Thursday, January 22, 2015

All-Stars Win 8-4, Martinson Post Game Comments, Three Hot Teams For Allen This Weekend

- The ECHL All-Star game took place last night and it went as predicted with lots of shots on goal (98), lots of goals (12), few penalties (1) and an easy (after a slow first period start) All-Star team victory over the host Orlando Solar Bears with a final score of 8-4 before the biggest All-Star game crowd (9288) since the 2000 game.

-  Had a chance to catch up with Steve Martinson this morning to get his thoughts on the game. Here is what he had to say.
"After the first period when we were trailing 1-0 we told the guys we had set an All-Star record for going an entire period without scoring a goal. The first period reminded me of our opening night game in Allen when Tulsa beat us 9-6 with a ton of odd man rushes.  Our goalie (Joe Cannata - Ontario Reign) was really good in the first period to keep the score close. We got going in the second period and finished off some plays. I have to admit it is different going a whole game without yelling at anyone. I was going to give our Central Division players a hard time but they all played really well. Chris Crane (Missouri Mavericks) was maybe the hardest working guy on the ice. Danick Gauthier (Wichita Thunder) made some strong plays and controls the puck. I really enjoyed the entire experience. The Fan Fest on Tuesday night was unique and a lot of fun. It is thanks to all of the hard work by the Allen players that I was able to be a coach for the All-Star game. I want to thank them again for giving me this experience."

- Myles Bell from the Evansville IceMen with two goals and an assist was named the games MVP. Alex Krushelnyski from the Utah Grizzlies won the fastest skater competition with the third fastest time (13.47) in ECHL All-Star skills competition history. The hardest shot competition was won by Orlando defenseman Yann Sauve with a shot of 94 MPH.

- The Allen Americans left for Indianapolis last night and should arrive sometime late this morning. Steve Martinson will be flying from Orlando to met the team in Indy. Also heard yesterday that Greger Hanson will be meeting the team in Indy. Have not heard anything official about Patrik Valcak but the rumor was he would not be arriving in Dallas yesterday so it is unlikely he will be on the road trip.

- Jack Combs will play his first game for Bjorkloven in Sweden on Friday. Saw an interview he did when he arrived in Sweden and he mentioned he has always wanted to play in Sweden, his favorite number is #21 (which is the number he will be wearing) because Swedish born Peter Forsberg was his favorite player growing up. Combs also stated in the interview he feels pressure to score right away for his Bjorkloven team. If you want to see the entire twelve minute interview you can find it at

Jack Combs plays his first game for Bjorkloven on Friday

- The upcoming three games this weekend will be a big challenge for the Americans as anytime you have to play three games in three days with travel it is a difficult task. What creates an even bigger challenge for Allen is all three opponents (Indy, Toledo, Kalamazoo) are playing well.

-At first blush you might think the game on Friday will be an easy win as Indy is ranked #13 in the fourteen team Eastern Conference with just 27 points. However, if you look at recent performance Indy has won four of their last five games which were all on the road. The only loss was in overtime.

- Saturday Allen takes on the Toledo Walleye who are ranked #2 in the Eastern Conference with 55 points. A very skilled team with three lines that can all score to go along with being the least penalized team in the ECHL. Toledo has won six of their last eight games with the two losses coming in overtime/shootout.

- Sunday will be a gut check game as after playing Saturday night in Toledo, Allen will travel to Kalamazoo for a 3:00 pm EST start on Sunday. The Wings are another team that are not highly ranked in the conference standings (#11 with 34 points) but have been hot lately as they have a six game win streak.

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans are the most penalized team in the ECHL with 835 penalty minutes in 36 games. The Toledo Walleye are the least penalized team  in the ECHL with just 370 penalty minutes in 35 games.

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