- I will go a step further than Zach and say the Americans were lucky to get five of six points over the last three games going back to Friday night against Wichita. Against two teams (Missouri & Wichita) with records well below .500 the Americans didn't score first in any of the games, were out shot in all three games and had to come from behind 3-0 yesterday, 2-0 Sunday and 1-0 & 2-1 on Friday. To come away with two wins and an overtime loss is indeed fortunate.
- Allen followed a familiar script yesterday with a poor first period as they were out shot 15-5 and outscored 3-0. The Americans showed their explosiveness in the second period with two Eric Roy goals in a span of 22 seconds to close the gap to 3-2 going into the second intermission. When Allen tied the score 3-3 on a Gary Steffes goal early in the third period it appeared the Americans were on their way to another comeback win. However, Missouri responded with a goal of their own at the 11:41 mark to take a 4-3 lead. Allen came back again with a David Makowski goal with less then four minutes remaining in the game to force the overtime. Missouri scored the game winner 82 seconds into the overtime period. Gary Steffes described the outcome this way, "Unfortunately we got caught out on the ice in overtime for a long shift and it cost us the game."
- It is easy to grouse about poor play and losing to Missouri yesterday but the fact remains Allen has not lost a regulation game in over a month dating back to December 14. The Americans record since then is the best in the league at 11-0-1-1. And all of this has been accomplished with some key components out of the line up for many of the games. Harrison Ruopp, Dyson Stevenson, Aaron Gens, Riley Gill, Travis Brown, Kale Kerbashian, Greger Hanson and Jake Marchment have all missed games during this winning streak.
- Here is the link to the highlight package including the goals by Eric Roy (7 & 8), Gary Steffes (9) and David Makowski (4). It may be more instructive to focus on the defensive breakdowns on the five Missouri goals. http://www.echl.com/
- The ECHL is now on a three day All-Star game break. Chad Costello and trainer Jaime Garcia will fly to Glen Falls, NY this morning for all of the festivities including the All-Star game which will start at 7:00 pm (CST) tomorrow (Wednesday) night and will be televised on the NHL Network. Allen is an exception to the rule as they don't take a break at this time. The team is off today but will practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Because the All-Star break comes so close to the Christmas break coach Martinson and the players agreed to take the break later. The Americans will take three days of the last week of February when they can have the weekend off and still get in a couple of days of practice before their next game.
- Here is the pregame interview with coach Martinson and Tom Manning:
Steve Martinson's post game comments:
- It is disappointing and frustrating to play the way we did today. We are fortunate we came out of that game with one point.
- We will take a day off tomorrow and and get back to practice on Wednesday.
- I am hoping Riley Gill and Dyson Stevenson will be back by the weekend. We will see how it goes the next couple of days.
- I am headed to the gym for a long workout as I need to work off the frustrations from that game!
- Here is the San Diego Gulls morning report video from yesterday which includes an interview with Greger Hanson. He has played in three games for the Gulls (all wins) and has one goal, two assists, is a +1 and has 12 shots on goal. In this interview Greger talks about the great opportunity he has been given in San Diego and how this experience in the AHL is different from those in the past.
- With the Texas Rangers disappointment after a great season and the Dallas Cowboys disappointment after a great season it looks like the DFW metroplex will be relying once again on the four time champion Allen Americans to bring home a championship. I sure wish more sports fans in the DFW area were aware of diamond that exists in Allen in the form of the Allen Americans hockey team. Great entertainment at a reasonable price that is fan and family friendly.
- Allen remains atop the Mountain Division standings with 51 points. Here are the current standings with winning percentage in parentheses:
51 points - Allen (.638)
49 points - Idaho (.628)
48 points - Colorado (.632)
45 points - Alaska (.625)
36 points - Utah (.474)
34 points - Missouri (.459)
31 points - Rapid City (.431)
- Photographer Dianne Webster always talks to me about how important it is to have photos that capture the emotion of the moment. For a change of pace here are a few of my favorites from yesterday's game that capture all types of emotion.
DID YOU KNOW: Getting selected as a playoff MVP at any level of hockey is an amazing feat. Here is a list of players that have played or coached in Allen that were playoff MVP's in the CHL or ECHL at some point in their career. The league and team they played for when they won the playoff MVP award is in parentheses:
2016 - Chad Costello ( ECHL Allen Americans)
2015 - Greger Hanson (ECHL Allen Americans)
2014 - Jamie Schaafsma (CHL Allen Americans)
2013 - Brian McMillin (CHL Allen Americans)
2013 - Riley Gill (ECHL Reading Royals)
2011 - Scott Howes (ECHL Alaska Aces)
2009 - Jason Deitsch (CHL Texas Brahmas
2007 - Steve Silverthorn (ECHL Idaho Steelheads)
2003 - Kevin Colley (ECHL Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies)