Monday, January 16, 2017

Allen Wins in OT on Costello Goal, Denny Lambert Joins Allen as Assistant Coach, Top of the Mountain & More

One of the traits of a good hockey team is winning games when you don't play your best. That was the case last night as the Allen Americans defeated the Missouri Mavericks 4-3 in overtime. Here was the situation going into the game. The Americans were 9-0-0-1 in the last 10 games while Missouri was 3-6-0-1. The Mavericks played hockey until almost 11:00 pm Saturday night, lost the game and then had to travel 365 miles overnight to Allen, arriving at 5:30 am Sunday morning for an early (4:05 pm) game. Allen had the day off on Saturday, had more sleep and fresher legs. Despite the disadvantages Missouri managed to out shoot Allen in all three periods by a total of 46-30, they scored the first two goals of the game and came back from a 3-2 deficit to send the game to overtime. Allen was able to leverage some great goaltending by Jamie Murray and two goals including the overtime winner from captain Chad Costello to come away with a victory.

- Allen accomplished two things last night when they got behind. They responded quickly as Joel Chouinard scored just 15 seconds after Missouri had taken a 2-0 lead. The Americans also showed they can score in bunches and last night all three regulation goals were scored in less than seven minutes in the last half of the second period.

- Goal scorers for Allen were Chouinard (5), Mathers (4) and Costello (21 & 22). Here is the link to ECHL Rewind which shows all of the goals and several of the spectacular Jamie Murray saves. I know I keep saying this but take the time (preferably on a full size monitor) to use the ten second rewind button to watch each goal numerous times to see what leads to a goal. Notice how Joel Chouinard moves in from the point to be in perfect position to put in the rebound of the Asuchak shot. Notice how Derek Mathers finds open space on his goal and the great pass from Asuchak in the corner. On Costello's overtime goal watch for the defensive play Chad made in the Allen defensive zone to create the breakaway. Finally, notice how the puck was on edge as Chad picked it up and headed to the goal mouth. I talked to Chad after the game and his usual modest self told me with the puck on edge he didn't want to try and make a big move and was lucky enough to put the puck through the five hole. I don't think it was luck but patience and skill. Here is the link:

- The game today (1:05 pm puck drop) will be the seventh of 13 games between Allen and Missouri this season. The Americans have a 5-1 record in the first six games and have outscored Missouri 22-11. With their big shot advantage last night the Mavericks have now out shot the Americans 210-207. Head to head Allen is 5-26 (19.2%) on the power play while Missouri is 2-32 (6.3%).

- Jamie Murray will be in goal again today.

- The referee scheduled today is Lucas Martin (#29) and the linesmen are Lucas Bisbee (#72) and Chase Wilkinson  (#68).


- Thanks for all of the feedback on the name for this section of the blog related to pregame and post game comments from coach Martinson. After tallying the votes and consulting with the Allen Americans I have decided to take the simple and straightforward approach and use "Coach's Corner"  to cover all game related remarks.

- Had a chance to spend a few minutes with coach Martinson after the game who was in a hurry to meet up with his family and some friends who had a suite for the night as it was his wife's (Michelle) birthday. Martinson agreed the team hadn't played their best but found a way to win. He talked about the great play of Jamie Murray who has now won six straight games. He mentioned the game winning goal by Costello and how hard it is to control the puck and score when the puck is on edge as it was on that play. He thought Kale Kerbashian created a couple of good scoring chances and played well for his first game back. Finally, which is typical with coach Martinson, as he was headed out of his office to join the birthday celebration he was already throwing out ideas of what he will change for the game this afternoon.

- Here is Martinson's pregame interview with Tom Manning.


- It took until January 15th but the Allen Americans are all alone at the top of the Mountain Division standings in both points (50) and winning percentage (.641). It took an 11-0-0-1 streak to get there after a poor start but the Americans have reached the top of the Mountain. Job well done! It took a lot of hard work and a few roster moves to make it to the top and it will take more of the same to remain at the top.

- The official announced attendance last night was 3580 but there were nowhere near that many fans in the stands. A lot of season ticket holders stayed home to watch the Cowboys lose to the Packers. After 19 homes dates the Allen attendance is down 9.2% (423 per game) from last season.

- The Allen Americans will be getting a new assistant coach this week. Denny Lambert, who played with Steve Martinson in San Diego and has 487 NHL games to his credit will arrive in Allen on Wednesday. Lambert has many years of coaching experience in his home town of Sault Ste. Marie at the junior level in the Ontario Hockey League but this will be his first coaching experience at the professional level. From my perspective this move will give Lambert the opportunity to learn from the best and it will provide Steve Martinson with some much need help. Will do a more complete story when Lambert arrives but this article from his hometown paper will give you some of his background and why he is coming to Allen.


Here are a few of my favorite photos from last night courtesy of Dianne Webster:

I'm good, how about you? How is the family?

He's baaaack!

The Chouinard goal about to happen

A Bryan Moore flyby

Costello five hole OT game winner, notice the puck is on edge

Nothing beats an OT celly!

DID YOU KNOW: At the end of November the Allen Americans had a losing record and were ranked #20 in the ECHL in points. Oh how far they have come. Since that time they have a record of 16-2-1-1, have a current streak of 11-0-0-1 and are 9-0-0-1 in their last 10 games. Check out how the Americans rank today among the 27 ECHL teams:

Points - #3 (50)
Wins - #3 (24)
Win % - #4 (.641)
Goals For - #2 (148)
Goals Against - #6 (107)

1 comment:

  1. I was glad to be one of the few at the game last night. It was a rough game but our guys pulled it out! On my way to today's afternoon game and looking forward to it!