Thursday, December 31, 2015

Late Steffes Goal Gives Allen 4-3 Win, Martinson & McClelland Post Game Comments & More

Coach Steve Martinson mentioned in his pregame interview with broadcaster Tommy Daniels that he was putting Chad Costello, Gary Steffes and Chris Crane together on the top line and how important it was for them to score if Allen was to win the game. They came through with flying colors as the trio scored all four Allen goals as the Americans defeated the Wichita Thunder 4-3 last night before a crowd of 3071 at Intrust Bank Arena.

It was a back and forth affair with Wichita getting the first goal of the game before goals by Chris Crane (5) and Chad Costello (12) put the Americans ahead 2-1 early in the second period.  Every time Allen would take the lead, Wichita would respond to tie the game. Gary Steffes accounted for  the final two Allen goals netting his ninth and tenth goals of the season. Gary got the game winner with just 1:03 left in the game.

Two of the four goals (Steffes & Costello) were scored on the power play as Allen went 2-4 while holding Wichita scoreless on the power play (0-3). The Americans improved their record against Wichita this season to 4-0 and special teams have been the difference. Allen has scored on the power play in all four games going 7-22 (31.8%) and has yet to give up a power play goal to the Thunder (0-14).

Both teams will be in Missouri today. Allen left right after the game and will spend a rare off day in Missouri before taking on the Mavericks tomorrow (Friday) night. Wichita plays Missouri tonight and it is a day trip for them (200 miles) so they will leave midday for Independence. 

Here are some post game quotes from both coaches:

"The top line produced like they needed to and came through with all four goals".....Steve Martinson

"Dyson Stevenson has been our unsung hero. He made a great play on the Costello goal. He plays on the power play and has been our best penalty killer. I have asked him not to fight because we can't afford anymore injuries. We can't risk him fighting guys like Leroux as he did tonight, but it is hard for Dyson to say no. We can't afford to lose him with a broken hand.".....Martinson

"Riley Gill played strong in goal. The puck had eyes on their second goal and their third goal was a strange bounce.".....Martinson

"To lose that with a minute-three left was a heartbreaker....It seems like we are always making a mistake at the wrong time.".....Wichita coach Kevin McClelland

"Every face-off starts out, in the penalty kill, in your own zone and we can't win them. It doesn't matter who you put out there, we lose it, they set up and they get opportunities. Win some draws. Battle. Compete.".....McClelland

"If we score a power play goal tonight the game is tied. But the power play stinks, the power play stinks. It absolutely stinks. Every night we're going oh-for, oh-for, oh for, and it is killing us in the standings.".....McClelland


- Jarod Palmer played his first game for Allen after being signed yesterday. It had to be a strange feeling playing in a professional game for the first time since December 26, 2012. Jarod wasn't a factor in the game but look for him to contribute as he gets a couple of games under his belt. He has been assigned #19. If you want all of the details about Palmer check out the story posted yesterday in the blog.

- Jarod Palmer is a great example of how fleeting life can be as a professional hockey player when injuries are involved. After a great collegiate career, Jarod had a dream come true when he was signed to a NHL contract by his hometown team, the Minnesota Wild in April of 2010. Just over a year later on December 29, 2011 he scored his his first NHL goal. In that same game he suffered a concussion which effectively ended his season with the Wild. Just one year later on December 26, 2012 he played his last game for the Houston Aeros, forced to retire because of injuries. And now on December 30, 2015 he makes his debut with the Allen Americans. You just hope he stays healthy and enjoys his time playing in the ECHL.

- Add Tristan King to the long list of players not available because of injury and call-ups. Tristan has an upper body injury that will keep him out of the line up for a while. The term "next man up" is certainly applicable right now.  

- It has been a tough season already for the Wichita Thunder as they have the worst record in the ECHL and their 18 points are four fewer than the next lowest team (Norfolk 22 points). They have lost 12 of their last 13 games. Despite the dismal record, Wichita has been playing teams close including last night when they out shot Allen 39-32 and were tied until the last minute of the game. Four of their last six games went to overtime or shootout but they lost all four. The season is already lost for the Thunder but don't be surprised if their record improves in the new year.

- A couple of former Allen Americans had goals last night. Kyle Follmer scored his first goal of the season for Quad City in a losing cause. Darryl Bootland had a goal for Colorado as they lost to Idaho 6-3. Bootland was wearing #44 for the first time rather than his familiar #27 so not sure what that is all about but it worked for him last night.

- It was great to get four points in the first two games of this four game road trip but to be honest these wins were expected. The next two games will show if Allen has their confidence back as they take on the first place team in the Central Division (Missouri) on Friday and the first place team in the Midwest Division (Quad City) on Saturday. Getting points in these games will say a lot as Missouri has a home record of 11-0-0-0 and Quad City is 11-4-1-0 at home.

- Chad Costello has opened up a ten point lead in the ECHL scoring race. Chad now has 42 points with Colorado's Trent Daavettila in second with 32 points.  

