Before talking about the great game last night want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving with the hope you get to spend the day with family and friends. Minor pro hockey is a tough grind with all of the bus trips and time away from family but is especially tough when your team has to play games on the road on a holiday. Turkey dinner by himself at Denny's doesn't quite match the Thanksgiving feast and enjoyment Steve Martinson would have at home with his wife Michelle and their two children (Logan & Lily). Some of the player's families were heading to Tulsa but many more were not. Hope all of the players, coaches and staff have a good day as everyone is thinking about them.
|Thanksgiving Dinner on the Road - photo courtesy of Steve Martinson|
- Talked about Austin Smith yesterday and the fact he was meeting the team in Missouri and would be in the lineup last night as that was the plan heard directly from the team. When he wasn't in the lineup my assumption was he had flight trouble coming from the east coast with all of the bad weather and had been delayed. That did not turn out to be the case. In a move that definitely caught the team by surprise Smith has signed to play in Europe and will not be returning to Allen. Best of luck to Austin and maybe he will be back come playoff time, you never know. Smith will be suspended by the Americans today and they will retain his rights.
- WOW is all that can be said about Allen's 6-0 victory last night in Missouri. All of the things that have made this team special during what is now the ECHL's longest win streak of the season (seven games) was witnessed in the game last night. Balanced scoring with six different players (Schultz, Baker, Asuchak, Steffes, Young, Lyon) getting goals and outstanding special teams play with the power play accounting for two goals in three attempts and the penalty kill holding the Mavericks scoreless in four attempts. Throw in great defensive play and outstanding goaltending and this team is definitely on a roll.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS:
- Riley Gill made some great saves in the first period. I have said it before that he is so comfortable in net. He is making it look easy.
- We are playing a strong puck possession game right now starting in our own zone. Things are really working well.
- This has been a big turnaround since the first couple of week of the season. The guys have made a commitment to defense while still being aggressive on offense.
- It is difficult for us to play three games back to back while the teams we play rest as was the case with Missouri tonight and Tulsa on Thursday.
- I hope all of our fans have a Happy Thanksgiving and can celebrate a win in Tulsa.
- Two guys that get talked about after every game are Jack Combs and Riley Gill and they certainly deserve mention again. Combs had two assists to continue his streak of scoring in all thirteen games this season. Comb's now stands alone as the ECHL's top scorer with twenty two points (10 goals 12 assists) in thirteen games. Riley Gill is on an equally amazing run as he has allowed only seven goals during the American's seven game win streak. He is now the top goalie in the ECHL in GAA (1.65) and save percentage (.944). Enjoy the amazing play of these two guys while you can as the AHL is watching and will certainly come calling for their services.
- Chad Costello has been flying under the radar a little bit but has quietly climbed into seventh place in the ECHL scoring race with eighteen points (5 goals 13 assists) in just thirteen games. Chad has been on a tear during the win streak as he has a point in all seven games and has twelve points (4 goals 8 assists) in those seven games.
- Gary Steffes has scored a goal in each of the last four games to go along with four assists.
- Tyler Ludwig had five assists in the last two games and is now tied for fourth in scoring for defensemen with twelve points (3 goals 9 assist). The top scoring defenseman in the ECHL is former Allen Americans player Matt Register (2011-2012) who has fourteen points playing for the Ontario Reign.
- With the win in Missouri, Allen has won four straight road games and improved to 6-1 on the road for the season.
- Allen has once again taken over first place in the Central Division with 20 points. Tulsa and Quad City are tied for second with 18 points but have played two more games than the Americans. Allen's 20 points places them third in the Western Conference in points trailing only Idaho who has 23 points and Ontario with 22 points. The points are misleading as Allen has only played 13 games while Idaho has played 17 and Ontario has played 18 games. If you look at winning percentage Allen leads the conference at .769.
DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have the top three players in the ECHL in plus/minus. Ian Schultz leads the ECHL at +13, Trevor Ludwig is second in the league at +12 and Jack Combs is tied for third at +11.