Sunday, January 25, 2015

Allen Gets Big 3-1 Win Over Toledo, Martinson's Post Game Comments, Fan Pics, Kalamazoo Preview

As disappointing as it was to get burned by the Fuel on Friday night the satisfaction from landing a lunker Walleye last night (sorry about that, being from Minnesota I couldn't help myself) was impressive. After one of their worst played games of the year against Indy on Friday night the Allen Americans played one of their best games of the year last night to beat Toledo 3-1 before a sold out crowd of over 8300 at Huntington Center.

When Toledo scored on their first shot of the game at the 1:52 mark of the first period it would have been easy to think here we go again but that was not the case. That would be the only goal Toledo could muster for the rest of the game. The Americans got the equalizer in the second period on a goal by Jamie Schaafsma (8), the go ahead tally early in the third period on a power play goal by Gary Steffes (26) and an empty net goal by Rylan Schwartz (6) to seal the victory. Aaron Gens and Chad Costello each had two assists in the game.

 It says a lot about the quality and character of this team that they were embarrassed about how they played on Friday (Tommy Daniels mentioned on his radio broadcast that three different players apologized and told Tommy to tell the fans they were sorry for their performance in Indy) and use the loss as motivation for the game against Toledo on Saturday. As John Wooden used to say, "Losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self-control to forget about it."

It was a great victory for Allen against one of the best teams in the ECHL made more important by the fact many were questioning whether Allen had such a good record because they have played all of their games against weaker competition in the Central Division. Yes, it was only one game and worth just two points but with many around the ECHL looking for Allen to lose it was a sweet win. If the Americans can't back up the win with another today in Kalamazoo (game time 2:00 pm CST) it will not be a successful trip.


- It was a really good win tonight especially after dropping the ball last night in Indy.

- We carried the play right from the first puck drop and then they came down and scored on their first shot.

- Riley Gill was solid in net after that first goal and he made many great plays with the puck which made it difficult for Toledo to forecheck.

- Everyone worked hard tonight and played a strong game. This was one of the most complete, solid team efforts we have had all year.


- Had a chance to trade messages with Tommy Daniels after the game to get his thoughts and this is what he had to say, "The Americans made a statement to the rest of the ECHL tonight that their 29 wins are legit. We beat a great team tonight in their building in front of a sellout crowd of over 8300. It was the most fun I have had calling a game since the championship finals."

- Toledo coach Derek Lalonde attributed the loss in large part to lack of discipline by his team in taking so many penalties and having to expend so much time and energy killing penalties. Allen was 1-5 on the power play but the one goal by Gary Steffes was the game winner. Allen continued their outstanding penalty kill on the road holding the Walleye scoreless in four attempts and raising their league leading road penalty kill percentage to 91.7%.

- Here is an interview with Derek Lalonde after the 3-1 loss to Allen. It is labelled as highlights but the only goal included is the one goal Toledo scored.

- With his two assists last night Aaron Gens now has 29 points in 38 games and is second in the league in scoring by defensemen just one point out of first place. Allen has four defensemen with more than twenty points (Gens 29, Baker 26, Young 24, Tyler Ludwig (23). They are all in the top fourteen in the ECHL in scoring.

- With two assists last night Chad Costello extended his ECHL scoring lead to 19 points. Chad has 63 points and second place among active players is Adam Pleskach of Tulsa with 44 points.

- Gary Steffes scored his league leading 26th goal last night in his 38th game. Gary is having a career year as the most goals he has ever scored in a season was in 2011-2012 when he had 22 goals in 66 games. At his current pace he would finish with 50 goals this year.

- Kale Kerbashian (2012-2014), a member of both Allen championship teams was traded yesterday by the Evansville IceMen to the Rapid City Rush where he will be reunited with former teammates Daniel Tetrault and Dallas Ehrhardt. Kale was the second leading scorer for Evansville and led the team in assists. Rumor has it that new Evansville coach Al Sims will be making additional roster moves in the coming weeks. Jarret Lukin and Jim McKenzie also play for Evansville.

- Proving their victory over Allen Friday night was no fluke the Indy Fuel won their fifth straight game last night. Indy is still mired in sixth place in the North Division with just 31 points but they have earned ten points in the last week.

- The Americans have a contingent of super fans on the road trip and they are making their presence known. This is a group that has no problem letting everyone know who they support and they are also great representatives for the Americans who will make many new friends in Indy, Toledo and Kalamazoo. Tommy Daniels had some of the group as between period guests on his radio broadcast last night. The fan support means a lot to the players as well. "Awesome support on the road from the best fans in the league" ... Aaron Gens

Allen fans pose with "Cattrick" in Toledo

Allen fans celebrating in downtown Toledo after the big win

It is on to Kalamazoo for hopefully a big finish to the weekend



- If the Americans want to consider this road trip successful it will be important to get out of Kalamazoo with a win. Just like Indy and Toledo, the Wings have been playing great hockey recently. They have won seven of their last eight games with the only loss being a 2-1 shootout loss to Toledo on Friday.

- Allen has the statistical advantage in average goals scored (Allen 4.24 - Kalamazoo 2.94) and in goals allowed (Allen 2.58 - Kalamazoo 3.00). Special teams also favor the Americans. On the road the power play for Allen is 22.7% and the penalty kill is at 91.7%. Kalamazoo at home has a power play percentage of 12.5% and penalty kill of 87.3%.

- The scheduled officials for the game are referee Pierre Lambert (#20), linesmen Francois Dussureault (#62)  and Jesse Pletsch (#54).

DID YOU KNOW: With just half of the season completed Chad Costello is already seventh on the single season all time scoring list for the Allen Americans. Here is the list:

88 points - Colton Yellow Horn (2010-2011)
79 points - Bruce Graham (2009-2010)
76 points - Alex Lavoie (2013-2014)
73 points - Justin Bowers (2009-2010)
73 points - Bruce Graham (2010-2011)
71 points - Nino Musitelli (2010- 2011)
63 points - Chad Costello (2014-2015)

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