Thursday, January 26, 2017

Allen vs Florida Game Recap Including Martinson & Player Comments, Allen vs Orlando Game Preview

The Allen Americans beat the Florida Everblades 3-2 last night before a big crowd of 5070 at Germain Arena. It was a much anticipated meeting between the #1 ranked team in the Eastern Conference and the #2 ranked team in the Western Conference. If you tuned in late you missed all three Allen goals. Dyson Stevenson scored his sixth goal of the season on his first shift back after missing the last seven games due to an injury. Dyson's goal came just 33 seconds into the game and was assisted by Harrison Ruopp and Josh Brittain. At the 5:31 mark of the period Spencer Asuchak scored his 17th goal of the season assisted by David Makowski and Chad Costello. It was a power play goal, the type Allen fans have become accustomed to seeing where Costello sets up Makowski who blasts a shot from the point and Asuchak is in front of the net to tip it home. Derek Mathers made the score 3-0 just 41 seconds after the Asuchak goal as he put in a rebound for his fifth goal of the season. Miles Liberati and Gary Steffes assisted on Derek's goal.

- There were lots of things to like about the game last night. To start with anytime you can beat the best team in the Eastern Conference at home it is a good night. It was only the fourth regulation loss by Florida at home all season. Allen got off to a great start taking a 3-0 lead six minutes into the game. Not going to lose many games with a start like that.

- The highlights are not yet posted at but what they would show is all three goals came within a foot or two of the crease. The type of goals coach Martinson likes with shots to the net and guys in front. Stevenson's goal was off a Ruopp shot from the point. Asuchak's was right at the crease in front of the goalie when he tipped in a Makowski shot from up high. Gary Steffes made the play on Mather's goal with a perfect face-off draw back to Liberti who shot from just above the face-off circle. Steffes got the rebound and took a shot that the goalie stopped but rebounded to the other side of the goal mouth where Mathers whacked it home. If you added all three goals together they weren't more than a total three feet from the crease.

- Another thing to like about the game was the balanced scoring. All three lines had a goal and there were six assists on the three goals. Nine different players had a point and nobody had more than one point.

- Jamie Murray had a great game in goal stopping 37 of 39 shots and earning the #1 star for his effort.

- With the good there are some areas that will have to be cleaned up for the game tonight against Orlando. The power play scored on the first opportunity but then went 0-6 the rest of the game including a 5-on-3 and a four minute power play.

- The power play unit gave up their 10th shorthanded goal of the season. Seven of the 10 have come on the road. The Americans are now dead last (all by themselves) in the ECHL in total shorthanded goals (10) and road shorthanded goals (7).

 - Allen continues to be out shot by their opponents and that is a concern. Last night Florida out shot Allen 39-21 including 11-3 in the third period. Sometimes power plays skew the shots on goal but last night Allen had three more power plays than Florida. Counting shots on goal seems to be an art more than a science and Tommy Daniels mentioned on the broadcast he saw shots that were not counted so that may have been a factor.


Here are Steve Martinson's post game comments along with some from the players. Thanks to Mike Holum for taking the time to talk to a few of the players after the game, get their thoughts and pass them along.

"It was a good win tonight against a Florida team that is very quick.".....Steve Martinson

"We missed out on some quality scoring chances by trying to be too cute and not getting shots on net. All three of our goals were from shots on net with guys in front.".....Martinson

"We will take this win after a rough game in Wichita on Sunday and not being able to skate for the last two days.".....Martinson

"It was really good for us to get off to a quick start tonight against a good team like Florida. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time on my goal.".....#2 Star Derek Mathers

"It is always good to get a win on the road and it is extra special to get a win against one of the top teams in the league.".....Mathers

"The defense helped out a bunch tonight and limited opportunities for Florida.".....#1 Star Jamie Murray

"I felt rested after a couple days off with no skating. This was a good team effort against a really good team and we just jelled.".....Murray

"It is nice to get some more speed back in the lineup with Greger Hanson and Dyson Stevenson which helped out a lot. Anytime you get a three goal lead is a great help.".....Murray

"It was a big boost in confidence to score that quickly (33 seconds), of course I was out in front of the net and a nifty pass from the corner comes and I was able to put it in the goal.".....Dyson Stevenson


- Bryan Moore and Jake Marchment both had great games last night in the San Jose Barracuda's 5-0 win over Stockton. Moore had a goal, assist, three shots, 12 penalty minutes and was a +2. He was selected as the #3 star of the game. Marchment had two fights in the game. Despite their great performances I would guess they may get sent back to Allen as early as today when two forwards recently acquired from Ottawa in a trade arrive in San Jose. It is especially difficult for Moore who is a free agent. He may be better than contracted players and has shown in his two games in San Jose that he is but the contracted players will stay. Marchment is under contract with San Jose but might get caught up in a numbers game. If one or both of them are headed back to Allen something should come out today.

