Saturday, February 18, 2017

Allen Wins 6-0, Martinson Comments, Allen vs Rapid Preview, Costello in Rare 100 Point Company

It is a rare occurrence when you witness a game like the 6-0 Allen victory over the Indy Fuel last night before a crowd of 4158 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). The Americans won every phase of the game. Here is a list.

- Allen won every period scoring one goal in the first, two in the second and three in the third.
- Allen had balanced scoring with six different players getting the goals.
- Allen won the special teams battle going 1-3 on the power play and getting another goal on a Zach Hall penalty shot.
- Allen killed off all four Indy power plays including a five-on-three with less than two minutes left in the game to preserve the shutout.
- Riley Gill was great in goal stopping 24 Indy shots on the way to his league leading sixth shutout of the season. Riley lowered his league leading GAA to 2.10 and raised his league leading save percentage to .937.

- The goal scorers for Allen were Spencer Asuchak (22), Gary Steffes (13), Jon Martin (2), Zach Hall (8), Joel Chouinard (8) and Miles Liberati (1). The official boxscore shows David Makowski with the last goal but that is wrong as it was Liberati's goal. Unfortunately, the highlight package has the first five goals but not the sixth. Two plays to watch a few times from the highlights are Zach Hall's penalty shot goal where he slows down and waits for the goalie to commit and then goes five hole and Hall's great pass to Chouinard for the fifth goal. Hall fakes the shot and then feeds Chouinard who has an open net. By the way the Hall penalty shot goal was the first of the season for Allen. Spencer Asuchak had the only other penalty shot attempt (New Year's Eve) and did not convert. Here is the link to ECHL Rewind to watch the first five goals:

- Here is the Allen Americans press release recapping the game:

-  I like the sense of humor from the Indy twitter feed. The last tweet was, "The Indy Fuel drop a nail-biter in Texas, Allen Americans hang on to a 6-0 victory." Here is the link to the Indy press release recapping the game with the title, "Fuel roasted in rematch with Americans" -

- Tom Manning's pregame interview last night was the co-captain Gary Steffes as the talked about the team's approach to the game.


- We were in the same spot as we were on Wednesday being up 3-0 going into the third period but we played much better tonight. It was tough having to kill off that five-on-three at the end of the game to get Gill the shutout.

- I was trying to rest some guys in the third period and play the younger guys more.

- I had a 20 minute video session with the team this morning which is probably the longest one we have had all year to go over some of the defensive issues from the game on Wednesday. I did not have a pregame meeting and let the captains deal with it themselves. The idea behind that is they have to make the plays to be better defensively. I have to show them the mistakes and teach the right way to do things but they have to have the commitment to play defensively.

- Jamie Murry will get one of the games against Rapid City but I am not sure yet which one.

- With Brittain and Hanson playing with Chicago (AHL) it provides an opportunity for some other guys to step up and show they belong in the lineup.


- Greger Hanson was injured playing for Chicago last night against Texas. He was crossed checked and took some stitches. The player that delivered the cheap shot was given a match penalty. Greger will be okay.

- It seems like you hear a new story each day about an ECHL team having financial problems. Here is the latest about the Alaska Aces:

-  The Elmira Jackals financial woes have been well documented recently and their future is in doubt unless issues with the team, the arena and the city can be resolved. Last night a game between Elmira and Reading had to be suspended because of poor ice conditions in the arena.

- With the win last night Allen goes into play today with the most points in the ECHL (72 points). However, Allen has played several more games than the other top teams in the league. If you look at winning percentage the Americans have climbed to fourth in the league at .667. That is quite an accomplishment when you keep in mind at the end of November the percentage was .421.

-  Don't forget tonight is the 8th Annual Battle of the Badges as the the Police vs Fire game takes place prior to the Allen vs Rapid City game. Doors open at 4:30 pm so come early and support the first responders. Two games for the price of one. The Americans will be wearing a special Patriotic jersey tonight that will be auctioned off immediately following the game. A portion of the funds raised from the auction will go to Folds of Honor, a non-profit dedicated to helping families of the armed services that have been killed or wounded while serving the nation.

- There should be a big crowd at the game tonight. It will be a double whammy for the team to overcome. History will show the team has not done well in front of big crowds during the regular season and also loses more often than not when there is a specialty jersey auction after the game. Tonight needs to be an exception to the rule!


