Sunday, April 2, 2017

Allen Struggles to 3-2 Win, Retakes 1st Place, McDonald's Jersey Auction Results & More Records

The Allen Americans defeated the Tulsa Oilers 3-2 last night before a crowd of 5205 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). Coach Martinson said after the first period in which the Americans were outshot 16-3 that it was the worst period of hockey by the team since November. Martinson didn't realize with the scored tied 0-0 after the first period he had the Oilers right where he wanted them. You see the Americans have not lost a game all season when the score is tied after the first period and after the win last night are a perfect 15-0-0-0.

- As bad as the first period was the rest of the game wasn't much better. Allen was outshot 42-18 for the game. That is the lowest shot total of the season as 20 was the lowest prior to last night and that was back in November when the team wasn't playing well. Too many turnovers, trying to make plays that weren't there, not enough net front presence, not finishing checks, not moving but standing still were all issues mentioned by coach Martinson as contributing to the poor play.

- How did Allen win despite the poor play. They won the special teams battle holding Tulsa scoreless on their two power play opportunities including a five minute major. The Americans got a power play goal of their own and were 1-3 on the night. Special teams were a plus but Allen can attribute this victory to the play of goalie Jamie Murray who stopped 40 of 42 shots and many were highlight reel worthy. Jamie has been outstanding in his last three starts with a save percentage of .939, .939 and .952.

- Goal scorers for Allen were Bryan Moore (26 & 27) and Tyler Barnes (9). Moore has scored six goals in the last three games.

- Here is the game recap courtesy of the Allen Americans:

- Here is the Tulsa Oilers game recap:

- Here is Tom Manning's pregame interview with coach Martinson:


- It may have been an ugly win for Allen but that doesn't take away from its importance. Winning games when you don't play your best is a sign of a good team. Allen's win combined with a Colorado 3-0 loss in Idaho has the Americans back on top in the Mountain Division by one point. Allen needs four points in their last three games to clinch the division.

- The battle for the fourth and final playoff spot (and possibly Allen's first round opponent) continues to seesaw back and forth. Missouri and Utah won last night while Alaska lost. Here are the Mountain Division standings with games remaining, the remaining opponents and whether the games are home (H) or away (A). Of all of the remaining matchups the three games Missouri plays in Utah to finish the season will be the one to keep an eye on.  

98 points - Allen (3 games remaining) - Wichita (H), Tulsa (A), Wichita (A)
97 points - Colorado (2 games) - Rapid City (A), Rapid City (A)
87 points - Idaho (3 games) - Alaska (A), Alaska (A), Alaska (A)
75 points - Utah (3 games) - Missouri (H), Missouri (H), Missouri (H)
74 points - Alaska (3 games) - Idaho (H), Idaho (H), Idaho (H)
72 points - Missouri (4 games) - Wichita (H), Utah (A), Utah (A), Utah (A)
58 points - Rapid City (2 games) - Colorado (H), Colorado (H)

- Allen has scored points in 13 straight games winning 12 and losing to Missouri in overtime in the other. The Americans streak has them in second place in the entire ECHL with 98 points. They now trail Toledo by just two points for the best record in the league. I have eaten enough crow lately so I am not going to say it is impossible to catch Toledo but it would be a tall task. If Allen goes 3-0 in their last three games and Toledo goes 2-2 there would be a tie at 104 points. The teams would be tied for the first tiebreaker (wins minus shootout wins) but Toledo would win the Brabham Cup on the second tie breaker (goal differential). If Toledo would go 2-2 and one of the wins is a shootout win the Brabham Cup would go to Allen as long as their 3-0 record had no shootout wins. I know the book answer is take one game at a time, don't worry about what the other team is doing and see where the chips fall at the end.

- As I walked around the concourse before the game and between periods last night talking to fans, all of the talk was about "Keep the Coach, Keep the Name" and that is understandable. I know that is not what the coach and team are focusing on right now. They are focusing on doing something that is unprecedented in minor league hockey and has been accomplished only once in the NHL (Montreal 1956-60). Focusing positive energy on the playoffs is what the team needs now.

- In  honor of McDonald's Night, here is Ronald McDonald delivering the "Miracle Speech" to the 2013 Allen team. It must have been quite inspiring as the team went on to win their first championship. Always fun to see video of the players from the past.

- Here are the results of the McDonald's specialty jersey auction from last night.

$700 - Chad Costello
$500 - Jamie Murray
$450 - Greger Hanson
$450 - Bryan Moore
$450 - Derek Mathers
$400 - Spencer Asuchak
$400 - Alex Krushelnyski
$400 - Tanner Eberle
$350 - Travis Brown
$350 - Eric Roy
$350 - Josh Brittain
$350 - Harrison Ruopp
$350 - Gary Steffes
$300 - Joel Chouinard
$300 - Mike Gunn
$300 - Riley Gill
$300 - Wade MacLeod
$300 - Miles Liberati
$300 - Zach Hall
$250 - Tyler Barnes
$250 - Dyson Stevenson
$250 - Mike Brodzinski

- Here is a story about playing minor league hockey that talks about playing with an uncertain future, the importance of support from wives and girlfriends and the sacrifices they make for players to chase their dream of playing professional hockey. It is a story about the players in Rapid City but applies everywhere.

