Saturday, April 9, 2016


*Please note: While Barry is on vacation, the views below do not reflect those of Barry or the Allen Americans Organization.

photo courtesy of Lauren Lyssy

Allen closes the regular season tonight against the Evansville IceMen.  It is also fan appreciation night, the first 3000 fans get a light up thunder stick, and there will be an "off your back" auction for game worn jerseys, (jerseys can be picked up after the playoff games are completed!). Prizes will be awarded to various fans.

Despite the loss last evening Allen clinched the fourth seed and home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs and will play either Idaho or Colorado.  Our first home playoff game is Thursday, April 14th.

Another pleasantry from last night was seeing our original Captain, Jarret Lukin. Jarret who was in attendance and honored by the fans.

Jarret Lukin (courtesy of Lauren Lyssy)

Game Recap;

It was a disappointing loss in front of 5118 fans in attendance last night.  Despite a 2-0 first period lead, Evansville scored the next 3 goals (2 in the third period) to come away with the win.  Allen outshot Evanville 37-22, 15 of which were in a totally Allen dominated first period.  Scoring first for Allen was Kyle Neuber at the 2:47 mark of the first period. This was his first in an Americans uniform. J.P. LaFontaine and Thomas Carr notched the assists.  Vincent Arseneau would score Allen's second and final goal at the 18:48 mark of the first, assisted by Chad Costello and Tristan King.  Evansville finished the scoring with 3 goals.  Nathan Moon 13:21 of the second, Daultan Leveille at 4:11 of third, and Troy Rutkowski at 9:28 of the third.

Chad Costello's assist extended his consecutive assist and point streak to 18. Chad leads the league in both categories.  The 18 game point streak sets a new franchise record formally held by Nino Musitelli.

Referee for tonight's game is Korey Chipperfield.  Linesmen will be Alex Black and Brian Bull.

Coach Martinson's Post Game Comments:

  • Thought we were in good shape at beginning, after good start guys started cheating, they went from wanting to win to wanting to score, that mentality probably cost us the game
  • did not effectively backcheck, gave them a 2 on 1 where they scored
  • pretty disappointing - when you play like that anybody can beat you
  • we had some strategy for their penalty kill but we did not execute 
  • some of our top players were just ok
  • we out skated them in the first period
  • Neuber chipped in with a goal
  • a lot of high end guys didn't get much done tonight

Meet Tony Curtale (pronounced cur-tal-ee) - Assistant Coach, Allen Americans

You want me to do what, Coach??? (photo courtesy of Dianne Webster)

Tony is in his first year as the assistant coach for the Americans.  Many of you remember Tony as the original and only coach of the Texas Tornado in the NAHL. While Tony was born in Detroit, his heritage is Canadian.  Both his mother and grandmother were Canadian.  His mother lived with his grandmother and when his grandmother secured a nursing job in Detroit, they relocated from Toronto, Tony's earliest memories involved watching Hockey Night in Canada.  After dinner they would pop popcorn and gather around the TV.  His grandmother was an avid hockey fan to the extent that "once the music started you were in trouble with Grandma if you said a word!"
While with the Tornado, Tony won 5 league championships, and was awarded the NAHL Coach of the Year (2003-04) and Executive of the Year (1999-2000).

We asked Tony the following - 

Describe your hockey career as a player - I was a defenseman and was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 1980 draft in the second round.   I was the 35th player chosen and was the first American drafted that year. I played major junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League and appeared in two NHL games for the Flames in 1980-81 season.  The remainder of my playing career was in the CHL and the old IHL.   I retired from playing in 1987 after 3 seasons with the Peoria Rivermen.  At the time of my retirement I was team captain and player/assistant coach.

Describe your career as a coach - When I retired I opened a restaurant in Peoria where I was approached by a group of fans to start a high school hockey team.   The program was started and to this day it is the only high school team from outside of the Chicago area to win an Illinois state championship in hockey.  I began coaching hockey full time in 1993 as GM/Head Coach of the Springfield Jr. Blues in the NAHL.  I then moved on to the Windsor Spitfires as GM/Head Coach before coming to Texas to coach the Tornado in 1999.  I was also involved in coaching the USA U20 national team.  I coached the Tornado until they ceased operations in 2013.  I joined the Allen staff this year but have known many of the team and league personnel through my experience with the Tornado.

What are you doing now - Adjusting to life without a full time hockey job has been an adjustment.  I have a sales job during the day but assist Coach Martinson in the morning practices and do youth hockey at night.

How did you become the Americans Assistant Coach - I actually played against Coach Martinson during my days in the CHL and IHL.  I got to talking with him and knowing him when his son enrolled in a youth hockey league that I was involved with here in the metroplex.  When the Americans assistant coach position became available, it was offered to me.

Describe your working relationship with Coach Martinson - Marty is real easy to work with and he has had a lot of success.  We will often bounce ideas off one another. Since we both have experience as head coaches, our final ideas are usually well thought out.

What are some of your hockey memories - Being only 17 years old and getting drafted in the Montreal Forum.  Winning championships as a player and coach. Bringing junior hockey to Texas which has opened up many opportunities for local youth hockey players (scholarships, entry to pro level).   Just being able to be in hockey for most of my adult life is pretty special and has made me a better person.

What have you found most unique about working in the ECHL environment - The affiliations create a lot of player movement and makes it difficult to keep a team totally together as a unit. However, we are now getting poised for our playoff run - setting team strategies and getting personnel aligned for the playoff roster.   

Any closing comments - Only that the Americans fans are great and I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of the teams' success for this season and into the playoffs.

We would like to thank all the players, coaches, and staff for sharing their thoughts with this blog.

Did you know - To honor their emergency back up goaltender of 25 years and over 100 games, the Alaska Aces will start 45 yr. old Jeff Barney against the Colorado Eagles tonight.

photo courtesy of Social Media