Sunday, January 14, 2018

Allen Beats Tulsa Behind Steffes Hat Trick, Game Recap, Martinson's Comments, Archambault Stats, Logan Martinson Heading to BCHL, All-Time Playoff Plus/Minus Leaders

After a poor performance in a 5-3 loss to Tulsa on Friday night the Allen Americans played one of their better games of the season last night and clobbered the Oilers 7-2. The crowd of 5562 at the BOK Center wasn't even settled in their seats before Olivier Archambault scored the first of his two goals 89 seconds into the game. It only got worse from there as the Americans scored four unanswered goals in the first period and the game was decided by the first intermission.

- How good was Allen last night? Let me count the ways.

1. Scored the first goal of the game to improve their record when scoring first to 15-3-1-0.
2. Took a 4-0 lead to improve their record when leading after the first period to 8-1-1-0.
3. Went 3-5 on the power play and are now ranked #3 in the ECHL at 20.9%.
4. Were perfect on the penalty kill (0-2).
5. Out shot Tulsa 40-35, just the second time in the last nine games to out shoot the opponent.
6. Had 40 shots on goal for only the second time in nine games.
7. Had fewer penalties (5 to 8) and penalty minutes (16 to 22) than Tulsa.
8. Superior goalie play, Stephon Williams with a .943 save percentage, Tulsa at .825.
9. Allen won the first period 4-0 and more importantly the second period 2-1.
10. Five goal margin of victory was the largest of the season (tied with opening night).

- The official score sheet shows the goal scorers for Allen were Olivier Archambault (10&11), Gary Steffes (2&3), Joel Chouinard (6), Eric Roy (10) and Miles Liberati (4). When I talked to coach Martinson after the game he told me Steffes actually had a hat trick as he deflected the puck on the goal credited to Liberati. He also said in a very Martinson like way, "It is obvious a higher power wants Gary to keep playing."

- Here is the link to ECHL Rewind where you can find video highlights of six of the seven Allen goals. The Liberati/Steffes goal is the one missing. The highlights also include Bryan Moore vs Kale Kessy and Josh Thrower vs Kale Kessy fights.

- Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans:

- Here is the game recap from the Tulsa World:

- In addition to talking about the Gary Steffes hat trick, coach Martinson also mentioned how important it was to have such a big bounce back after the game on Friday, the solid effort by Stephon Williams in goal and how much everyone chipped in and contributed to the victory.

- The Americans headed back to Allen right after the game for some well deserved rest before they take on the Oilers for the third straight game Monday afternoon (1:05 pm). If you are not off work on Monday you might want to skip out after lunch and come to the game. When you play the same team three times in 66 hours that third game is almost always one you don't want to miss. It will also be the last time to see Gary Steffes before he heads back to Minnesota.


- You never know what will happen in the second half of the season but the Mountain Division is looking more and more like the top and bottom are a given and the real race is for second place between Idaho, Wichita and Allen. Colorado won again last night and has now earned points in 12 straight games (11-0-1-0). The Eagles have a 12 point lead in the division. The gap between the last playoff spot and the bottom teams is now nine points. The fight for second place tightened last night as Allen won, Wichita lost and Idaho lost in overtime. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses. Remember, the top four teams make the playoffs and the top two get home ice advantage in the first round.

60 points - Colorado (37 games)
48 points - Idaho (38 games)
47 points - Wichita (38 games) 
45 points - Allen (37 games)
37 points - Tulsa (36 games)
36 points - Utah (37 games)
22 points - Rapid City (35 games)

- The Americans have six players averaging over a point a game if you include Gary Steffes who has six points in five games. Here is the list with average points per game.

1.73 - Olivier Archambault
1.25 - Bryan Moore
1.20 - Gary Steffes
1.18 - Zach Pochiro
1.14 - Casey Pierro-Zabtel
1.13 - David Makowski

- What Olivier Archambault has accomplished in 15 games is pretty amazing. He not only leads Allen in average point per game he leads the entire ECHL (minimum of 10 games). There are 23 players that have played more games with Allen than Archambault and many of those have played twice as many games. After just 15 games here is how he ranks on the team in the major categories.

24th - Games Played (15)
1st - Average Points Per Game (1.73)
1st - Shooting Percentage (25.0%)
3rd - Goals (11)
4th - Plus/Minus (+11)
5th - Points (26)
5th - Assists (15)

- Tracking the guys in the AHL shows Vincent Arseneau played last night as his Utica team beat Binghamton 3-2 in overtime. Arseneau had all zeros on the score sheet except for a two minute roughing penalty. The San Jose Barracuda did not play. Utica and San Jose will both be in action Monday afternoon.

- It has been a big week for the Martinson family as it was announced on Friday that Steve and Michelle's son, Logan, has committed to play for the Langley Rivermen in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). The Langley Rivermen are a junior "A" team based in Langley, BC which is just southeast of Vancouver. The BCHL is a 17 team league that traces it roots back to the 1960's. The most notable star to come out of the BCHL is NHL hall of famer, Brett Hull, who still holds the record for most goals in a season. In 1983-84 he scored a mere 105 goals in 57 games. The BCHL is where many players from the United States and Canada go in hopes of obtaining a scholarship offer to attended college. The Junior Hockey News rates the top 20 junior leagues in North America for player development and the BCHL is #5 on the list. Here is what they say about the league, "The BCHL is simply out pacing the rest of Junior A in Canada when it comes to college placement in the US (NCAA) and Canada (CIS). Many of those NCAA players are moving on to professional hockey. BCHL alumni on the current Allen roster include Casey-Pierro Zabotel, Connor Reilly and Marcus Basara. Here is the press release issued by the Langley Rivermen announcing Logan Martinson's signing:

DID YOU KNOW: I came across this stat the other day when doing some research and found it very interesting. Here are the top ten Allen players all time in career plus/minus in the playoffs.

+27 - Jamie Schaafsma
+24 - Tyler Ludwig
+19 - Daniel Tetrault
+17 - Chris Crane
+16 - Bruce Graham
+16 - Colton Yellow Horn
+15 - Erik Adams
+14 - Greger Hanson
+14 - Gary Steffes
+13 - Kale Kerbashian

Maybe the most impressive number on this list is the +19 for Daniel Tetrault because he accomplished that in just one playoff season (17 games). In his 17 playoff games in the 2014 championship season Daniel had just two minus games and they were both -1.


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