Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Ol' Girl Is Home, 2nd Round Opponent Deciphered, Former Martinson Players Successful Coaches

The Ol' Girl ( I have adopted Nicole Schaafsma's name for the bus) rolled into Allen much earlier than scheduled last night as the Allen Americans arrived home fresh from winning their first round playoff series against the Brampton Beast. I say fresh from winning the series but that is probably not a good use of the word after a 24 hour bus ride. Anyway, by arriving home early (around 7:00 pm) there were lots of kids happy to see dad back after a long but successful road trip. As most of us know, when you have little kids a week without dad being around can be quite stressful for moms so I am sure they were glad to have the guys home as well. So it makes it unanimous as kids, moms, wives, family, friends, fans and pets are all glad to see the team back in town. Based on some of the pictures on social media it was exciting and fun having daddy home.

- There will be practice today as the team awaits their second round opponent to be determined which could happen tonight as all three remaining series play game six tonight.  A time to prepare for the second round but also to rest the bodies that take a beating in the playoffs. I will attend practice today and have a full report tomorrow.

- Here is some information from the CHL about the three series still being contested. Note that if these series go to a game seven, two are on Wednesday but Tulsa vs Denver is Thursday in Denver.

-Arizona Sundogs vs. Missouri Mavericks (Sundogs lead series 3-2)
Game 6 – Tue., Apr. 15 – Arizona at Missouri, 7:05
Game 7 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Arizona at Missouri, 7:05
Series Notes:
-Saturday’s double overtime win for the Sundogs marked the longest game in both Arizona and Missouri’s history.  The game went 90:32 beating the Mavericks previous long game of 82:47 in a loss to Fort Wayne in 2012.  The Sundogs have never been past a single playoff overtime.
-Prior to Game 5, the Mavericks signed University of Vermont amateur Pete Massar and he made an immediate impact scoring a pair of goals in his first pro game.
-Arizona forward Mike Forney has scored a point in each of the five games so far in the series against Missouri but up until Game 5, he had not found the back of the net.  In Game 5, Forney recorded a pair of goals and now has six points (2-4=6) in the post-season.
-In four regular season games against the Sundogs, Missouri defenseman Matt Stephenson had just one helper, but in the post-season, the All-CHL Team d-man has five assists in five games.

Tulsa Oilers vs. Denver Cutthroats (Cutthroats lead series 3-2)
Game 6 – Tue., Apr. 15 – Denver at Tulsa, 7:05
Game 7 – Thu., Apr. 17 – Tulsa at Denver, 7:00
Series Notes:
-Denver forward Troy Schwab has points in all five games in the series totaling four goals with three assists and is tied for a team-high +5 plus/minus rating.
-The Cutthroats penalty kill has allowed just one power play goal to the Oilers in 21 chances and are the best in the post-season with their 95.2 PK percentage.
-Tulsa has outshot the Cutthroats in four of the five games so far going 1-3 in those games.  The Oilers are averaging more than 37 shots per game (third in the CHL).
-Tulsa forward Ben Gordon recorded a CHL post-season high 11 shots on goal in the team’s 1-0 loss to Denver on Saturday.

- Quad City Mallards vs. Rapid City Rush (Mallards lead series 3-2)
Game 6 – Tue., Apr. 15 – Quad City at Rapid City, 7:05
Game 7 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Quad City at Rapid City, 7:05
Series Notes:
-Mallards forward Vladimir Nikiforov is tied for the league-lead with six assists and leads the Flock with seven points (1-6=7) in the series.
-The Rapid City Rush have scored just one PP goal in 15 chances (7%)
-The Mallards and Rush have combined for more than 41 penalty minutes per game in the series, the most of any of the four Opening Round series.

-  Super fan and recent newlywed Mark Costello shared with me a chart that shows the possibilities on Allen's second round opponent. Remember, the CHL will reseed the teams for the second round with the top seed playing the bottom seed and the two in the middle playing each other. With that said, here is my effort to translate Mark's chart into words. Everything is based on the top four seeds (#1 Missouri, #2 Denver, #3 Allen, & #4 Rapid City)
 1. If all four top seeds win Allen will play Denver in the second round
 2. If Rapid City (#4) loses Allen will play Denver in the second round
 3. If Denver (#2) loses Allen will play the winner of  Rapid/Quad and have home ice advantage
 4. If Missouri (#1) loses Allen will play the winner of Rapid/Quad and have home ice advantage
 5. If both Missouri (#1) & Denver (#2) lose Allen will play Arizona and have home ice advantage
 6. If both Missouri (#1) & Rapid (#4) lose Allen will play Quad City and have home ice advanatge

The most likely outcome is Allen will play either Denver, Rapid City or Quad City in the second round. There is no scenario where Allen will play either Missouri or Tulsa in the second round.

Courtesy CHL Memes

DID YOU KNOW: Steve Martinson has coached many players that have gone on to be successful coaches. Two examples are Union College coach Rick Bennett whose team just won the NCAA national hockey championship beating Minnesota 7-4 and Rod Aldoff who just coached the Pensacola Ice Flyers to the SPHL championship.


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