There have been numerous questions about what happened in warm-ups on Wednesday. I had the chance to review the video and talk to coach Martinson about this incident and here is the sequence of events. Alaska's Garet Hunt, who was playing in his first game after serving a three game suspension, skated over the red line and hit Dyson Stevenson in the head while he was kneeling and doing his stretches. It wasn't one of those incidents where both players are on their own side of the red line talking and the talking escalates, but obviously the video doesn't pick up what if anything was said. Stevenson, while down on one knee, reacts to the shot to the head by whacking Hunt with his stick in the shin/ankle area. Hunt then knocks Stevenson over with a cross check. Vincent Arseneau, who was also stretching at the red line facing Stevenson, saw what was happening and arrived at about the time Hunt was knocking Stevenson over and proceeded to send Hunt flying and the scrum was on.
The video is below but for some reason when inserting it in the blog it became very blurry. However, you can clearly see that Hunt instigated the physical contact and he crossed the red line to do so. It is hard to believe it is not an automatic suspension if a player comes across the red line to initiate physical contact to the head of an opposing player on his knees stretching. The ECHL chose to issue a warning but no discipline in this case. C'MON MAN!
You might want to circle March 18 on the Americans schedule when Alaska visits the Allen Event Center for one game. Mr. Hunt just may be a busy man than night with several Allen players wanting to get on his dance card.
- If you look at the statistics from the game on Wednesday they are very even other than the lopsided 5-1 score. Shots were 26-23 in favor of the Aces, both teams were 0-4 on the power play and the penalties were even with Allen being called for 14 and Alaska 15 penalties. The big difference was the quality of the scoring chances as most of the Alaska goals were on odd man rushes.
- If the Americans are to be successful tonight they will need more help from the forwards in getting back on defense. You can't have three forwards getting caught deep in the offensive zone over and over as was the case on Wednesday. Coach Martinson always talks about how it has to be more important to players to win games than it is to score. By the middle of February this should not be an issue with such a skilled team but some of the best players are the ones most guilty. At some point the only way to get the message across is too take away ice time and/or power play time from those players that don't buy in because it is not fair to the rest of the team.
- Newly acquired defenseman Reggie Traccitto will be in the line up tonight as the Americans will go with six defensemen and 10 forwards which means one forward will be sitting out as a healthy scratch.
- Alaska is a hard working team with good team speed and are well suited for the home ice advantage they have, playing on the only Olympic sized sheet of ice in the ECHL.
- The referee for the game will be Tyler Puddifant (#28) who was the referee on Wednesday. The linesmen will be Travis Jackson (#65) and Josh Ellis (#62). They better keep a close eye on warm-ups.
Here are the updated stats after the game on Wednesday:
Team Record 28-17-2-1 (59 points) 18-24-2-3 (41 points)
Division Ranking 2nd - Central 4th -West
Conference Ranking 4th - Western 11th - Western
League Ranking 7th 22nd
Home Record 14-6-2-1 11-12-1-1
Road Record 14-11-0-0 7-12-1-2
Last Ten Games 7-3-0-0 4-6-0-0
Last Game 5-1 L (Alaska) 5-1 W (Allen)
Goals For 142 126
Goals Against 134 147
Power Play 20.3% (36/177) 19.0% (28/147)
Penalty Kill 86.6% (25/186) 82.0% (30/167)
Most PIM's Stevenson (83) Hunt (169)
Leading Scorer Costello (19-46-65) Sivak (11-26-37)
- Here is how Allen and Alaska rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (16.79) - Alaska 5th (15.85)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 8th (2.96) - Alaska 23rd (2.68)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 13th (2.79) - Alaska 20th (3.13)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 26th (27.50) - Alaska 2nd (33.89)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 15th (29.85) - Alaska 12th (29.60)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 3rd (20.3%) - Alaska 5th (19.0%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 5th (86.6%) - Alaska 20th (82.0%)
- Eric Roy continues to make the most of his AHL opportunity with Lake Erie. Last night he had an assist and was a +2. In nine games with Lake Erie, Eric has one goal and five assists to go along with a plus/minus of +5.
- Rylan Schwartz was loaned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL) yesterday by the Orlando Solar Bears. It is the second stint to the Marlies for Rylan since signing with Orlando right after Christmas.
- Ian Schultz has just signed with the Bentley Generals of the Chinook Hockey League which is a Canadian AAA senior men's league operating in Alberta. They are just starting their playoff and are the defending Allan Cup champions which is awarded each year to the national senior men's hockey champions of Canada. The Allan Cup has been competed for since 1909.
- The ECHL deadline for signing players from Europe is Monday (February 15) at 3:00 pm EST. Most players planning to return from Europe have already signed but you can look for a few signings between now and then. Allen will not be adding anyone from Europe according to coach Martinson.
- It is a night of playing teams outside the division for Central Division teams. In addition to Allen at Alaska, the other three Central division teams are at home as Wichita hosts South Carolina, Tulsa hosts Quad City and Missouri hosts Indy. As a group the Central Division has a record of 44-29-5-1 when playing teams outside their division.
- The Missouri Mavericks have the best record in the ECHL by far but have lost four of their last ten games. Joe Rozycki from Team Sin Bin takes a look at the threats the Mavericks face going forward in search of their first championship in team history. You can check Joe's story out at: http://thesinbin.net/the-biggest-threats-to-the-mavericks-run/
DID YOU KNOW: The Alaska Aces play at the Sullivan Arena which opened in 1983 but underwent a nine million dollar renovation in 2015. The capacity for hockey is 6290. The ice surface is Olympic size which means it is the same length (200 feet) but 13.5 feet wider (98.5 feet) than the other rinks in the ECHL.