DID YOU KNOW: It has become a tradition for Allen Americans fans to spend New Years Eve at the Allen Event Center watching hockey. Tonight will be the first time in franchise history the Americans have not had a New Years Eve home game. There have been some memorable games as the Americans have gone 6-0 on New Years Eve at the AEC  but the most memorable was in 2010 when Allen beat Tulsa 10-1. A player has scored six points in a game only twice in franchise history and they both happened in that game. Dave Bonk (3 goals 3 assists) and Judd Blackwater (1 goal 5 assists) are the record holders. By the way, the lone Tulsa goal was scored by Chad Costello whose teammates that night included Gary Steffes and Jack Combs.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Allen Signs Former Minnesota Wild and Houston Aeros Forward Jarod Palmer - The Details

The Allen Americans have signed forward Jarod Palmer

The Allen Americans have signed forward Jarod Palmer and he should be in the line up against Wichita tonight. Palmer has not played professional hockey since the 2012-2013 season when he retired because of injuries. Jarod played college hockey at Miami University (Ohio) and was a teammate of Gary Steffes. Palmer signed a free agent NHL contract with the Minnesota Wild in April, 2010. In his three years as professional, Palmer played in 117 games for the Houston Aeros (AHL) and had 47 points (16 goals 31 assists) and six games with the Minnesota Wild where he had one goal.

Palmer is currently the head coach of the Sugar Land (Houston area) Imperials who play in the NA3HL which is a Tier III junior league.

Would assume this is a short term solution until injured players return but you never know what is in store in situations like this. Palmer's junior team is on a break and will not play again until January 16th. Palmer will be wearing jersey #19.

Here is the bio on Jarod Palmer from the Sugar Land Imperials website:

Jarod Palmer is the head coach & assistant general manager for the Sugar Land Imperialsand beginning his third season with the team.
Palmer is an American former professional ice hockey forward who played with the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League. He is a native of Fridley, Minnesota, and an alum of the USNTDP, where he played for two seasons. Palmer was a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. squad at the World Under-18 Championship in 2004. After graduating from high school, he spent two seasons in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm. Palmer then completed four years of collegiate hockey at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He made his NHL debut with the Wild on December 17, 2011.
Palmer was recruited to play for Miami University. He suited up for the Redhawks from 2006–2010 and appeared in all 169 games during his career, setting the school record. He competed in the 2009 NCAA National Championship game as a junior.[1] In his freshman season in 2006-07, he played in all 42 games posting 30 points with 11 goals and 19 assists. He was named CCHARookie of the Week on Dec. 12 and was awarded Miami’s Rookie of the Year Award.
In 2007-08, he played in all 42 games producing 35 points with 10 goals and 25 assists. He was again honored with a CCHA award, this time as the Offensive Player of the Week.
His junior season in 2008-09, concluded with the NCAA National Championship game. The Redhawks were defeated in overtime 4-3, by Boston University. Palmer appeared in all 41 games and tallied 8 goals and 19 assists for 27 points.
Following the stunning defeat in the 2009 NCAA title game, Palmer returned for his senior year in 2009-10. He again played in all 44 games and lead the team in scoring with 45 points. He was named to the 2010 CCHA First-Team and was a two-time recipient of the league's Offensive Player of the Week honors.
On April 24, 2010, Palmer signed an entry-level contract as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild. He made his NHL debut for his hometown Wild on December 17, 2011, versus the New York Islanders. He recorded 6 shots on goal and finished with an even plus/minus rating. His first NHL goal occurred on Thursday December 29, 2011 against Nikolai Khabibulin of the Edmonton Oilers; time of the goal was 10:02 of the second period. Later in the same game, Palmer suffered a concussion which effectively ended his season with the Wild.
Palmer re-signed with the Wild as a restricted free agent to a one-year contract for the 2012–13 season. He was re-assigned to Houston and was limited to only 17 games, producing 8 points, throughout the season due to lingering injury.
Following the season, Palmer opted to retire from professional hockey and on July 25, 2013, was announced as the inaugural head coach of the Sugar Land Imperials of the major junior NA3HL.
Palmer resides in Sugar Land with his wife Vi and two sons Sammy and Evan.

Here is Jarod's hockey background courtesy of hockeydb:

Jarod Palmer

Right Wing -- shoots R
Born Feb 10 1986 -- Fridley, MN
[29 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 199
Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2002-03 USNTDP Under-18 Team NAHL 33 3 7 10 39

2003-04 USNTDP Under-18 Team NAHL 10 3 1 4 22

2004-05 Tri-City Storm USHL 52 15 26 41 67 9 9 1 0 1 14
2005-06 Tri-City Storm USHL 58 15 37 52 91 15 5 1 1 2 9
2006-07 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 42 11 19 30 26

2007-08 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 42 10 25 35 32

2008-09 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 41 8 19 27 34

2009-10 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 44 18 27 45 40

2010-11 Houston Aeros AHL 65 9 19 28 64 12 24 3 2 5 7
2011-12 Houston Aeros AHL 35 5 6 11 27 7 ----------
2011-12 Minnesota Wild NHL 6 1 0 1 4 -2 ----------
2012-13 Houston Aeros AHL 17 2 6 8 26 6 ----------

NHL Totals
6 1 0 1 4

Here are two videos you might find interesting. The first is when Palmer was in college and voted the best stick handler in the CCHA and the second is Jarod's one and only NHL goal.

Allen vs Wichita Game Preview, Roster Change, Youngest & Oldest ECHL Teams, Schwartz Update

It was a leisurely trip to Wichita yesterday for the Allen American. They practiced in the morning, left Allen around 2:00 pm and arrived in Wichita around 8:00 pm just in time for dinner. They take on Wichita tonight (7:05 pm) after beating the Thunder 3-2 in overtime on Sunday.