- Two all-time single season records for the Allen Americans were set last night. Chad Costello got his 85th assist which broke his record of 84 set in 2014-15. Derek Mathers had 22 penalty minutes last night and now has the record for most penalty minutes in a season with 274, breaking the previous record of 257 minutes set by Garrett Klotz in 2013-14.

DID YOU KNOW: How did Allen make it to the top of the Mountain Division? They did their part by winning 12 of the last 13 games. But they needed help from Colorado who have lost four of their last five games. This after the Eagles had a streak of 17 straight wins and a two month record of 22-1-1-0.



  1. "Whether you agree or disagree with a name change make sure to let the team know how you feel. You can best do that by voting, which you can do in person or online and you can vote once per day through each voting channel. Maybe a "Keep the Coach, Keep the Name" campaign is in order."

    This is what you wrote yesterday. How come you sound like you're scolding the fans for doing it. You can't have it both ways. Barry, fans read your blog so don't be surprised if some of what you said get put in to practice.

    Maybe they should've waited until after the season is over to announce a possible name change.

    1. I totally agree with you Mark and Kari...we do not need to be scolded. Perhaps we need to look at the person who supported this whole name change to begin with... as per the boys, I do not think that they care about the name change, some had a bad night and played like amateurs, thank God for Murray, Moore and those who tried. We always send positive vibes but we will ask them to wake up when they are not...we do that with our loved ones anyway.

    2. Mark, Kari & Lilianas104,
      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on the post today. Want to assure you I haven't changed my mind and the last thing I intended to do was scold anyone. I was merely trying to put everything in perspective. If I missed the mark (no pun intended) that is my bad. By the way I agree with you the timing of this announcement is perplexing with the playoffs starting and fans already concerned about whether coach Martinson will return next season.

    3. This is what you wrote on March the change is there
      - I have heard from many fans sharing what they plan to talk to Jack about, asking me to share their concerns or asking what I thought they should say. My advice is for everyone to share whatever is on your mind but make sure to take the time and do it. I know from observing Jack before and after the press conference announcing the sale of the team he is in his element when talking to fans and truly wants to engage with them. If you want to know what is on my list to talk to him about it includes the following four items. First and foremost is thanking Jack (again) for taking the risk and buying the team as he is a hero for stepping up under difficult circumstances. Second, I want Jack to know Steve Martinson is not only the face of the franchise but it's heart and soul and if Jack wants more butts in the seats a long term contract for the coach is essential. Third, I want to share some marketing and promotion ideas that might help attendance. Finally, I want to talk to Jack about the possibility of a name change for the team. I started thinking about this when Missouri recently made their announcement that next season they will be the Kansas City Mavericks. This topic has come up numerous times over the years and the rationale for Missouri making the change certainly applies to Allen. I love the current name but the question to ask is would a broader and more recognizable name attract more fans. If a change is made, now is the prefect timing with a new owner in place. So you have what is on my mind. My encouragement to everyone is to take the time to introduce yourself and share whatever is on your mind. It is not very often you get the chance to talk directly to the decision maker of a sports franchise so take advantage and you could impact what happens going forward in Allen.

    4. Lilian,
      You have to go back to the March 12 blog when I first wrote about this. Here is what I said, "The Missouri Mavericks announced last night that they will be changing their name to the Kansas City Mavericks starting June 1. The rationale for changing the name in Missouri has many parallels to Allen. Wonder if new Allen owner, Jack Gulati, has an opinion on this. Will have a chance to ask him when he is in Allen next weekend for two home games with Wichita."

      The post on the 17th wasn't intended to be my position and it is not my position because I favor keeping the name the same. I was trying to lay out the rationale why he may be considering a name change and encourage others to talk to him about the topic if they had an opinion. Obviously I didn't do a good enough job of making my thoughts clear and for that I am sorry. As always, I appreciate your passion for the team and enjoy your comments here and on Twitter.

    5. Barry,
      Having been on of your guest bloggers I have "walked a mile in your shoes" and I understand first hand how remarks can be misconstrued. Thanks for the full explanation on the name change topic. I accept it and I am sure most, if not all, of your readers do also.

      Knowing how demanding the blog is in and of itself, I commend you on all that you do - both the blog and your other activities in support of the team. You are to be congratulated for your efforts - no other team has such a source of unbiased information about their team.

  2. Always a good read Barry! Jamie Murray has been outstanding and it is great to go into playoffs not concerned with who is in net! Gill is also an amazing goaltender. At the end of the day I will still be purchasing my season tickets whatever the name and whoever the coach is! The best news to me was the team is staying in Allen! If Martinson leaves I have no doubt it is because he received an excellent opportunity. One that he has earned and well deserved. Yes, i would love to see him with us as he has done so well for us. I believe the Allen Americans has a great ring to it and better than the other options. If we change it, I think we need to scratch it all. But no matter what I'm still going to support the team, boycotting because people don't get their way only hurts our community and the great future players that want to come to our team. Totally agree Let's stay POSITIVE!