- Allen finishes off the four games in five days against the Rapid City Rush tonight and tomorrow. Rapid City has won their last two games including a 5-3 win in Tulsa last night. It will be interesting to see if there is any carryover from the games played last weekend in Rapid City when Dyson Stevenson was injured. Stevenson will not play as he will be serving the last two games of his three game suspension. Triston Grant who speared Stevenson in the groin and slashed him in the face is serving a 13 game suspension and also will not play. I think there is some unfinished business with other activities that took place in Rapid City so the game tonight should be a hard fought one for sure.

- Allen is 3-1 against Rapid City this season having won three straight after losing the first meeting back on November 13. Interestingly the visiting team has won all four games. The game tonight will be just like last night. If Allen plays their game and commits to defense they will be fine. Allen is better than the Rush on the power play (22.0% to 16.0%) and penalty kill (83.6% to 81.1%). Allen has a goal differential of +55 while Rapid City is -31.

- Head to head Allen is 7-15 (46.7%) on the power play while Rapid City is 2-13 (15.4%). The referee tonight has a history of calling lots penalties so special teams is an area Allen needs to capitalize on.

The referee scheduled for the game is Tudor Floru (#26) and the linesmen are Aaron Schacht (#31) and Brian Bull (#95).

DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello had an assist last night and scored his league leading 98th point and will soon reach the 100 point mark for the third straight year. Tommy Daniels posed the question on his radio broadcast as the whether any other player in ECHL history had three 100 point seasons. I was almost certain the answer was yes only because in the early years of the ECHL there was much more scoring than today. Chad is the only player in the last seven years to score 100 points in a season. Compare that to 1991-92 when nine players scored 100 points in a single season. Despite the prolific scoring in the 1990's Chad will become the first player in ECHL history to win the scoring title three times and he also holds the ECHL record  for the biggest margin of victory when he won the scoring race by 45 points in 2015-16. To answer Tommy's question there has been one ECHL player (John Spoltare) who had four 100 point seasons and two players (Darren Colbourne & Trevor Jobe) that had three. Here are the details as they are very interesting.

John Spoltare -  John was a big time scorer that had over a 100 points four times with the same ECHL team (Louisiana IceGators). In 1995-96 he scored 101 points but finished seventh in the scoring race. In 1997-98 he had 111 points and finished third in the scoring race. He won back to back scoring titles (the only other person to accomplish that other than Chad Costello) in 1998-99 with 109 points and 1999-2000 with 119 points. It is also interesting Spoltare played for Steve Martinson in San Diego (West Coast Hockey League) in 2001-02 and led that team in scoring with 113 points. Tragically, Spoltare died of brain cancer at 38 years of age.

Darren Colbourne - What is interesting about Colbourne is he scored 100 points three time with three different teams but never won a scoring title. In 1991-92 he had 119 points for the Dayton Bombers but finished second in the scoring race. In 1993-94 Colbourne had 104 points for the Richmond Renegades but finished third in the scoring race. His last 100 point season came in 1996-97 when he had 101 points with the Raleigh Icecaps and finished fifth in the scoring race.

Trevor Jobe - Trevor Jobe scored 100 points three times in the ECHL put won the scoring title just one time. That one time was considered the best season in the history of the league. His first 100 point season was in 1990-91 when he scored 109 points for the Nashville Knights but finished fourth in the scoring race. In 1991-92 Jobe had 103 points, played for two teams (Richmond Renegades & Nashville Knights) and finished sixth in the scoring race. At the age of 25 Jobe, playing for the Nashville Knights in 1992-93, scored 161 points (85 goals 76 assists) in just 61 games. Jobe won the scoring title by 43 points, a record that stood until Chad Costello won the scoring title by 45 points in 2014-15. The 85 goals Trevor scored led the league by 23 goals. He also had 222 penalty minutes. Jobe's 161 points is the ECHL all-time record for points in a season and that is a record that will probably never be broken.

Chad Costello - Chad will join some elite company when he records his 100th point which hopefully will be tonight. He will have over 100 points in three straight seasons and will be the only player in ECHL history with three scoring titles. Chad is going for his third straight scoring title and third straight Kelly Cup. What an amazing accomplishment to have three straight 100 point seasons in this day and age. 


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  2. I am really surprised that the league would assign Tudor Floru to ref this game tonight! With his past history of losing control of contests, and the bad blood between our two teams, I predict we're going to see a ton of fights