- Special teams played a key role in the game as five of the eight goals were scored on the power play including all three Wichita goals. In their six prior games against Allen the Thunder were 1-37 on the power play. Last night they were 3-7. What was the difference? Wichita has made several roster changes in the last two weeks and has become a smaller, faster team. Their first power play goal was scored by 5'9" Zach O'Brien who was playing in his third game for the Thunder and the second power play goal was scored by 5'9" Ryan Rupert who was playing in his sixth game.
- Despite a poor night on the penalty kill the Allen power play continued to be a difference maker going 2-4. In the last five games against Wichita the Americans power play is a lethal 10-24 for a mind boggling 41.7% conversion rate.
- Here are the video highlights from ECHL Rewind. Goals scorers for Allen were Zach Hall (6), Bryan Moore (12,13,14) and Joel Chouinard (4). In addition to all of the goals the highlights include both of the fights and some great Jamie Murray saves. http://www.echl.com/
STEVE MARTINSON'S PRE & POST GAME COMMENTS
- Before each home game Director of Game Operations, Tom Manning sits down with coach Martinson to talk about the upcoming game and that interview is played on the video screen at the AEC prior to the game. Thanks to Tom and the Allen Americans that interview will be a new feature on the blog after each home game. Need some help coming up with a name for this new video feature. Here are a few I came up with but not sure any of them are a perfect fit. Let me know if you like any of these or if you have a name you think fits.
Drop the Gloves with Steve Martinson
Bar Down With Steve Martinson
Coaches Corner With Steve Martinson
Steve's Keys to the Game
- Here are coach Martinson's post game comments:
- Our penalty kill wasn't very good tonight but our goalie sure was. Jamie Murray made a couple of big saves in the first period.
- On two of their power play goals we had full possession of the puck and instead of firing the puck off the wall we sent the puck toward the slot and it went off our player right to a Thunder player and ended up in the net.
- We really showed up in the third period. We talked about getting more shots from the point and that is what happened. I think the defensemen like hearing shoot the puck from the point. We had some traffic in front of the net on those point shots which led to goals.
- Zach Hall is pretty slick and fun to watch. He made that one rush when he dangled the puck behind his back. It was like he was playing open hockey, screwing around when we have four on four stuff. I really like the way Zach plays. He is an entertaining player. I think he is the kind of guy everyone wants to play with because he sees the ice really well and makes plays.
- Hall's goal was a wicked wrist shot. We were talking about not enough players were driving the net but on that play Eberle was just flying down the middle and right to the net. The goalie has to see that because Tanner is so fast and is coming full speed right at net. That messes with the goalie's vision seeing a guy coming in like that. (See photo below).
- Eberle is not a big guy but when he fights he likes to throw those big bombs from way back. If he hits you with one of those it is going to hurt and that is what he did in that fight. It was an entertaining fight. (See photo below).
- It was good to get the two power play goals to get us back in the game and get a win.
- Wichita has some new players and are a smaller, faster team than when we last played them.
- Kale Kerbashian just got cleared to play so I expect he will be in the line up on Sunday. I told Kale to just relax and go out and play. I thought he was thinking too much when he came off his injury before. It will help to get his speed back in the lineup and get him back to where he was before his first injury.
- Mathers got slashed and I saw him shaking his hand. I told Derek I don't need his help in talking to the referee. The referee told him to stop and then Mathers did it again and got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I did yell at Derek. I told him I don't need your help to yell at the referee. I can do that all on my own and I am real good at yelling at referees.
- Once a player like Arseneau gets in front of the net it is almost impossible to move them out. The strategy all the way through the NHL is once they get established in front of the net you need to get in front of the player and block the shot.
- Our penalty kill was not good tonight (3-7) so we will have to make a little adjustment to that before Sunday's game. Their power play was a lot better than it has been but we didn't do a good job of clearing the puck.
- I thought we had good momentum to start the game but then we took a penalty in our offensive zone and as soon as we killed it off we took another penalty. It allowed Wichita to get in the game a little bit. We had a 7-1 shot advantage to start the game.