If you can call a road trip on "Big Red" leisurely it will continue after the game tonight. The Americans will leave right after the game for the short (200 mile) trip to Independence, Missouri where they play the Mavericks on Friday night. The team will have all day Thursday in Missouri with nothing to do on New Years Eve. While Allen is resting (hopefully) on Thursday the Mavericks have a New Years Eve game as they host the Wichita Thunder. Would assume there will be an Allen Americans contingent attend the Missouri vs Wichita game.

By almost any statistical comparison Allen should be the favorite to win the game tonight. The Americans are 3-0 against Wichita this season, have out scored them 11-4 and dominated on special teams. In the three games, Allen is 5-18 (27.8%) on the power play while Wichita is 0-11.

-  Here is a comparison between Allen and Wichita:

                                     ALLEN                               WICHITA

Team Record               17-12-1-0 (35 points)            7-18-1-3 (18 points)
Division Ranking         2nd - Central                         4th - Central
Conference Ranking   2nd - Western                       14th - Western
League Ranking         9th                                         28th
Last Game                  3-2 W (Tulsa)                       3-2 L (Allen)
Goals For                    88                                         54
Goals Against             88                                          94
Power Play                 19.4% (24/124)                     7.5% (8/106)
Penalty Kill                  84.2% (19/120)                     83.8% (21/130)

-  Here is how Allen and Wichita rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (18.80) - Wichita 14th (14.66)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 13th (2.93) - Wichita 28th (1.86)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 16th (2.93) - Wichita 22nd (3.24)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 8th (19.4%) - Wichita 28th (7.5%)
Penalty Kill Percentage; Allen 9th (84.2%) - Wichita 11th (83.8%)

- Leading scorers for Allen are Chad Costello with 39 points (11 goals 28 assists), Eric Roy with 21 points (8 goals 13 assists) and Jonathan Parker with 20 points (9 goals 11 assists).

- Leading scorers for Wichita are Andrew Huff with 14 points (7 goals 7 assists) and Peter Sakaris with 13 points (4 goals 9 assists).

- If you are looking for who might be the hero tonight for Allen based on head to head scoring bet on Costello and Roy. In the three games against Wichita, Chad has six points (3 goals 3 assists) and Eric has four points (3 goals 1 assist).

- Since joining the ECHL, Allen has played in Wichita 11 times and has a record of 8-1-0-2.

- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Chris Pontes (#2) and linesmen Chuck Schamel (#97) and Erik Contino (#92).


- Heard there was a new guy that boarded the bus yesterday when the team left for Wichita. Would assume there will be an announcement from the team before game time as to who the mystery player is and if he will be in the line up tonight. Stay tuned.

- I have had several questions about Rylan Schwartz and why he isn't playing in Allen. Rylan just signed with the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) after recovering from a leg injury he suffered during the playoffs last season. If you recall, Rylan was on an AHL contract with Worcester last year so the Americans never did hold his rights. He became a free agent after the season and could have signed anywhere. He opted to sign with Orlando rather than return to Allen.

 - The standings change everyday but if the playoffs started today Allen's first round opponent would be captain Jamie Schaafsma and the Fort Wayne Komets.

- The ECHL Central Division is certainly unique when it comes to the standings. They have the team with the best winning percentage in the league (Missouri .870) and the worst winning percentage (Wichita .310). Missouri already has a 29 point lead on Wichita. The widest gap from first to last place in any other division is 19 points (South Division). The good news for Central Division fans is the three teams other than Wichita (Missouri, Allen, Tulsa) should make the playoffs and have an excellent chance of producing another Kelly Cup champion.

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have their youngest team in the last five years with an average age of 24.71, however, there are ten ECHL teams younger than Allen. Here are the oldest and youngest teams in the league:

27.29 - Colorado
25.87 - Brampton
25.67 - Rapid City

23.84 - Wheeling
24.08 - Quad City
24.18 - Idaho

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Individual & Team Statistical Leaders, Former Players Update & Another Trip on "Big Red"

It will be another one of those long days for the Allen Americans with practice in the morning and then another 360 mile pleasure trip to Wichita on "Big Red" tonight. Just as a reminder the picture below represents the living quarters for three guys.

Rows and rows of bunks three high

-Thought today would be a good day to to take a look at individual and teams statistics. The offensive struggles the team has been experiencing recently is certainly reflected in the statistics below.


- When you consider there are 28 teams in the ECHL, if a player is in the top fifteen in any statistical category that is quite impressive. Here are the top three in each category. The number in parentheses is the rank in the ECHL.

