|Gary Steffes scores the first of his two highlight reel goals last night - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
If you would look at any statistical comparison between the Allen Americans and Brampton Beast you would conclude the Americans are a much better team and should win any game between the two teams quite handily. That is exactly what happened last night as Allen played their most complete game of the season in shutting out the Beast 6-0 before a crowd of 4437 at the Allen Event Center. Not a bad crowd given the Allen Eagles were playing (and won) in the semi finals of the state high school football tournament.
There were star performances all over the place beginning with a shutout by Aaron Dell in is first start since returning from Worcester (AHL). It was Dell's second shutout in a week as he had one in Worcester last weekend. Here is Tommy Daniels interview with Aaron Dell after his shutout performance.
Goals scorers were Gary Steffes with two, both Ludwigs, Schaafsma and Hanson. Pretty impressive when you win a game 6-0 and the top line doesn't have a goal.
Gary Steffes had two highlight reel goals on great individual efforts and could have easily had four goals on the night. The picture above of his first goal was a beauty where he came down the left wing, made a hard cut to the front of the net, and with a fancy toe drag out waited the Brampton goalie to tuck the puck into the net. Steffes now has sixteen goals on the season which is second in the ECHL as he only trails his teammate, Jack Combs, who has seventeen goals. Gary has never scored more than 22 goals as a professional. If he would keep up his current pace all season he would score over 50 goals.
In every phase of the game the Americans excelled. They out shot Brampton 44-18, scored six goals while allowing none, had a power play goal, killed all three of Bampton's power play advantages including an extended five on three, was the more physical team and played great defense. As Steve Martinson said to start his post game press conference, "That was a stress free game."
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- A great game by Aaron Dell. I think he is glad he was gone for a while as now the team is playing much better. He made a great play on the shorthanded two on one rush. Other than that two on one rush I thought we did a good job in keeping the scoring chances down.
- Steffes had a real nice night with a couple of great plays on his two goals. Jamie Schaafsma had another goal, which was great for him and he had another chance on a breakaway.
- Jessey Astles had a good night with a fight and a lot of good hits. That is what I brought him in to do and the way he played tonight is how he needs to play to be successful.
- The guys will now have a couple of days off. I understand they have their rookie party tomorrow. I am not a big fan of that stuff but I guess they have to have a little fun. I was going to tell them we would practice on Monday because we have four days off next week for the Christmas break. At this time of year if you have to practice four days in a row it is painful for me as I get tired of yelling at them and it is painful for them as well. It will be a good break and they deserve it as they have been playing hard and competing hard and working hard.
- I thought our defense did a real good job controlling the puck and making offense out of using their partner.
- I got a good report from the coaching staff in Oklahoma City (AHL) about Greger Hanson's play in the one game for the Barons. He did a nice job and finished all of his checks. As it turned out I did not get the call that OKC wanted him until after he had practiced here for an hour so he drove to OKC after practice and played last night (Friday).
- Call ups are like the stock market as they might hurt you in the short run but help in the long run. The players have a better attitude when there are call ups and it helps in recruiting. I am still reaching out to some players so I am prepared if we lose guys to the AHL.
- One of the things we have with this team is a good group of guys and they don't need a lot of direction right now. It is more of keeping the rudder going straight and letting the team "run with it" so I am not trying over coach at all. All I said tonight was let's shoot the puck more on the power play from up top when they are collapsing and that is how we got the power play goal. They listened to me once tonight.
- With Tulsa losing to Quad City last night Allen increased their lead in the Central Division standings to four points. The Americans win percentage has now climbed to .786 which is tops in the Western Conference and third in the ECHL.
- Jack Combs and Chad Costello were both held without a goal for the first time since a loss to Wichita back on Novemebr 29. Combs had two assists and Costello one to increase their scoring lead over the rest of the pack. Combs now has 39 points and Costello 32 points to remain #1 and #2 in the ECHL scoring race. The next closest players have 27 points.
- The big four (Combs, Costello, Steffes. Hanson) continue their December hot streaks. Here is a recap of how they have done in the six games played in December.
Combs - 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists), +8
Costello - 13 points (6, goals, 7 assists), +8
Steffes - 8 points (7 goals, 1 assist), +12
Hanson - 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists), +10
- Allen has played Brampton three time thus far and has defeated the Beast all three times. All of the games have been in Allen with the Americans outscoring Brampton 19-3 in the three games. They next meet in Brampton for back to back games on February 5 & 6. It is the Americans only trip to Brampton this year.
- Allen has won seven games in a row at home which is the longest home winning steak in the ECHL this year. They have not lost at home in over a month, a 3-2 loss to Tulsa on November 9th. During this seven game win streak the Americans have outscored their opponents 38-9.
- Asuchak Update: Spencer played his fourth game for the Providence Bruins last night and for the fourth time his team won the game. It was a 3-2 win over Portland last night. Spencer not only scored a goal it was the game winning goal and he was selected as the #1 star of the game. In four game he has four points (2 goal, 2 assists) and has been one of the three stars of the game twice. Providence plays at home again this afternoon (3:05 EST) against Manchester.
|Spencer Asuchak excelling in Providence, gets the game winning goal & was #1 Star last night|
DID YOU KNOW: In the yes we are dominating category Allen has six of the top nine players in the ECHL in plus/minus.
#1 - Greger Hanson (+20)
#3 - Gary Steffes (+19)
#3 - Kevin Young (+19)
#6 - Chad Costello (+18)
#8 - Trevor Ludwig (+17)
#8 - Jack Combs (+17)