Sunday, November 23, 2014

Allen Wins 4-1, Martinson Post Game Comments, Schaafsma Video Interview & More

Brian McMillin creating traffic in front of the net - photo by

Led by outstanding goalie play from Riley Gill along with goals from Jack Combs (2), Austin Smith and Gary Steffes the Allen Americans accomplished their weekend goal of two victories with a 4-1 win over the Brampton Beast last night. Since the now much talked about players only team meeting the Americans have won five games in a row. Things don't get any easier as Allen will play their next five games on the road starting on Tuesday in Tulsa.


- Another good win tonight, we lead the league in goals scored per game (4.27) and if you exclude the opening night loss to Tulsa we also lead the league in goals allowed per game (2.20).

- I thought we were being too cute in the first period and turned the puck over at both blue lines with behind the back passes and one touch stuff that looks really good when we do it but it wasn't working so I told the team let's get back to our speed and power game and they did a better job with puck possession in the second period. Their goalie (Rollheiser) has played well against us in the past and it didn't surprise me at all that he played better tonight. Brampton also played more physical in the game tonight.

- Garrett Clarke has been working hard in practice and I think he is getting more confidence every time he plays. Clarke has been keeping it simple and is moving the puck hard and he has made some good passes. Some of what he is doing goes under the radar but it is what we ask the defensemen to do. He likes to do some misdirection where he looks one way and sends the puck another. Overall, I have been happy with his play.

- I try to have a little fun on the bench when we are doing well. You have to pick your spots but when you are doing well you try and make it a little more enjoyable around the rink. You might have seen me kidding with Jamie Schaafsma about a backhand shot he took. And on the first Combs goal Chad Costello was skating up to him nodding his head as if to say good play. I told Chad he looked like a bobble head doll out there. I laugh at my own jokes all of the time and make a lot of comments on the bench just to humor myself. It has been a lot of fun watching this team play over the last five games.

- Gill will get the start on Tuesday and we will see how things go from there. He did really well playing in three games in three nights and thrives on a lot of work so we will see how things go. With Riley's great play he has had the opportunity to go up to an AHL team as a backup but after talking to the team has decided to stay in Allen. It was obviously not great timing with Dell already called up and our team starting a six games in nine days stretch.

- The only thing I can say about a forward getting called up to Worcester is there will be only one player called up and it will be a young guy. This will happen next week.

- The Steffes, Hanson, Smith line is doing a good job of using each other to score goals. The goal Steffes got tonight was a great pass from Hanson and it is a goal I saw Gary score many times when he played for Wichita where he gets the puck at the top of the circle and fires a rocket wrist shot into the net. That line is a lot of fun to watch.

- I thought we did a better job in the third period of getting to the front of the net. A couple of times they kept us out but it is an area of emphasis for us. When you have a lot of skill players it is something that has to be constantly emphasized to get traffic in front of the net.

- Asuchak could have played tonight if we were short players but I am being very cautious with him to make sure he is 100%.


- Jack Combs had two more goals last night and is in second place in the ECHL in scoring with nineteen points (9 goals 10 assists) in just eleven games. He is averaging 1.73 points per game which is the highest in the ECHL.

- Riley Gill gave up only one goal last night and lowered his GAA to 1.95 which is third in the league. His save percentage increased to .937 which is tops in the ECHL.

- Allen has the longest win streak in the league right now at five games. During this five game win streak the Americans have scored twenty two goals while only allowing seven. Their power play percentage is 20% and the penalty kill is at 92%.

- If you look at winning percentage to account for the different number of games played, Allen is fourth in the ECHL. Here are the top five teams in winning percentage:
.821 - Florida Everblades
.750 - Toledo Walleye
.733 - Fort Wayne Komets
.727 - Allen Americans
.700 - Elmira Jakals

- Allen has outscored their opponents in each period. 15-8 in the first period, 18-13 in the second period and 14-10 in the third period. Florida and Toledo are the only other teams in the ECHL that have out scored their opponents in all three periods.

- The attendance last night was 4705 and for the season (six games) Allen is averaging 4315 per game which is just under the ECHL league wide average of 4341. Allen ranks #15 out of 28 teams. Let's hope after football season crowds will pick up.

- Tommy Daniels asked me to join him in the radio booth last night for the third period to be the color commentator as his regular partner, Maurice Fitzgerald, was not at the game. It is always fun talking Allen Americans hockey with Tommy. He is such a professional he makes you feel so comfortable. Want to thank Tommy for the opportunity to join him.

- Tommy Daniels has been doing more videos interviews this year and posting them to YouTube. Here is his latest with Jamie Schaafsma if you haven't already seen it.

- Quad City beat Rapid City 3-2 last night to maintain their lead on top of the Central Division standings with 17 points. Allen and Tulsa are tied for second with 16 points. In other action, Wichita beat Missouri 6-0 as the Mavericks suffered their third straight loss and have fallen to sixth place in the division with a 5-7 record.

- In the former player category Darryl Bootland had the game winning goal (his second goal of the year) as his Colorado Eagles beat the Utah Grizzlies 2-1. Daniel Tetrault got his second goal of the year in a losing cause as his Rapid City Rush lost to Quad City 3-2.

DID YOU KNOW: The win last night was Riley Gill's 100th victory as a professional.

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