*Please note while Barry's name remains at the bottom of this blog, he is on vacation and the information/views posted in his absence do not reflect Barry's views or the views of the Allen Americans organization.
What can be said that has not been previously said? Well, a lot when Allen is playing! If Allen plays tonight as we played the third period of Sunday's game another victory should be forthcoming.
We attended the morning skate and all players were confident and upbeat! In Coach Martinson's address to the team he emphasized the need to control the puck and space. He reminded them that we need to play all 3 periods tonight with the same intensity as the 3rd period of Sunday night's game.
We also were lucky enough to speak with Aaron Gens for a few minutes. Aaron gave us some thoughts about where the team is now and what they have to do.
Here are some of his thoughts:
- We need to play smarter defensively and the offense will take care of itself.
- Special teams play will be huge, we have to be careful we don't beat ourselves tonight.
- When asked about the fan support Aaron stated that when playing in Reading and playing with his brother in Evansville, fans have always been supportive. The fan support has continued in Allen where he has been treated well and with respect. Given the proper opportunity he would not hesitate to return to Allen.
- With Aaron's deep religious conviction we were curious as to how he handles hockey's colorful language. He replied it is an intense, competitive game where players' emotions often get the best of them, we pray that God will forgive.
- In his 20 year coaching career, Allen's Coach Martinson has won 8 championships, and has missed the playoffs only once in 2011-2012.
- Jason Christie, coach of the Reign since 2011-2012, has never won a championship series, and his teams have not advanced past the 2nd round since 2007-2008
Keys to victory tonight:
- score first - Allen is a perfect 5-0 when scoring first
- maintain lead- Allen is still undefeated when leading after 1st and 2nd periods and Ontario remains winless when trailing after either period
- score on the PP - Coach Martinson specifically addressed this at today's morning skate. Allen is still #1 for home PP percentage (29.5),
- penalty kill has to be strong to stop their PP goals- as stated above, Ontario is #1 and lead the playoffs. Allen's PPGA is the worst in the playoffs at home (8) and overall (15). In talking to Erik Adams at today's morning skate, he indicated they have reviewed video and should be making adjustments tonight.
- avoid unnecessary penalties - Ontario continues to lead the playoffs with 22 PP goals (13 of these are on the road) . In Sunday's game,we were in the box for 22 mins while the Reign were in for 20 mins. Ontario scored 1 PPG and Allen scored 1 PPG.
- goal tending and play in the defensive zone must continue be at it's best. The strong improvement shown in game 5 has to continue tonight.
Referees for tonight's game are Frederic Leblanc and Ryan Murphy.
- Referring to road victories that clinched their 2 previous playoff series, Ontario Reign's Gasper Kopitar has been quoted saying 'We won game 5 in Utah, and game 7 in Colorado". He does not realize that in the previous two championship years, Allen is undefeated when facing elimination.
- Referring to game 5 on Sunday, Ontario's coach Jason Christie was quoted: "We just have to get back in the saddle and put this game behind us". Guess he does not realize that Texans are much more comfortable in the saddle than Califorians.
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