Saturday, May 10, 2014

Goodbye 0-4 Friday, Coaches Post Game Comments, 2nd Championship on Anniversay of 1st Possible Tonight

Goodbye 0-4 Friday and hello championship anniversary Saturday. Jonathan Lessard's  goal at 3:53 of overtime put an end to the American's Friday night losing streak and now gives Allen the opportunity to win a second Presidents' Cup in a row exactly one year to the day from their first President's Cup. Yes, it was a year ago today (Saturday, May 11, 2013) that Todd Robinson scored the dramatic overtime goal to win Allen's first Presidents' Cup.

For the first time in the series the team that scored first did not win the game as Robin Soudek got Denver on the scoreboard first just five minutes into the game. However, from that point forward Allen had one of their best periods of hockey during the playoffs. They tied the score 1-1 on a Jonathan Lessard goal and ended the first period with a 20-7 shot advantage. Allen took a 2-1 lead early in the second period only to have Denver score two unanswered goals before Daniel Tetrault scored to make the score 3-3 at the end of the second period. The third period was scoreless thanks to some outstanding goaltending at both ends of the ice. Both teams had great scoring chances in overtime before Steven Tarasuk circled behind the Denver net and made a pass in front to Lessard who put it past goaltender Kent Patterson for the 4-3 victory.


- We still haven't played our "A" game although after the first five minutes of the game the first period was one of the best periods we have played in the playoffs.

- Pitton's two saves on the Vincent Arseneau breakaway were spectacular. It really showed second effort on his part. He kept his eye on the puck and stayed really focused after the first save which allowed him to move his glove toward the puck. It was a smart play that resulted in a spectacular save.

- The Schaafsma one timer goal from Hanson and Graham was a beautiful play and a beautiful goal.

- The guys need to relax on the power play as with the long drought they are putting too much pressure on themselves. Yes, we could win more battles for the puck and make some better decisions at times but they are just trying too hard, squeezing  their sticks and if they relax we will get a power play goal. The good news is with our power play struggling the even strength play has been outstanding this series.

- What happens when we get in trouble is we stop playing our system and we turn over the puck. There are still some things we can clean up for the game tomorrow.

- There is no doubt we will see Denver's best Saturday night. Their goal is to get one win in our building to get the series back to their ice. To win the fourth game in a championship series is always the toughest and they will bring everything they have at us. We need to be ready.


-  Another great game by Daniel Tetrault and Ross Roleau who were both +3 for the game and were almost always matched up against Denver's top line. Tetrault is now a phenomenal +18 for the playoffs and there is not a player on the ice that is more determined, tenacious, dedicated or committed than him. It is such a pleasure to see a guy that has played professionally for as long as Daniel show such enthusiasm and leadership. And did I mention goals the last two nights in the biggest games of the season.

- The defensemen continue to play a big part in the offense as they were part of three of the four goals in the game. There were twelve total points scored on the four goals and the defense had five of the twelve points.

- The power play is now at 0-22 in the series with a lot of credit going to the Denver penalty kill. Allen is definitely due to score a power play goal and that could just be the difference in the game tonight.

- Allen continues to dominate even strength play as the Americans outscored Denver 4-2 last night when both teams were at even strength. For the series Allen has a plus/minus of +41 while Denver is at -34.

- A big advantage in this series has been Allen's depth with scoring coming from all three lines and the defensmen. How is this for balanced scoring:
9 - Schaafsma
8 - Lessard
7 - Hanson
6 - Graham
6 - Bootland
5 - Maiani
4 -  Asuchuk
3 - Ludwig
3 - Tetrault
2 -  McMillin
2 - Lavoie
1 - Zion
1 - Tarasuk
1 - Kerbashian

- Anthony Maiani leads the team with twelve assists followed by Schaafsma, Ludwig and Hanson with ten. However, there are twelve players with at least five assists in the playoffs..

- A big crowd for the game (5059) as the Americans topped 5000 for the first time in the playoffs and it was as loud as could be in the Allen Event Center. Saw a long line of people at the ticket office after the win last night and you can be assured tonight (Saturday) will be close to if not a sellout.

- I don't pretend to know all of the factors that go into the CHL decisions on suspensions but it struck me after the CHL ruled that there would be not any supplemental discipline (fine or suspension) for Denver defenseman Mikeal Tam for slashing Greger Hanson late in game three that Allen had two guys suspended in the finals last year for similar offenses. Darryl Bootland and Jason Deitsch both got one game suspensions for stick penalties for not controlling their stick as it was determined they were wreckless, careless, and dangerous with their stick and the play was unnecessary. In both cases, if I remember correctly the the Wichita Thunder player who was fouled was not injured or at least did not miss a shift in the game and continued to play. The CHL stated in their decision there was not a deliberate intent in injury in either case. The CHL used very similar wording to describe the Tam case but yet decided no suspension or fine. It is hard to see the difference.

- It has been said many times before but Allen has a chance to do something special tonight in winning back to back championships as it has not been done in the CHL since 2002 and 2003 when the Memphis RiverKings accomplished the feat.

 - I will end this post the same as I did last year on this date because it really captures what team sport is all about at any level and what the Allen Americans represent.  A bunch of men playing a game, strangers coming together for a common goal, willing to do anything for each other.

Win today and we walk together forever."
—Philadelphia Flyers Coach Fred Shero wrote this on his famous chalkboard before the Flyers' 1974 Stanley Cup finals victory.


Courtesy CHL memes

 DID YOU KNOW: None of the players who scored goals in the championship winning game that took place one year ago today will be playing in the game tonight. (Jarret Lukin, Trevor Hendrikx, Todd Robinson).


  1. I missed a great game last night, and hope I miss another tonight. Folks are texting me letting me know what is going on. I hope to hear that you guys are celebrating without me tonight, and I will see you soon. GO RED! WE CAN AND WILL DO THIS!

  2. It feels a little like the planets aligning. One year to the day since the Americans' cup win. The River Kings were Chip Crail's favorite CHL team, back in the day, and the last to repeat.