The Allen Americans had a great start last night with Spencer Asuchak (who led the CHL in short handed goals last year) making his presence felt in his first game of the season by scoring the first goal of the game shorthanded and the Americans had a great finish scoring three unanswered goal (Trevor Ludwig, Steffes, Schaafsma) in a two minute time span early in the third period to put the game away 6-4 before a crowd of 4554 at the Allen Event Center. There were some issues in between the great start and great finish like taking seven first period minor penalties and a second period where the Americans allowed a short handed goal and a goal with one second left in period. The positives far out weighed the negatives and Allen came away with an important win against the Tulsa Oilers. The two teams face off again at 4:05 this afternoon (Sunday). With a win today Allen could move up to a tie for second place in the Central Division if Quad City loses in Brampton.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS:
- There were certainly more positives than negatives in the game tonight but there are some things we have to clean up for tomorrow's game. I was not happy with our goals against, all of the penalties in the first period, the shorthanded goal we gave up and allowing an odd man rush in the third period when we were leading 6-3. When you are ahead in a game in the third period it is okay to keep pressing but you can't cheat for a goal like we tried to do tonight.
- We gave up the one power play goal but it was on an extended 5 on 3 opportunity. The penalty kill group did a good job tonight.
- Jamie Schaafsma had a good night (1 goal, 2 assists) and made a great play on Gen's goal.
- I thought we created a lot of offensive opportunities as evidenced by the 43 shots on goal. We could have scored several more goals. It was good to see all three lines generating offense.
- Something happened tonight that has rarely if ever happened in the ECHL in that we played with fewer than the maximum number of players (18) solely because of the salary cap. We have so many high cost players I had to play with only 17 to stay under the salary cap. The blame for this falls on me but it is a situation that will have to be resolved as we can't continue to play short because of the salary cap.
- Ian Schultz was injured in the second period and did not return to the game. In looking at the replay it appeared Schultz was interfered with and then hit his head on the ice. He will not play in the game on Sunday. Since this appears to be a play similar to the Clarke suspension play, would assume the Americans will send the video to the league for review.
- The substitution of Gill for Dell when the Americans went on the power play in the second period is a tactic Martinson has used in the past to give the power play guys a rest. Unfortunately it ended up with a shorthanded goal due to some poor defensive play in front of Gill. Gill ended up playing longer than expected because of some confusion on the bench. Dell was supposed to return at the next whistle but this did not happen.
- Austin Smith made his debut with the Americans and had numerous excellent scoring opportunities. He had two assists and led the team in shots on goal with eight.
- The three stars of the game were #1 Jamie Schaafsma, #2 Austin Smith, # Trevor Ludwig.
- In the game preview for last night it was noted Tulsa has been led by three guys who lead the ECHL in offensive categories. All three contributed last night for Tulsa and still lead the ECHL. Adam Pleskach got his ninth goal of the season, Jon Booras had two assists to increase his league leading total to eleven and defenseman Scott Macaulay had a goal and assist to increase his league leading point total for defensemen to eleven. It will be important to keep these three player in check on Sunday for Allen to have success.
- Jack Combs, Ian Schultz and Greger Hanson all have four goals and three assists on the year to lead the team in scoring.
- With Schultz out and Clarke still serving his suspension John Ryder will be back in the line up today.
- Allen continues to lead the ECHL in power play percentage at 26.1% even though they were 0-3 last night and are 1-13 in the last three games.
- With six goals last night the Americans are #1 in the ECHL in scoring at 4.60 goals per game but are #26 in the ECHL in goals allowed at 4.20 per game. Goals against is where coach Martinson is looking for improvement.
- Brampton is in the midst of playing Quad City five consecutive times at home. Game three is today and Brampton is still looking for their first win having lost to the Mallards 5-1 on Thursday and 7-2 on Friday. Brampton is not only looking to get a win against Quad City they are looking for their first win of the season. The Beast are the only team in the ECHL that does not have a victory with an overall record of 0-5-1.
- Missouri had a big win over Rapid City (3-2) last night in their home opener before a sellout crowd of 5850. Missouri plays Wichita (in Wichita) this afternoon. The Mavericks next home game will be Firday, November 14th when they take on the Allen Americans for the first time since Richard Matvichuk was named coach. Everyone might say it is just another games but rest assured it will be a special one for fans, players and coaches.
DID YOU KNOW: Both Brian McMillin at 198 and Tyler Ludwig at 195 are closing in on 200 regular season games played for the Allen Americans. The all time leaders in games played are Jarret Lukin (238) and Mike Berube (229).