Saturday, March 4, 2017

Allen Wins 3-1, Rematch Tonight, Pros & Cons of the Morning Skate, All-Time 20, 30 & 40 Goal Scorers

The Allen Americans got a big win in Missouri last night beating the Mavericks 3-1 before a disappointed crowd of  4851 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Missouri has been one of the hotter teams in the league as they went into the game with a record of 8-2 over the last 10 games and a recent home record of 9-2.

- After a scoreless first period Allen got on the board 15 seconds into the second period as Josh Brittain beat the defensmen along the boards at the blue line, came down the left wing and made a perfect pass to Gary Steffes who was charging the net. Steffes put the puck in the net for his 16th goal of the season.

- Coach Martinson mentioned in his pregame show the importance of scoring the first goal of the game. Allen is almost unbeatable when scoring first. Including last night, Allen has scored the first goal in 32 of their 58 games. When scoring first Allen's record is 28-2-1-1.

- Allen's second goal was scored by Kale Kerbashian, his fifth of the season and second in as many games. Kale picked up the rebound off a Joel Chouinard shot from the point, made a great highlight reel move around the goalie and slipped the puck in the net. What was great about this goal is all three forwards (Kerbashain, Schoenborn, Marchment) were at the net when Chouinard took the shot.

- Allen's third goal came with 23 seconds left in the second period. It was a power play goal by David Makowski, his 13th of the season. Makowski took a pass from Chad Costello in the middle of the ice just inside the blue line and faked a shot which made the defense react. Instead of shooting he passed back to Chad on the side boards and got the puck right back from Costello. The faked shot along with the quick back and forth pass with Chad opened up a shooting lane and Makowski made no mistake with a rocket over the goalie's blocker.

- I described the three goals in some detail because as happens more frequently than it should, when the home team loses, the highlight package doesn't get loaded to ECHL Rewind. Martinson described the three goals as the result of, "solid plays and skating."

- It was encouraging to get a win with the top line held scoreless. The two even strength goals came from the second and third line. Depth in scoring is a difference maker and it proved to be the case last night.

- Joel Chouinard continues his great play at both ends of the ice. He had one assist last night but was on the ice for all three Allen goals. Joel was a +2 for the game and increased his ECHL leading plus/minus to +33.

- Here is an interview Tommy Daniels record with Steve Martinson after the 3-1 victory last night.

- The referee scheduled for the game tomight is Andrea Barone (#15) and the linesmen are Erik Contino (#72) and Tony Pizzutelli (#85). The last time Allen had Barone was at home against Tulsa on February 3 and there were eight fighting majors and three game misconducts.


- It was great Allen scored first last night and took a 2-0 lead midway through the second period. However, if the Americans want to come away with another win tonight (game time is 7:05 pm) they need to improve on the 30-14 shot advantage they gave Missouri in the last two periods. It took a #1 star of the game performance by Riley Gill to ensure a win for Allen.

- Allen has clearly had the better power play against Missouri in their eight head to head matches this season. The Americans are 8-37 (21.6%) on the power play while Missouri is 5-47 (10.6%).  As is almost always the case, special teams will be a key to victory tonight.

- I would expect Riley Gill will get the start in goal. It is back to back but the team had six days without a game before last night and will have five days without a game after tonight. Riley is 15-2 since December 2.  You have to go with the hot goalie.

- Derek Mathers will certainly be in the line up tonight. It will be interesting to see if Jacob Doty will drop the gloves with Derek after all his shenanigans last night. I am sure he will get the chance.  According to coach Martinson, after Doty instigated the first fight last night the Americans challenged several Mavericks but there weren't any takers. So Allen did what they do best and played a very physical game which gave them momentum and led to the first goal. Look for more of the same tonight.


- David Makowski deserves consideration for Defenseman of the Year in the ECHL. Despite missing the first two months of the season and playing in only 34 games his statistics speak for themselves. David is #145 in games played among defensemen but is tied for third in goals (13), sixth in assists (30), fifth in points (43), ninth in plus/minus (+22), third in power play goals (6) and first in power play assists (21). The one stat that factors in games played is average points per game. In this stat Makowski is head and shoulders above all other defensemen in the league. Of the top 20 scoring defensemen in the ECHL here are the top five in average points per game.

1.26 - David Makowski (Allen)
.95  - Matt Register (Colorado)
.90  - Kevin Schulze (Wheeling)
.89 - Blake Kessel (Kalamazoo)
.88 - Eric Roy (Allen)

- Allen gained no ground with their win last night as Colorado won for the 17 straight time beating South Carolina at home 5-4. It was a penalty filled game with 41 penalties called including eight with two seconds remaining in the game and seven after the game was over. The teams have a rematch tonight and the same referee is scheduled. Should be interesting to keep an eye on what will surely be an exciting game.

- Colorado is now tied for the second longest win streak (17 games) in ECHL history. They have a ways to go to catch #1 which is the 23 game win streak accomplished by South Carolina from February 7 - March 27 in 2015.

- I came across this story yesterday about the pros and cons of the morning skate before a game. It is a few weeks old but hadn't seen it before. I have talked to coach Martinson about this a few times over the years and would put him in the category of questioning the benefit of the morning skate. Maybe I will ask some of the players about this next week after practice. Here is a link to the story:

- Coach Martinson mentioned in his pregame interview with Tommy Daniels that he was about to sign a player that should be available for next weekend when the Americans are back in Missouri. In addition to looking at college/junior players there are also some free agents available. This new player could be a rookie or could be a 30 year old. You just never know where general manager Martinson will find the next player to improve the roster.

DID YOU KNOW:  The other day there was a list in the blog of average goals per game for each season in franchise history. The highest scoring team was 2010-11 (4.20 goals per game) and they didn't make it to the championship finals. The lowest scoring team was last season (3.08) and they won the Kelly Cup. Today I want to list all the 20, 30 and 40 goal scorers in franchise history. It is interesting the Americans have had just two 40 goal scorers (both in the same year) and they led the team to a Kelly Cup. However, in Allen's other three championship seasons they didn't have a single player with 30 goals. I guess all this proves is there are many ways to win a championship. Here are the 20+ goal scorers in each season with how that team finished in the playoffs:

2009-10:  Lost in finals
31 Bruce Graham 
23 Nino Musitelli
23 Justin Bowers 

2010-11:  Lost in third round
34 Graham
34 Musitelli
33 Colton Yellow Horn
21 Jarret Lukin
20 Dave Bonk 
20 Judd Blackwater

2011-12:  Lost in first round
26 Graham 
24 Yellow Horn
20 Jim McKenzie

2012-13:  Won championship
24 Jamie Schaafsma
22 Darryl Bootland 
21 Scott Howes

2013-14:  Won championship
28 Jonathan Lessard 
25 Alex Lavoie 
21 Spencer Asuchak
21 Greger Hanson 
21 Schaafsma 
20 Tyler Ludwig

2014-15:  Won championship  
44 Gary Steffes
41 Chad Costello
28 Hanson
22 Jack Combs

2015-16:  Won championship  
24 Costello 
22 Steffes
21 Chris Crane

2016-17:  ????????? 
31 Costello 
30 Hanson
23 Asuchak
20 Bryan Moore


  1. When you consider how long Howes and Combs were here their numbers are impressive.

    1. John, you are sure right on that point. Howes with 21 goals in 22 games and Combs with 22 goals in 32 games. You can only imagine their stats if they had stayed a complete season.

  2. I love when we play the Donkeys - the team that realized they had NO chance last year so they messed with out locker room...I guess if I knew my season was done I would do the same deparate move. Hope Doty has a fun night. Going to see Moore play tomorrow here in Chicago