Points - Costello 39 (#1), Roy 21 (#43), Parker 20 (#55)
Goals - Costello 11 (#21), Parker 9 (#44), Steffes, Roy, Pierro-Zabotel 8  (#65)
Assists - Costello 28 (#1), Roy 13 (#55), King, Parker 11 (#89)
Power Play Goals - King, Roy, Steffes 4 (#15)
Power Play Assists - Costello 12 (#1),  Gens 6 (#25), King, Roy 5 (#41)
Shorthanded Goals - Pierro-Zabotel, Stevenson, Pinkston 1 (#11)
Game Winning Goals -  Roy 3 (#5), Arseneau, Makowski 2 (#22)
Penalty Minutes - Stevenson 62 (#22), Courtnall 53 (#35), Gens 43 (#55)
Plus/Minus - Hanson, +7 (#67), Pinkston +6 (#81), Doremus +4 (128)
Shots On Goal - Costello 88 (#16), Parker 61 (#111), Courtnall 60 (#115)
Points By Defenseman - Roy 21 (#3), Gens 14 (#29), Pinkston 10 (#61)
GAA - Rumpel 2.68 (#26), Gill 2.88 (#31)
Save Percentage - Rumpel .912 (#23), Gill .903 (#31)

- When I was putting the information above together what struck me was that other than Chad Costello the ECHL ranks are so much lower than last year. Here is the same list as above from exactly one year ago.

Points - Combs 48 (#1), Costello 44 (#2), Steffes 29 (#11)
Goals - Steffes 18 (#1), Combs & Costello 17 (#4)
Assists - Combs 31 (#1), Costello 27 (#2),  Young 16 (#26)
Power Play Goals - Steffes 6 (#1), Schultz 5 (#3), Combs 4 (#13)
Power Play Assists - Combs 10 (#2), Costello & Tyler Ludwig 7 (#11)
Shorthanded Goals - Hanson 3 (#1), Asuchak, Baker, Combs 1 (#11)
Game Winning Goals - Combs 5 (#1), Hanson 4 (#5), Costello 3 (#9)
Penalty Minutes - Lyon 164 (#1), Gens 66 (#23), Clarke 61 (#30)
Plus/Minus - Costello +21 (#2), Trevor Ludwig & Hanson +20 (#3)
Shots On Goal - Combs 114 (#3), Steffes 98 (#8), Costello 88 (#20)
Points By Defenseman - Tyler Ludwig & Young 19 (#5), Baker 18 (#8)
GAA - Gill 2.44 (#9)
Save Percentage - Gill .917 (#7)



 Here is how the Americans rank in the 28 team ECHL in some of the statistical categories. The first number is Allen's number and the second number is how they rank in the ECHL.

Win Percentage - .583 (#10)
Points - 35 (#9) 
Average Goals For - 2.93 (#13)
Average Goals Against - 2.93 (#16)
Average Shot For - 27.37 (#24)
Average Shots Against - 30.30 (#18)
Power Play Percentage - 19.4% (#9)
Penalty Kill Percentage - 84.2% (#10)
Average Penalty Minutes - 18.80 (#3)
Win % When Scoring First - .882 (#4)
Team Plus/Minus -  -39 (#18) 
Goal Differential -  0 (#14)

- If you are interested in comparing here is the exact same information from one year ago.

Win Percentage - .759 (#3)
Points - 41 (#2) 
Average Goals For - 4.33 (#1)
Average Goals Against - 2.67 (#2)
Average Shot For - 34.07 (#1)
Average Shots Against - 29.00 (#10)
Power Play Percentage - 20.3% (#6)
Penalty Kill Percentage - 88.3% (#2)
Average Penalty Minutes - 22.81 (#1)
Win % When Scoring First - .875 (#4)
Team Plus/Minus -  +164 (#1)
Goal Differential -  +45 (#1)



Haven't taken a look at how some of the former Allen Americans players are doing for a while so here is the latest. This isn't a complete list but covers a lot of the guys from the past.

- Spencer Asuchak is playing in the AHL this year for the Chicago Wolves. In 24 games he has just four points (3 goals 1 assist). The strange thing is he got all three of his goals in one game. Chicago is currently in sixth place in the eight team Central Division.

- Jamie Schaafsma is playing for the Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL) this year and is the captain of the team. He has played in 27 games and has seven points (3 goals 4 assists). Jamie is a notorious slow starter which was the case again this year as he had no goals and just two assists in his first 17 games with the Komets. In his last six games Jamie has five points (3 goals 2 assists) and has started to catch fire as usual. Fort Wayne is currently in third place in the Midwest Division but just like Jamie has gotten hot recently. They have won three games in a row and have outscored their opponents in the three games 14-3.

- Trevor Ludwig is the captain of the Missouri Mavericks and is having a great season. His team is the best team in the ECHL with a record of 23-3-0-1. Trevor already has 10 points (2 goals 8 assists). He had 15 points in the entire season last year.

- Colton Yellow Horn is definitely the world traveler of all the former Allen Americans. Since leaving Texas after the 2011-12 season he has played in California, New Hampshire, Hungary, Japan and the Czech Republic. This year he is playing for a team in the Czech Republic (Orli Znojmo) which plays in the Austrian League. In 36 games Colton has 41 points (18 goals 23 assists) and not only leads his team in scoring but leads the entire league in scoring. His team is currently in fourth place in the 12 team league.

- Brian McMillin plays in the top French league (Ligue Magnus) for the Ducs de Dijon (Dijon Dukes). Brian has 12 points (7 goals 5 assists) in 22 games. His team is currently in last place in the 14 team league.

- Jarret Lukin plays for the Evansville IceMen and is the captain of the team. He has been plagued by injuries this season and has played in only eight games all year and has no goals and five assists. Evansville is in last place in the Midwest Division.

- Darryl Bootland (4 goals 9 assists) is playing his usual role of agitator supreme for the Colorado Eagles. He leads the ECHL in penalty minutes (117) and has already had 10 fights including a go with Allen's Dyson Stevenson and Vincent Arseneau. He is also an alternate captain on the team. After a slow start to the season Colorado has won six of their last eight games and is currently in third place in the West Division.