- I put Costello with Hall and Moore in the third period and it worked again but my preference would be to have Costello and Hall on different lines.
- Bryan Moore got off to a little bit of a slow start when he arrive in Allen and maybe his timing was off because he wasn't playing a lot in Orlando. Moore is tough, he can shoot the puck and he can skate. He gets goals from the front of the net, from the slot and he gets goals on the rush.
- Eric Roy has a good way of getting to the middle of the ice and seeing what is happening. He is pretty slick too and has that wrist shot. I am not a fan of the wrist shot from the point but Roy has a rally good one and he has flicked it in there just right the last couple of games.
- We always want to be physical and finish checks but sometimes it is hard to do. The first period tonight is a good example. The beginning of the game we had the puck a lot so you are not hitting when you have the puck. Then we had all of the penalties and you aren't hitting on the penalty kill. We always want to be as physical as we can.
-The ECHL tracks all types of stats and one of them relates to player streaks. Couldn't help but notice this part of the stat sheet is full of Allen names. Remember, these stats are leaguewide not just Allen Americans streaks.
Bryan Moore - Bryan has the longest current goal scoring streak (4 games), the longest goal scoring streak of the season (6 games), the second longest current points streak (11 games), the longest current and season long home points streak (7 games).
David Makowski - David has scored a point in 12 straight games. That is the longest current streak and the third longest streak all season. David has also scored in eight straight home games which is the longest current and season streak.
Chad Costello - Chad has the longest current assist streak (6 games), the longest current road points streak (7 games) and has the third longest season road points streak (10) games.
Jamie Murray - Jamie has won five straight starts which is the longest streak of the year for Allen. Riley Gill has won his last four starts as well.
- As of 11:00 am the Wichita vs Missouri game tonight in Wichita is still on. The big question for Allen fans is whether the Mavericks will make it to Allen for scheduled games on Sunday (4:05 pm) and Monday (1:05 pm). Stay tuned.
- Idaho beat Colorado and Alaska beat Orlando last night. These teams play each other again tonight while Allen is idle. Here are the current Mountain Division standings:
48 points - Allen
48 points - Idaho
46 points - Colorado
45 points - Alaska
32 points - Utah
31 points - Rapid City
31 points - Missouri
- Allen is now 6-0-1-0 against Wichita this year but the Thunder have out shot the Americans in five of the seven games. Allen has outscored Wichita 36-10 but the Thunder hold a 272-244 edge in shots.
- Greger Hanson had another good game as his San Diego Gulls beat the Rockford IceHogs last night 3-2 in overtime. Greger had an assist, five shots on goal and was a +1. After two games Hanson has one goal, two assists, eights shots and is a +1. What a great start for Greger in San Diego. The Gulls next game is on the road on Monday against the Iowa Wild.
- Jake Marchment played in his first game last night since rejoining the San Jose Barracuda. The Barracuda lost at home 3-2 to Ontario. Jake's line score was no points, two shots and a -1. San Jose plays Stockton at home today in a matinee game.
- Here are a few shots of the game courtesy of Dianne Webster. The two action photos show what Steve Martinson was talking about in his post game comments. Tanner Eberle is charging the net as Zach Hall (out of the photo) scores a goal. The second photo demonstrates the "big bombs from way back" that Eberle likes to throw.
|Tanner Eberle drives the net while Zach Hall scores on a wicked wrist shot|
|To quote Steve Martinson, "Eberle likes to throw bombs from way back"|
DID YOU KNOW: All styles of play can be successful but it is interesting the most penalized team in the Mountain Division is Allen with 778 penalty minutes and they are in first place while the least penalized team in the division is Missouri with 418 penalty minutes and they are in last place. The last place team in all four divisions are low penalty minute teams:
Elmira - North Division - 396 minutes
Norfolk - South Division - 447 minutes
Missouri - Mountain Division - 418 minutes
Indy - Central Division - 427 minutes
It doesn't mean low penalty minute teams can't be successful as the best team in the ECHL is Toledo and the have the fewest penalty minutes (402) in their division and the third fewest in the league.