Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shootout Loss Details, Martinson Post Game Comments, Allen vs Tulsa Preview, Allen Signs Kyle Follmer

The final score last night was a 3-2 Wichita win over Allen in a shootout before a crowd of 5019 at Intrust Bank Arena. But how the game played out says more than the final score. For the third straight game between these teams the Thunder were able to control the Americans high powered offense on the way to victory. The top line (Combs, Costello, Schultz) was held scoreless for only the second time all year. This line averages close to 4.5 points per game but has a total of three points in the last three games against Wichita. Despite being outplayed in the first period Allen got on the scoreboard first on a Tyler Ludwig goal which is usually a good sign as the Americans have won 90% of the games where they have scored first. Wichita evened the score on a power play goal late in the period. It was the third power play goal given up by Allen in two nights for what was the best penalty kill unit in the league (they have now dropped to #2). After the Thunder went ahead with a goal in the second period  Allen evened the score at 2-2 midway through the third period on a Jamie Schaafsma power play goal. Allen outplayed Wichita for the remainder of the third period and in the overtime but could not get the game winner. Allen looked to have the advantage when the game ended up in a shootout with all of their high scoring skill players against a Wichita team that was only two for twenty six (7.7%) in four shootout losses this year. After Gary Steffes scored on Allen's first attempt Thunder goalie Tim Boron stopped Costello, Combs, Tyler Ludwig and Jamie Schaafsma and Allen lost the shootout 2-1.

There is no rest for the weary as Allen headed to Tulsa after the game where they take on the Oilers at 4:05 this afternoon (Sunday). The schedule isn't in Allen's favor as they not only have to play three games in 48 hours both Wichita last night and Tulsa this afternoon got the day off prior to playing Allen while Allen had to play. Not an excuse, just a fact for this weekend. Many times the Americans have won on the road when they are tired and the home team is rested. Look for a big effort this afternoon in Tulsa.


- Once again we had a slow start even with that early goal by Ludwig. We were outplayed in the first period as indicated by Wichita's 15-6 shot advantage.

- Aaron Dell was very good in the first period with some great saves on quality shots. His play in that period kept us in the game.

- We got a power play goal tonight but I don't like our power play lately. It is something we will work on in practice next week.

- We had a strong third period and overtime but we need to get more traffic in front of the net. We are not getting enough screens in front of the goalie and when we do have screens we don't shoot.

- It is good to see Jamie Schaafsma scoring again with goals in three straight games.

- We just signed Kyle Follmer who is a tough physical guy that can play both defense and up front. (See details below).


- Allen has only lost seven games all year (4 in regulation, 1 in overtime, 2 in shootouts) with three of the seven losses coming at the hands of Wichita.

- Allen is now 2-3 against Wichita this year. The Americans won the first two games against the Thunder but have lost the last three. In the three losses Allen has a total of four goals. Allen will have plenty of opportunity to solve the lack of scoring against Wichita as the two teams still have to face each other twelve more times this season.

- As a duo Combs and Costello have only been held scoreless twice this year, both against Wichita.

- The one point they earned last night keeps Allen's streak alive as they have points in eleven straight games. Allen has lost in regulation only one time in the last 20 games.

- With 41 points Allen has an eight point lead over second place Quad City (33 points) and a ten point lead over third place Wichita (31 points) with two games in hand.

- Despite not getting a goal last night Steffes, Combs, and Costello remain the top three goal scorers in the ECHL.

- With all of their scoring prowess and great goal tending Allen should have a big advantage in games that go to a shootout. That has not been the case thus far as the Americans are 1-2 in shootouts and have only converted on four of fourteen attempts (28.6%) which ranks them #19 in the ECHL. In shootout goals against Allen has allowed four goals in thirteen attempts (30.8%) with ranks them #18.


- Will make this short and sweet because if you look at the statistics Allen should win the game today as they are clearly the better team. After all, Allen has won seven of the last eight games they have played against Tulsa with the only loss being in a shootout. However, more important than the stats is the fact that after Tulsa lost 5-3 to Allen Friday night in Allen they went home and had Saturday to rest. Meanwhile Allen traveled to Wichita, played an overtime game with a short bench and then had to travel to Tulsa to play an afternoon game today. That is a big advantage for Tulsa and when you combine that with how sick and tired the Oilers are of losing to the Americans you have the formula for an upset. Tulsa draws well so a big home crowd will also help the Oilers. Allen has come through time and time again in situations like they have this afternoon but it will be a tall task.


Kyle Follmer

Kyle Follmer made his professional debut last night as he was just signed by coach Martinson after Brian McMillin was put on injured reserve. Follmer was a college teammate of Phil Fox and Greger Hanson at Northern Michigan University (NMU). He played forward as a youngster and in high school but was converted to a defenseman in juniors and that is what he played in college. He has the ability to play both positions. After college Kyle signed with Fort Wayne (ECHL) but hip surgery forced Follmer to miss the entire 2013-2014 season. He was signed by the Indy Fuel this year but was released in training camp. In four college seasons (2009-2013) at NMU Follmer tallied 15 goals, 67 points and 194 penalty minutes in 152 games. The words you see to describe Follmer are tough, physical, rugged and versatile. In his attempt to break into the ECHL he has said, "This is a fresh start for me and a chance to prove to people I can play at this level."

Kyle comes from a famous hockey playing family (Paitich, his mothers maiden name) in the Como Park neighborhood of St. Paul, Mn. In addition to his brothers and sisters there were many cousins that played hockey for Como Park. Kyle has a twin brother and his sisters are also twins.

Here are his stats courtesy of hockeydb.

Kyle Follmer

Defense -- shoots L
Born Sep 9 1987 -- St. Paul, MN
[27 yrs. ago]
Height 5.11 -- Weight 202

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2005-06 Sioux City Musketeers USHL 54 14 18 32 137 9 ----------
2006-07 North Iowa Outlaws NAHL 1 0 0 0 19

2006-07 Lincoln Stars USHL 58 21 22 43 116 -16 4 0 1 1 17
2007-08 Lincoln Stars USHL 57 6 25 31 117 -9 8 0 4 4 12
2009-10 Northern Michigan University CCHA 41 2 12 14 46

2010-11 Northern Michigan University CCHA 39 6 9 15 69

2011-12 Northern Michigan University CCHA 36 4 22 26 35

2012-13 Northern Michigan University CCHA 36 3 9 12 44

2014-15 Allen Americans ECHL 1 0 0 0 0 0

DID YOU KNOW: The best team in the ECHL when it comes to shootouts is without a doubt the Fort Wayne Komets. They are 5-0 in shootouts, have scored on 42.9% of their shootout attempts and have limited their opponents to 15.4% on their shootout attempts.

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