- Trevor Hendrikx (1 goals 8 assists) plays for Cardiff (Wales) and is one of, if not the most popular player on the team. He is an alternate captain for the Devils. His team is currently in first place in the EIHL. Trevor leads the league in penalty minutes with 177 in 36 games.

- Scott Howes (10 goals 8 assists) has 18 points in 21 games for the Brampton Beast (ECHL). Brampton is currently in last place in the North Division.

- Alex Lavoie is playing for the Indy Fuel (ECHL) this year and is the leading scorer on the team. He has 24 points (8 goals 16 assists) in 30 games. Indy is currently in fourth place in the Midwest Division.

- Jonathan Lessard  has played in 26 games and has 12 points (6 goals 6 assists) for the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL). Norfolk is in last place in the East Division.

- Kale Kerbashian plays for the Rapid City Rush and has played in just 15 games (2 goals 6 assists) because of injury. The Rush are currently in fourth place in the Western Division.

- Jack Combs is signed to a one way contract with the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) but has spent most of the season with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL). He has 31 points (15 goals 16 assists) in 26 games for Greenville.  His 15 goals is tied for the ECHL lead. The Swamp Rabbits are currently in fourth place in the South Division. Jack was just recalled by Hartford on Sunday.

- Garrett Klotz is playing for the Elmira Jackals (ECHL) this year and has two assists in 26 games. The single season record holder in penalty minutes (257) for the Allen Americans leads the Jackals in penalty minutes with 71. He has had nine fights so far this season. Elmira is currently in third place in the East Division.

DID YOU KNOW: There were 36 different players on the Allen Americans roster in the inaugural season of 2009-2010. Only three of them are still playing professional hockey.
Jordie Benn - Dallas Stars (NHL)
Jarret Lukin - Evansville IceMen (ECHL)
Colton Yellow Horn - Orli Znojmo (In the Czech Republic but part of the Austria League)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Eric Roy Leads Allen To 3-2 OT Win Over Wichita, Martinson Post Game Comments, Hanson Fight & More

It wasn't textbook by any means as the Allen Americans blew a 2-0 lead against Wichita last night, but they came away with a much needed victory by defeating the Thunder 3-2 in overtime before a sparse crowd of 3071 at Intrust Bank Arena. Rookie defenseman Eric Roy was the hero with two goals including the game winner at 3:33 of overtime.

The Americans got on the scoreboard first midway through the opening period on a great three on two passing play from Jonathan Parker to Dyson Stevenson on right wing, back to Parker and then to Gary Steffes on left wing who buried the puck for his eighth goal of the season. It wasn't one of those greasy goals, it was a pretty goal.

Allen took a 2-0 lead at the 15:59 mark of the second period on a power power play goal by Eric Roy. It was one of those patented Chad Costello precision passes from the side boards, through the slot, to Roy, who was sneaking in from the point for a one timer from the face off circle. Another "pretty" goal. For Eric it was his seventh goal and 20th point of the season.

Wichita has won only one game in their last 12 but have been close in many of the games going to overtime in four of their last five games. They showed their resolve as they cut the score to 2-1 just 30 seconds after Allen had taken a 2-0 lead and tied the score 2-2 at the 13:09 mark of the third period to send the game to overtime.

Both teams had excellent chances to score in overtime but great goalie play at both ends of the ice prevailed until Eric Roy got his second goal of the night. Riley Gill made a pad save that went directly to Jonathan Parker which created a two on one going the other way. Parker passed to Roy who skating up the left side. Roy skated to the face off dot and beat the goalie cleanly with a wrist shot that went high glove side. Gill got an assist on the play.

You can check out all of the highlights by going to and then clicking on the "ECHL REWIND" section. All three Allen goals are worth watching over and over.


- Eric Roy has scored some clutch goals for us this year and he did it again tonight with that overtime goal.

- Wichita had more puck possession than we did in overtime but we did a good job of limiting their scoring chances.

- When you make a mistake in overtime it ends up with a scoring chance the other way.

- In close games like tonight, special teams is always a key and we won special team play scoring one power play goal and not allowing them to score on the power play.

- Their goal that tied the score 2-2 in the third period was a pretty lucky goal.

- We need to do a better job in eliminating odd man rushes and when we do give up an odd man rush we need to do a better job of letting Gill see the puck.


- The team headed home immediately after the game and were hoping to make the 360 mile trip without any weather problems and arrive home around 2:00 a.m. this morning. In what is some curious scheduling the team will head back to Wichita tomorrow (Tuesday) night for a rematch with the Thunder on Wednesday night.

- With his two goals last night Eric Roy now has 21 points (8 goals 13 assists) and is among the league leaders in several categories. He is tied for eighth in scoring among rookies and is the only defenseman on the list. His three game winning goals and one shootout winning goal is the most by a rookie. Among all ECHL defenseman, Eric is 3rd in points (21), 2nd in goals (8), 2nd in power play goals (4), 3rd in shooting percentage (16.0%), and 1st in game winning goals (3).

- One of the few perfect records remaining for Allen is winning when leading after the second period. They hung on last night for the win to preserve a prefect 14-0 record when leading after the second period.

