth with 73 points. Allen is now seven points in back of second place Denver who is on a nine game win streak. Allen has a six point lead on fifth place Brampton and a seven point lead on sixth place Quad City. If you just look at the schedules and the number of games remaining the most likely outcome for third through six in the final standings is Allen (3rd), Rapid City (4th), Quad City (5th), Brampton (6th). This would mean Allen's first round opponent would be Brampton while Rapid City would play Quad City. I for one, hope it doesn't turn out this way. 

Courtesy of CHL Memes - follow on twitter at @CHL_Memes

Courtesy of CHL Memes

DID YOU KNOW: With the crazy CHL schedule Denver has no more home games, Arizona has no more away games and Rapid City and Brampton face each other the last five games of the season.

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