- If you have watched the last four Allen games and especially the two against Tulsa this weekend you could see a different team emerging. The Americans scored the first goal of the game in just six of their first 19 games. They have scored first in their last four games. The Americans were outscored in the first period 26-13 in their first 19 games. They did not allow a single first period goal in their last four games while scoring three themselves. The team is playing a more physical game and it is beginning to show results as Allen has won three of their last four games.
- Along with the physical play the Americans are playing much better defensive hockey and increasing their puck possession time. In their first 19 games Allen was giving up an average of 34 shots per game. In the last four the average has been 26 shots per game.
- Allen's struggle on special team has been well documented. In their first 19 games they were 6-78 (7.7%) on the power play and had allowed six shorthanded goals. In the last four games the Americans are 4-16 (25%). There is similar improvement on the penalty kill. In the first 19 games Allen was 16-85 (81.2%) on the penalty kill. In the last four games the Americans have allowed just one power play goal and that was an empty net goal. They are 1-14 for a penalty kill percentage of 92.9% over the last four games.
- Goal scorers last night in the 4-2 win over Tulsa were Spencer Asuchak (9), Gary Steffes (3), Jason Fram (2) and Bryan Moore (1). Coach Martinson had this to say after the loss on Friday night, "We are getting all of our offense from a handful of guys. We have some guys that haven't scored since the beginning of the season, some of the new guys with a history of scoring aren't scoring and some of the guys that have scored a few goals haven't scored lately. While we are playing hard and playing better defensively we need more guys putting the puck in the net." Mission accomplished last night. Gary Steffes scored his first goal in 18 games. Bryan Moore scored his first goal since joining the Americans seven games ago. In addition to his goal Moore had two assists. Chad Costello had a big night assisting on the first three Allen goals.
- With the win Allen improved their record to 11-12 and will have another chance to get back to the .500 mark on Wednesday when they take on the Missouri Mavericks at the AEC.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- I didn't like sitting out the guys I sat out tonight or last night. When you have a full roster like we have now there will be times you have to sit out guys you don't want to sit out. But you need a full roster to win. If you want to have a good team you are going to have to sit out some good players sometimes.
- I really like our physicality right now. We just need to have more consistent scoring. I tried to make sure tonight we had a couple of guys on each line willing to go to the front of the net.
- We had two power play goals last night and that is good but we were like Dr Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. We were great on the two goals but horrible on the other power plays. What I was trying to do tonight is get more guys out that were willing to go to the front of the net.
- It was good to see Moore and Steffes get goals. Gary did what he does best and that is redirect the puck from close to the goal. He is very good at that.
- The win last night broke a four game home losing streak. The last home win for Allen was way back on October 21 against Atlanta.
- The Americans are 3-2 against Tulsa this season. The Oilers have only lost eight games all season with three of them coming at the hands of Allen.
- Had a chance to talk to Kale Kerbashian after the game and he was happy to be back in the line up. He said it felt good to be back but was just trying to get his legs under him after the long layoff. He said, "A couple of times I noticed my mind wanted to do something but my body wouldn't let me."
- I also had a chance to meet Derek Mather's parents last night as they took a tour of the locker room after the game. Great people and you could see where Derek gets his size and toughness from. When I shook his dad's hand I felt like a ten year old shaking hands with an adult. And it was easy to see Derek's personality comes from his mom.
- It was a big night for a couple of former Americans. Casey Pierro-Zabotel had a hat trick for Colorado to lead the Eagles to a 6-2 win over Adirondack. Chris Crane had two more goals (that is five goals in four games) in a losing cause as his Orlando Solar Bears lost to Florida 8-6.
- With Kale Kerbashian back in the line up, David Makowski arriving tomorrow, Eric Roy and Travis Brown on the mend and the team starting to play up to their potential you may wonder if more roster changes are in the works. One thing I have learned from coach Martinson is that general manager Martinson never stops trying to improve the roster whether it is finding more skilled players or making sure the team has the right mix of players. Playing hard and putting the team ahead of personal goals is a must. Bottom line is it would be very surprising if Martinson doesn't make additional roster changes.
- There are eight teams below .500 in the ECHL and four of the eight are in the Mountain Division. Kind of surprising for a division many saw as the best in the league at the beginning of the season. Here are the eight ECHL teams below .500 with an asterisk by the Mountain Division teams:
.478 - Allen*
.475 - Missouri*
.474 - Indy
.429 - Rapid City*
.381 - Kalamazoo
.381 - Utah*
.361 - Elmira
.211 - Norfolk
It was "affiliation night" so the Americans wore specialty jerseys in honor of their San Jose affiliation. They were certainly sharp jerseys, however, the color seemed to be a few shades off of the San Jose teal color. Check out the teal colored San Jose tee shirt Jake Marchment is wearing in the photo below to see the difference. Here are the results of the auction:
$950 - Chad Costello
$650 - Bryan Moore
$650 - Riley Gill
$650 - Jake Marchment
$600 - Spencer Asuchak
$600 - Greger Hanson
$600 - Tanner Eberle
$550 - Aaron Gens
$550 - Matt Willows
$550 - Derek Mathers
$550 - Steve Martinson
$550 - Gary Steffes
$550 - Harrison Ruopp
$500 - Joel Chouinard
$500 - Aaron Dell
$500 - Dyson Stevenson
$450 - Kale Kerbashian
$450 - Micheal Brodzinski
$450 - Jason Fram
$450 - Tristan King
$450 - Mike Gunn
$450 - K-9 (aka Buscuit)
$400 - Travis Brown
$400 - Alex Guptill
PHOTOS OF THE NIGHT COURTESY OF DIANNE WEBSTER
|Asuchak shoots, he scores|
|Costello & the fans with the celly on Bryan Moore's first goal|
|Jason Fram with a goal and a big smile at the jersey auction|
|Check out the bulge in the net as Gary Steffes gets a power play goal|
|Mike Gunn and Jason Fram playing defense|
DID YOU KNOW: On March 29, 2014 the Allen American's red jerseys were auctioned off after the game. Winning bidders were to receive their jerseys after the end of the playoffs. Captain Mike Berube's jersey went for a whopping $2000.