- The San Jose Barracuda (AHL) beat Stockton last night 5-1. Greger Hanson had an assist and a fight in the game. It is a rarity for Greger as he has had just three fights in his pro career and it was his first AHL fight. Those that saw the fight rated it a draw. Rick Pinkston, who was just recalled by the Barracuda, was a healthy scratch and did not play in the game. The Barracuda play again today as they take on Charlotte in a Monday matinee that starts at 1:15 pm PST. They have to play during the day as the NHL Sharks take on the Colorado Avalanche in the building tonight. 

- Former Allen player, Jack Combs has been recalled to Hartford (AHL). Jack plays for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and is tied for the ECHL lead in goals scored with 15.

- Despite going 5-4-1-0 in their last ten games the Allen Americans still have the second most points (35) in the Western Conference trailing only Missouri who has 47 points.

DID YOU KNOW:  The Allen Americans are on pace to have the worst goal differential (goals for minus goals against) in franchise history. The figures below are derived by taking average goals for and against per game and multiplying by 72 to account for the different number of games played by year. If you can derive any conclusion from the data below it would be the team doesn't need better defense, they need more goal scoring. Here are the figures.

                  Goals For     Goals Against     Differential
2015-16:      211               211                          0
2014-15:      292               208                        +84
2013-14:      271               233                        +38
2012-13:      229               192                        +37
2011-12:      231               191                        +40
2010-11:      296               230                        +66
2009-10:      236               206                        +30

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Schultz Quits, Allen Loses To Missouri 3-1, Game Recap, Martinson's Comments, Wichita Preview

When you are a fan of a team like the Allen Americans who have won three straight championships, there is no such thing as a moral victory especially when playing at home. So the 3-1 loss to Missouri last night before a great crowd of 5179 at the Allen Event Center who braved tornado and flash flood warnings to support the Americans was disappointing to say the least. However, if you analyze the game, Allen was able to cause some problems for the Mavericks that they were unable to do the last time these two teams met, when Missouri out shot Allen 42-18 and won the game 4-1. Here are a few of the positives.

- Allen got off to a fast start in the game last night. The Americans came out with intensity, had the edge in puck possession and out shot Missouri 15-8 in the opening period. Unfortunately, a defensive mistake at the 2:43 mark led to an odd man rush and with a team as skilled as Missouri, the puck ended up in the net.  Less than three minutes later Jonathan Parker was able to tie the score at 1-1 with his ninth goal of the season. It would turn out to be the only goal Allen would score in the game.

- Allen would end the game with 33 shots on goal. It was only the second time in the last 10 games the Americans have had at least 30 shots on goal. They accomplished this against a team that ranks second in the league in the fewest allowed shots on goal. Definitely an improvement.

- The Americans were able to get the Mavericks to play their type of game. Missouri takes very few penalties. Going into the game they were the least penalized team in the ECHL, averaging less than 10 penalty minutes per game. They had been involved in just four fights all season compared to 33 for Allen. Last night the Mavericks took more penalties than Allen, had 20 minutes in penalties (including two fights) and gave the Americans four power play opportunities. The bad news is Allen could not capitalize on the power play going 0-4.

- The Americans played well despite missing many players. Teams expect injuries and call ups and Allen has had more than their share. Greger Hanson and Daniel Doremus are with the Barracuda (AHL) and have been gone for a while now. Rick Pinkston was just called up to San Jose so he did not play last night. Then you have Casey Pierro Zabotel, Joel Rumpel and Vincent Arseneau out with injuries. These are all key players. What is unusual is to have players quit the team in the middle of the season. It was certainly a surprise when Justin Baker, who was on the ECHL all rookie team last year and logged a lot of minutes for the Americans, decided to quit the team. Then a real shocker over the Christmas break when Ian Schultz decided to quit the team and went home.


- I thought we had a pretty good start except for Missouri's first goal. It was a play where several mistakes were made. The forward could have played the puck but got cute and thought the defenseman was going to get it and then the defenseman ran into the referee and then the center didn't back check so they had an odd man rush. It is tough when you give up that kind of play in the first few minutes of the game.

- We were able to tie the game up but did not score on our power play opportunities. That was frustrating. A couple of times our players got rid of the puck in the corner with their back turned before anybody came to them. In that situation you have to hold the puck and try to make a play. In big games the power play has to be better than it was tonight.

- On Missouri's second goal we got caught on the ice for about a minute and a half and then the Mavericks got a change as the puck was in their end by their bench. They got fresh legs on the ice and kept moving the puck around until we made a mistake. It looked like maybe Gill was screened on the shot.

- It was a game we could have won, but we didn't. We had some good chances to score but couldn't put the puck in the net. It was frustrating for sure.

- We need  production from our top players to win games and that has not been consistent. Our third line has not scored much and we have not done well on the power play. That has been the difference.

- The two odd man rushes when they scored was the difference in the game. Missouri didn't give us any odd man rushes.

- There were a lot of positives in that game and we definitely have to play better. But the game we played tonight would win us a lot of games.

- Ian Schultz quit the team. He sent me a text the other day telling me he didn't want to play hockey anymore. He is tired of playing and it was no longer any fun.

- We now have to do well on the road for the next four games. We are leaving now for Wichita and will return to Allen after the game tomorrow and then go back to Wichita for the game on Wednesday and then on to Missouri and Quad City.


