Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Allen vs Missouri Preview, Martinson's Comments on Asuchak Suspension, Roster Update & More

Attended practice yesterday and the big topic of conversation was the suspensions handed down to Spencer Asuchak and C.J. Ludwig for penalties that occurred last Wednesday in a game between Allen and Missouri. Asuchak received a six game suspension (he has already missed two games) and C.J. Ludwig received a four game suspension (he has already missed one game). The two teams play again tonight at the Allen Event Center.

I had the chance to ask coach Martinson about the suspensions handed out by the ECHL to Asuchak and Ludwig and as you might imagine he was not in agreement with the decision. A couple of things stood out about his comments to me. I asked coached Martinson if he thought this would have been an issue if Jesse Root had not been injured, given the fact that the referee called a two minute tripping penalty during the game. He emphatically said nothing would have happened had Root not been injured. The other point Martinson emphasized was the league has made their decision and it is time to move on. His focus is on winning the game tonight against Missouri and not on what happened last Wednesday.  With that said, here are Steve Martinson's comments to me:

- You have one guy (Asuchak) who has never been suspended. They called it a slew foot but to me it looks like he just pushed him over his skate. There is no follow through and the guy actually lands on his stomach. On most slew foots the player lands on his back. Asuchak is 6'6" so he has a lot of leverage when he pushes him over his leg. It was unfortunate Root got hurt but there was no intent to injure.
- I looked at Ludwig's hit and he knows what clipping is and was called for a clip earlier in the game and then he did it again. He went after Arseneau's knees and then intentionally hit Gens in the knees.

- When I asked about the criteria for suspensions Martinson said the only thing he can figure out is Root is out for the year and it is possible for Gens to return so that had something to do with the length of the suspensions.

- I joined Tommy Daniels when he interviewed Coach Martinson yesterday for a live radio show. Tommy will replay that interview as part of his pregame show tonight. There are many topics covered in the interview but it starts off with Tommy asking about the Asuschak and Ludwig suspensions. This interview is definitely worth a listen. It will be live streamed on 107.3 FM so bring a radio to the game and give it a listen. If you are not going to be at the game you can go the the Americans web site and click on the listen live button.


Allen's record against Missouri now stands at 2-4 with five more games remaining. After tonight the teams play four straight games (2 home 2 away) between March 26 and April 2.


- Here is how Allen and Missouri match up:

                                    ALLEN                              MISSOURI

Team Record:             36-20-3-2 (77 points)          46-8-3-2 (97 points)
Division Ranking:        2nd Central                        1st Central
Conference Ranking:  4th Western                        1st Western
League Ranking:        8th                                       1st
Home Record             19-6-2-1                               27-3-0-1
Road Record              17-14-1-1                             19-5-3-1
Last Ten Games         5-3-1-1                                 7-1-1-1
Last Game:                 3-2 Win (Wichita)                 3-1 Win (Tulsa)
Goals For:                   190                                      200
Goals Against:            172                                      127
Power Play:                 21.2% (49/231)                   16.9% (42/248)
Penalty Kill:                 87.4% (30/238)                    86.5% (28/208)
Most PIM's                  Stevenson (91)                    C. J. Ludwig (71)
Leading Scorers:        Costello (22-64-86)              Root (26-33-59)

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

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 4th (16.39) - Missouri 26th (11.31)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 5th (3.11) - Missouri 2nd (3.39)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 13th (2.82) - Missouri 1st (2.15)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 26th (28.00) - Missouri 23rd (28.69)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 15th (20.28) - Missouri 3rd (27.44)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 2nd (21.2%) - Missouri 12th (16.9%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 1st (87.4%) - Missouri 4th (86.5%)

- The stats above show why the Americans always have their work cut out for them when they play Missouri. Allen has trouble generating shots (ranked 26th) while Missouri doesn't allow many shots (ranked 3rd). When you play a team like Missouri that ranks #2 in goals scored and #1 in goals allowed it is a tall task. Another way to look at this is team plus/minus. Allen is a -17 while Missouri is +282.

- Despite the losing record against Missouri the Americans have out shot the Mavericks in five of their six head to head match ups. Allen has only one win in the last four times these teams have played but they out shot Missouri 138-116 in those four games.

- Special teams are always important but when you have two teams at the opposite ends of the spectrum, when it comes to penalties, it could be the deciding factor in the game. Allen has 1000 penalty minutes while Missouri has just 667. Allen has taken 50 major penalties (mostly for fighting) while Missouri has taken just 17. This disparity has not shown up in the six games these teams have played against each other. Allen has 82 penalty minutes while the Mavericks have 108 penalty minutes.

- Allen has the #2 ranked power play in the ECHL but has struggled against Missouri. The Americans are just 3-24 (12.5%) on the power play while Missouri is 4-25 (16.0%).  If either team can get an advantage on special teams it might make the difference in the game.

- Another key to the game is who scores first. In the previous six games the team that scored first won five times.

- Officials scheduled tonight are referee Mike Sheehan (#11) and linesmen Alex Black (#63) and Erik Contino (#92).


- Chris Crane was a full participant in practice and should be in the line up .

- Justin Courtnall did not practice and though he is listed day to day coach Martinson does not expect him to be in the lineup the rest of the week.

- Spencer Asuchak will be serving the final four games of his suspension so will miss the game tonight, Friday against Alaska and home and home games against Tulsa on Saturday and Sunday.

- Jamie Murray will be in Allen through the weekend and will then return to school. Riley Gill will get the start tonight but Jamie will get another start this weekend. A goalie will be assigned from San Jose once Murray departs. No word on who that goalie will be but you would have to assume the most likely of the three goalies currently on the San Jose Barracuda roster (Aaron Dell, Troy Groesnick, Joel Rumpel) to be assigned to Allen would be Joel Rumpel.

- Greger Hanson is still in Utica (AHL) and is not expected to return to Allen this week.


- In the strange stat category Steve Martinson coached his 1400 game on Sunday. I went to the Dallas Stars game last night and saw on social media Lindy Ruff was coaching in his 1400 game.

- There were just two games in the ECHL last night as Alaska beat Wichita 4-2 and Rapid City beat Colorado 5-2.

- With eight home games remaining Allen's average attendance is 4591 which is 500 more per game than last season.

- If you are not a regular reader of the blog you can see all of the videos I have recorded by going to my YouTube channel. You can find it by googling "Allen Americans Blog YouTube channel" or going to YouTube and entering "Allen Americans Blog" in the search box.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to Chris for today's question.

Q: What is the story behind Chad Costello wearing his white jersey last season without an "i" in Americans.
A: Here is the story of the missing "i" directly from Chad Costello.

The famous Chad Costello  "Amercans" jersey from last season - photo by

DID YOU KNOW:  Allen is the second place team in the Central Division with 77 points, trailing first place Missouri by 20 points. The 77 points are the second most points in the Western Conference. Allen has more points than Midwest Division leader Fort Wayne (75 points) and West Division leader Idaho (75 points). 

1 comment:

  1. Just like how Chad plays, there is no I in team.