- Here is a video Tommy Daniels recorded with Greger Hanson after the pregame skate yesterday.

- With their win last night Allen moved into sole possession of first place in the Mountain Division with 55 points. The Americans are two points ahead of Idaho, three points ahead of Colorado and six points ahead of Alaska.


- While Allen was taking on the Everblades last night in a game that ended at 10:00 pm and then drove the 165 miles to Orlando in vans the Solar Bears were idle having last played on Saturday at home when they lost to Florida 5-2. For sure Orlando will be the more rested team tonight when they take on the Americans.

- The game tonight (6:00 pm CST) will be the first ever against Orlando and it should be quite an experience. The Solar Bears play  at the Amway Center which is also the home of the NBA Orlando Magic. The arena was built in 2010 at a cost of $480 million. It seats 17,353 for hockey. If you recall Allen was originally scheduled to play Orlando on Friday and Saturday. That schedule was changed to Thursday and Sunday to accommodate two concerts now scheduled on Friday (Billy Joel) and Saturday (Florida Georgia Line). Maybe the players can get hooked up with tickets if they are interested.

- Allen seems back on track after some poor games recently while they were playing with a short bench. With Hanson and Stevenson back in the lineup, Zach Hall day to day and the possibility of Moore and maybe Marchment returning, all of a sudden coach Martinsion could go from to few  forwards to a situation where there are too many forwards. A nice problem to have if it happens.

- Here are the current stats comparing Allen and Orlando:

                                     ALLEN                                 ORLANDO

Team Record               26-15-2-1 (55 points)             20-15-4-2 (46 points)
Division Ranking         1st - Mountain                        3rd -South
Conference Ranking   2nd - Western                        5th - Eastern
League Ranking         4th                                          12th
Last Game                  3-2 Win (Florida  )                   5-2 Loss (Florida)
Goals For                    161                                         149
Goals Against             126                                          150
Power Play                 18.6% (36/194)                        17.3% (32/185)
Penalty Kill                  84.4% (33/211)                        75.9% (39/162)
Most PIM                    Mathers (163)                          Brouillard (60)
Leading Scorers:        Costello (23-50-73)                  Faille (16-26-42)
                                   Hanson  (20-25-45)                  Manderson (11-31-42)          

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

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 1st (20.14) - Orlando 10th (14.51)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 4th (3.66) - Orlando 5th (3.63)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 3rd (2.86) - Orlando 24th (3.66)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 13th (32.20) - Orlando 1st (36.71)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 24th (34.68) - Orlando 25th (34.76)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 10th (18.6%) - Orlando 12th (17.3%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 10th (84.4%) - Orlando 26th (75.9%)

- A couple of things stand out when you look at the stats above. Orlando is tops in the league in generating shots averaging almost 37 per game. Allen is ranked #24 in allowing shots. If Allen gives up more than 40 shots tonight it could spell defeat. In Allen's favor is the Orlando penalty kill which is ranked #26 at 75.9% but at home they are even worse with a penalty kill percentage of only 68.8%. It could be a good night for the Allen power play.

- Orlando is 3-5-0-2 in the last ten games and has lost their last five home games dating back to Christmas. During the five game home losing streak the Solar Bears are giving up an average of 4.2 goals per game.

- Allen is 7-2-1-0 in their last ten games and despite the 5-1 road loss to Wichita on Sunday have an outstanding  road record. In their last 10 road games Allen's record is 8-1-1-0 including five shutouts.

- Officials scheduled for the game are referee Andrew Bruggeman (#25) and linesmen Ken Radolinski (#64) and Jason Leisten (#52). Bruggeman was the referee last night against the Everblades. 

- Here is a video game preview of the upcoming two games with Orlando. It includes Chris Crane talking about how to stop the Allen Americans:

DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans lead the ECHL in penalty minutes with 886 in 44 games for an average of 20.14 per game. This is not however, the most penalized team in Americans history. That honor goes to the 2012-2013 CHL championship team who won the Presidents' Cup while having over 400 more penalty minutes than any other team in the league. Allen had 1571 penalty minutes that season in 66 games for an average of 23.80 per game.

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