- With the loss to Missouri, the Americans are still in second place in the Central Division but are now 14 points behind the Mavericks. Allen needs to be concerned about Tulsa who beat Wichita last night and moved to within four points of the Americans. Tulsa has played three fewer games than Allen.

- It was great to see Trevor Ludwig get his championship ring before the game last night. As captain of the Mavericks, who are having a great season, he has a legitimate chance to win his fourth consecutive championship this year.

- With a roster spot open after Ian Schultz left the team, coach Martinson has signed left wing Casey Thrush who played college hockey for the University of New Hampshire.

- The Missouri Mavericks flew to Dallas rather than taking the bus. They had a 6:00 am flight back home this morning. Seems like this has become more of a trend around the league that the Americans will not follow since they own their own bus.


The Americans left immediately after the game last night for Wichita where they will play today at 5:05 p.m. CST. The game will be the third of 13 games between these teams this year. Allen won the first two meetings winning in Allen 5-2 on November 10th and in Wichita 3-0 on November 17th.

-  Here is a comparison between Allen and Wichita:

                                     ALLEN                               WICHITA

Team Record               16-12-1-0 (33 points)            7-18-0-3 (17 points)
Division Ranking         2nd - Central                         4th - Central
Conference Ranking   2nd - Western                       14th - Western
League Ranking         7th                                         27th
Last Game                  3-1 L (Missouri)                    2-1 L (Tulsa)
Goals For                    85                                         52
Goals Against             86                                          91
Power Play                 19.2% (23/120)                     7.7% (8/104)
Penalty Kill                  83.9% (19/118)                     84.1% (20/126)

-  Here is how Allen and Wichita rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 2nd (19.24) - Wichita 13th (14.82)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 14th (2.93) - Wichita 28th (1.86)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 17th (2.97) - Wichita 21th (3.25)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 10th (19.2%) - Wichita 28th (7.7%)
Penalty Kill Percentage; Allen 11th (83.9%) - Wichita 10th (84.1%)

- Special teams always play a key role and this is an area where Allen has an advantage. In the two games they have played against the Thunder this year, Allen is 4-14 (28.6%) on the power play while Wichita is 0-9 (0.00%). The Thunder have the worst power play percentage in the league (7.7%) and are on pace to set a new ECHL record for fewest power play goals in a season which is 28. At their current pace, Wichita will get just 20 power play goals.

- Both teams have been struggling as Allen has lost five of their last six games. Wichita has lost 10 of their last 11 games. Both need a victory real bad.

- Leading scorers for Allen are Chad Costello with 38 points (11 goals 27 assists), Eric Roy with 19 points (6 goals 13 assists) and Jonathan Parker with 18 points (9 goals 9 assists).

- Leading scorers for Wichita are Andrew Huff with 14 points (7 goals 7 assists) and Peter Sakaris with 13 points (4 goals 9 assists).

- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Stephen Reneau (#17) and linesmen Chuck Schamel (#97) and Terry Saunders (#82).

DID YOU KNOW:  Defenseman Dallas Ehrhardt who played for Allen in 2013-14 recently signed with Dijon in the French League. He joins Brian McMillin who also plays for Dijon.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Allen vs Missouri Game Preview, What to Expect, Americans 3-0 on December 26th

Hockey is back and it is game day in Allen as the Americans take on the league leading Missouri Mavericks tonight at 7:05. Allen dominated Missouri last season with a record of 8-0-0-1 and the Mavericks will try and return the favor this season. The game tonight will be the third of 11 times these teams will meet this year. They have split their first two meetings with Allen winning at home 2-1 on October 31 and Missouri winning at home 4-1 on November 17.

- Allen comes off the Christmas break having lost four of their last five games while Missouri has won three in a row and nine of their last 10 games. With four road games coming up for the Americans after the game tonight (Wichita, Wichita, Missouri, Quad City) a victory against the Mavericks is important.

- The Mavericks are a much improved team this year and have gotten off to a great start. They lead the ECHL with 45 points compared to 24 points at this point last year. Included in their great start was a 14 game winning streak which ties for fourth all time in the ECHL.

- Here is how Allen and Missouri match up based on early season results:

                                    ALLEN                              MISSOURI

Team Record:             16-11-1-0 (33 points)          22-3-0-1 (45 points)
Division Ranking:        2nd Central                        1st Central
Conference Ranking:  4th Western                        1st Western
League Ranking:        8th                                       1st
Last Game:                 3-1 Loss (Tulsa)                  4-2 Win (Quad City)
Goals For:                   84                                        89
Goals Against:            83                                        46
Power Play:                19.8% (23/116)                    19.6% (20/102)
Penalty Kill:                83.5% (19/115)                     82.4% (15/85)
Leading Scorers:        Costello (11-27-38)              Barnes (13-17-30)

-  Here is how Allen and Missouri rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 2nd (19.29) - Missouri 28th (9.69)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 13th (3.00) - Missouri 2nd (3.42)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 18th (2.96) - Missouri 1st (1.77)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 25th (26.93) - Missouri 7th (31.04)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 17th (30.43) - Missouri 2nd (25.77)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 5th (19.8%) - Missouri 7th (19.6%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 11th (83.5%) - Missouri 17th (82.4%)

- The stats above show why the Americans will have their work cut out for them if they want to win tonight. Allen has trouble generating shots (ranked 25th) while Missouri doesn't allow many shots (ranked 2nd). Missouri allows over one goal less per game than Allen and scores a half a goal more per game than Allen. Missouri's one weak spot is penalty kill (ranked 17th) but that has not been much of a factor as they are the least penalized team in the league.

