Saturday, November 15, 2014

Allen Wins 3-1, Martinson, Matvichuk, & Players Post Game Comments, & C'Mon Man For Combs

Whether you are in the camp that the game against Missouri last night was super important or just another game on the schedule the result was a big step forward. The Allen Americans beat the Missouri Mavericks in the lowest scoring game Allen has had this season by a score of 3-1. Jack Combs led Allen with two goals and unselfishly gave up his chance for a hat trick by passing to Gary Steffes for an empty net goal with 28 seconds remaining in the game to seal the victory and send a great crowd of 5313 home disappointed. Immediately after the game the Americans got on the bus for the relatively short trip by ECHL standards (207 miles) to Wichita where they will play the Thunder tonight (Saturday) at 7:05.


- We played much better defensive hockey tonight and that is great to see. The success of this team will depend on our commitment to defense as we have a potent offensive team.

- We continue to struggle on the power play so will have to spend some time retooling that. When the power play is having trouble the best plan is to get guys in front of the net, get the puck to the points  and take some shots.

- The "no goal" by Chad Costello went right through the net. I saw it as clear as day from the bench.

- I specifically asked coach Martinson if the game was special to him and what it meant to beat Richard Matvichuk's team in the first meeting since he became coach of Missouri. His reply was, "The only special meaning the game had tonight is it gave us the opportunity to move up in the standings. A strong weekend can put us at 6-3 and boost our winning percentage. Matty (Matvichuk) did an excellent job with us for the past two years when we won back to back championships. We want him to do well, just not against us."


"Classic unselfish play tonight by Jack Combs to a guy who deserved a goal (Gary Steffes) after a tilt (fight) and a big game" ---- Aaron Gens

- The following quotes are all courtesy of the official blogger of the Mavericks, Joe Rozycki, better known as SinBinMavs. You can follow him on twitter at @SinBinMavs:

 "The penalties hurt us all night. We can't be undiscplined and take that many penalties. When we play 5 on 5 we were right in the game if not dominating. We got selfish. Special teams are a big part of this game. Allen was exactly who we thought they were. We feel is doesn't matter what Allen did. If we play our game we are a hard team to beat. Tonight we didn't play our game. I thought Di Diomete was fantastic tonight. We have to put pucks on the net and get to the dirty areas. Tonight we didn't do that." -----Richard Matvichuk

"It is never easy to lose a game, especially when you play a former team and you are traded so recently, it stings a little more. It was obviously a big game for myself and for Matti (Matvichuk). I wanted to go out there and cause a rukus. I think the first period we came out a little flat. It was good that we could regroup and come back. We need to find a way to get pucks to the net and get to those dirty areas and get those dirty goals. The fights are going to come, I will never shy away from them. It is definitely going to be exciting to come out every home game and play in front of these great fans in Missouri." ----Devin Di Diomete


- It is always interesting to look back at the game preview (which was posted yesterday) to see how accurate my predictions were. Was a mixed bag for sure. Here is a comparison:
This will be a high scoring game. Wrong! The lowest scoring game of the year
There will be a lot of penalties. Right! Combined 17 infractions for 46 minutes
Special teams will be the key to victory. Wrong! Both teams were bad.
Kellan Tochkin is a player to watch. Right! Scored the only goal for Missouri
Allen scoring is weak in the first strong in the third. Wrong! Allen had one goal in each period
Shots on goal will favor Allen. Right! Allen out shot Missouri 36-29
Di Diomete will stir the pot. Right! He had four penalties and 14 of Missouri's 24 penalty minutes.

- Not sure who picks the three stars of the game for the Missouri Mavericks home games or if there was some kind of mix up but the #1 star of the game according to the ECHL box score was Missouri's Chris Crane whose line score was 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 plus/minus, 2 shots, and 0 penalty minutes. Meanwhile Allen's Jack Combs line score was 2 goals, 1 assist, +2 on plus/minus, 4 shots, 2 penalty minutes and he had the game winning goal. Combs had more points in the game (3) than the entire Mavericks team (2) and couldn't even crack the three star list. The only possible explanation is the ECHL off ice officials put down the wrong name as both Crane and Combs wear #21. COME ON MAN!!

- Jack Combs continued his scoring streak which now stands at seven games as he has scored in every game thus far. In seven games he has thirteen points (6 goals 7 assists).

- The Allen power play was officially 1-7 last night but the power play goal was at the end of the game and was an empty net power play goal. Even with that gift the power play is now 2-27 in the last five games (7.4%).

- The good news was the penalty kill as Missouri was 0-6 on the power play. It was the first time in the last five games Allen did not allow a power play goal.

- The once league leading Allen power play has fallen to #13 in the ECHL at 18.9% while the penalty kill is slowly improving and now ranks #16 at 81.1%.

- Allen is tied for fourth place (with Missouri and Wichita) in the Central Division standings as they all have eight points. However, if you look at win percentage Allen is at .571 and only trails Tulsa who is at .611.


- Tonight will be the second meeting of the season between these two teams as Allen beat Wichita in Wichita 5-2 in their second game of the season. Highlights of the game were two goals by Gary Steffes, a power play that was 2-5 and a penalty kill that was 0-3.

- As is usually the case special teams will play an important role in the outcome of the game tonight. Allen is one of the most penalized teams in the ECHL ranking #5 at 20.86 minutes per game and Wichita is one of the least penalized teams in the ECHL ranking #23 at 13.22 minutes per game.

- Allen holds a slight edge in special teams play on the season but their power play has struggled recently. Allen is at 18.9% and Wichita is at 15.4% on the power play. Allen kills 81.1% of their penalties while Wichita is at 77.4%.

- Wichita will be well rested having last played on Wednesday in Rapid City (3-2 win) while Allen had to play last night and then bus to Wichita. Advantage Wichita.

- First goal is important with these teams as Allen is 3-0 when scoring first and Wichita is 3-1 when scoring first.

- Another telling stat between these two team is goals scored and allowed. Allen averages 4.00 goals scored per game (#4 in the ECHL) while Wichita is scoring on average 2.67 goals per game (#23 in the ECHL). They both rank toward the bottom of the ECHL in goals allowed with Allen #22 at 3.57 goals per game and Wichita #21 at 3.56 goals allowed per game.

DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello and Jack Combs have played together on several teams over the years but in the 2010-2011 season they played for the Tulsa Oilers and each had over 80 points. Costello had eighty four points (34 goals, 50 assists) and Combs had eighty two points (40 goals 42 assists). 

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