- In the 4-1 loss to Missouri the last time these teams played (November 17) Allen was out shot by the Mavericks 42-18. However, if you are looking for some good news all four of the Mavericks losses this season have come on the road.

- It will be interesting to see what type of game develops tonight.  Allen players have been involved in 33 fights this season led by Dyson Stevenson with eight.  The entire Missouri team has had just four fights. With a team as skilled as Missouri you can be assured the Americans will be finishing their checks from the first puck drop. Allen will have to be a team that is tough to play against if they are to be successful against the Mavericks. Pucks to the net with traffic in front will have to take precedence over the pretty play.

- Riley Gill will be in goal for Allen. Missouri has two goalies that have shared the workload evenly. Parker Milner is ranked #2 in the ECHL with a GAA of 1.67 and Josh Robinson is ranked #3 with a GAA of 1.70. Milner played in the game when the Americans beat the Mavericks in Allen (2-1) while Robinson was in goal in Missouri when the Mavericks won (4-1). The goalies have been alternating recently and if that continues to be the case it will be Parker Milner in goal.

- Both teams have had numerous roster changes since they last played on November 17th. Three Missouri players have been recalled/loaned to the AHL including Jesse Root who was leading the ECHL in scoring when he was loaned to Bridgeport in early December. Allen will be missing Joel Rumpel, Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Vincent Arseneau who are injured, Ayrton Nikkel who was released and Justin Baker who quit the team.

- Forgot to mention that coach Martinson has resigned defenseman Nolan Descoteaux  who is back in an Allen uniform after brief stints in Rapid City and Atlanta. Welcome back Nolan.

- If you want to leave the game early for some post Christmas partying you can leave after the second period if either team has a lead. Allen and Missouri are a combined 31-0 when leading after the second period.

- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Chris Pontes (#2) and linesmen Mitch Macpherson (#48) and Aaron Schacht (#32). 

DID YOU KNOW: The game tonight will be the fourth time in team history the Allen Americans have played a home game the day after Christmas. They are a perfect 3-0 on December 26th.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Special 2015 Christmas Thank You To All Allen Players, Past And Present

As I was reflecting on what to write about on this Christmas Day, I noticed how many messages there are on social media about spending the holidays with friends and families. That is not true for most hockey players as the Christmas break does not allow enough time to get back home. Friends and family all too often are teammates and their families which is great, but not the same as friends and family at home. Being a minor pro hockey player truly is a "hard knock life" and the current season has been a challenge for the team both on and off the ice.

So this post is merely a THANK YOU to all players (and their families) past and present for what you have done for the fans of the Allen Americans both on the ice and in the community. There has been over 150 players in Allen since the franchise started in 2009. It has been quite a ride over the last few years. One of the benefits of writing a blog is getting to know many of the players and their families and with social media it is easy to feel connected even when they move on. The following is a small sample of Christmas time with players and their families past and present.

The Allen Americans posted this greeting last night - 2015

This was posted last year (2014) by the Allen Americans - One year later most have moved on

Ashley, Chad, Cayne,Camden plus baby #3 on the way Costello - 2015
Costello's with Santa - Bet dad was on a road trip - 2015

The Adams Family - Erik, Jen, Brooklyn & Henrik

London, Whitney, Harper & Bruce Graham - Nottingham, England 2012
The Grahams - 2015 with new addition Beckett

Nicole, Sawyer & Sutter Schaafsma - 2014
Sawyer & Sutter - 2015

The Pierro-Zabotel family's (Casey, Levi & Lane) first Texas Christmas - 2015
- And just announced this morning on twitter by Casey & Levi, "This will be our last Christmas as 3. Baby Pierro-Zabotel coming July, 2016. We are having a second baby Zabby!" Congrats!

Aaron Gens, girlfriend Kellie, and their dog (Stella) to Kentucky for Christmas -2014
Aaron & Kellie are now engaged - 2015

Jackson Gill's first Christmas with Angie, Riley & dog Guinny -2015

Trevor, Lynden & Holly Ludwig back in Texas for Christmas - 2015

Lynden's first Christmas and skate with dad, Trevor Ludwig - 2014

The most famous dog in Allen history, Pearl (@Pearlilicious11), was Phil Fox's "wing dog"

Sydney Ludwig - Tyler & Taylor's daughter -2014
What a difference a year makes - Sydney with little sis Hayden - 2015

Greger & Andrea Hanson in their PJ's with Bella

Jarret Lukin with his nephew Dryden - Christmas 2015

Mike & Chantal Berube with daughter Ellyauna & Dolce - see below

Couldn't find a Christmas picture of the Berube family but had to include this great picture (it would make a great Christmas card pic) as they have been such a big part of Allen history. They are expecting their second child in May.

Once again thank you, thank, you, thank you to all players past and present for the sacrifices you have made to follow your dreams and the joy you have brought to the fans in Allen on and off the ice. Your determination on the ice and kindness off the ice is both noticed and appreciated. May this Christmas day be a joyous one for you and yours!

Happy Holidays from Barry the Blogger