As predicted a tired and defeated Missouri Mavericks team came into Allen last night determined to get the monkey off their back of having a 0-4 record against the Americans this year. The Mavericks took an early 2-0 lead but a goal by Ian Schultz with under two minutes remaining in the first period provided the spark to get the Allen offense going. Allen scored the only two goals of the second period as two defensemen lit the lamp with Nolan Descoteaux getting his first goal of the season and Tyler Ludwig his ninth to give the Americans a 3-2 lead going into the third period. At 1:03 of the third period Missouri accomplished something they had not been able to do in the first four games against Allen and that was score more than two goals. The Mavericks third goal of the game tied the score 3-3 and neither team could get the game winner in the last nineteen minutes of the third period so the game went to overtime. Missouri took a hooking penalty just seven seconds into the overtime which set up a familiar recipe for an Allen win against the Mavericks. Allen has dominated special teams play against Missouri and Gary Steffes has scored in all five games. So it was fitting that Steffes got a power play goal for the game winner just 1:15 into the overtime to send the crowd of 4685 home happy. Coach Matvichuk is not big on moral victories but he had to be encouraged how his team played after playing Friday night at home and then traveling to Allen. The one point Missouri earned was their first point in the last four games. No rest for the weary as the two teams will be back at it at 4:05 this afternoon (Sunday).
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- I liked the finish of that game more than the start. It was obviously a frustrating start getting down by two goals but the Schultz goal at the end of the first period was big because you feel better when you know you are just one shot away from getting the equalizer.
- The power play was also frustrating (1-6) as we didn't shoot the puck well and also didn't shoot it enough. We worked on the power play this morning and we worked on it yesterday in practice but we need more work. We will probably get everyone in the room and look at video. We have so many skill players who always want to make plays but sometimes the best play is getting pucks to the net with guys in front. Our power play is at 20% (#6 in the ECHL) but could be so much better.
- The power play goal we scored in overtime was a nice goal as we kept moving around and pulled some guys out of position and Steffes used the same one time forehand play I have seen him use eight or nine times this year to get the game winner.
- We are finding different ways to win games with a couple of guys out of the line up and Combs just returning from the flu and not yet 100%.
- Despite having 43 shots on goal I thought we had more opportunities to shoot the puck but we passed them up to make better plays. I believe in percentages and if you have a goalie with a save percentage below .900 you need to shoot the puck more.
- Tyler Barr, the new player just signed, didn't play tonight because of a problem with his immigration status. Normally when a player goes from one team to another his visa (called P1) is transferable but that is not the case between the SPHL and ECHL which I just found out today. So we had to send him to Laredo where he has to leave the country and then come back in with his new P1 visa application. If all goes well he should be in the line up tomorrow afternoon.
- I have signed a couple of guys from Europe who should be here by next weekend. They have to go through the immigration process which will hopefully get done early in the week. One of the guys has played in North America before but the other has not. They will add depth to our team and give us three lines capable of scoring on every shift.
- I have coached in All-Star games before and the primary goal is for the players to enjoy themselves but I will also remind the players that at the ECHL All-Star game there will be scouts watching from every NHL team. They need to go out and play hard. This is a lot different all-star game than you would normally see so the message will be have fun but showcase your skills.
- The ECHL All-Star break is January 20-22 but we have to leave for Indy on the 21st so our team will take the All-Star break on Super Bowl weekend (February 1st) which is better timing given we just had three days off for the Christmas break.
- If there wasn't a rule about only one player per team Chad Costello would probably have been an All-Star starter.
Officially the Mavericks were 0-6 on the power play last night and are now 0-25 against Allen this year. In reality Missouri's third goal was a power play goal as it was scored one second after Tyler Ludwig's penalty expired.
- Chad Costello and Jack Combs each had two assists in the game and have increased their lead in the ECHL scoring race. Combs has 54 points, Costello has 52 points and in third place is Tulsa Oiler Adam Pleskach with 41 points.
- It was great to see the various tributes to Scotty Alexander (Allen bus driver who passed away in early December) before and during the game last night. It was also nice the Americans scheduled the event when Scotty's friend, Richard Matvichuk was in town. Before the game I ran into Roxanne & Kacee Coberly who came down from Oklahoma City for the remembrance. Kacee was the Allen equipment manager for three years including the back to back championships and worked closely with Scotty. Saw lot's of the special t-shirts being sold to raise funds for the Alexander family.
- Brampton beat Reading last night 4-2 but Wichita lost to Evansville 5-3 so the former CHL teams split and are now 4-15 against to older ECHL teams.
- After winning only one of their last fourteen games and firing coach Dwight Mullins the Evansville Icemen are now 2-0 under new coach Al Sims. And how is this for an Allen alumni scoring combination. In the 5-3 win over Wichita last night the fifth Evansville goal was an empty netter scored by Jarret Lukin with assists going to Kale Kerbashian and Jim McKenzie.
- Another Allen alum, Darryl Bootland had two goals last night to lead his Colorado Rockies to a 4-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors. Darryl has been on quite a goal scoring streak lately as he has ten goals in the last eleven games.
- Allen is on a five game win streak and has the best home record in the ECHL at 14-2-1-0.
- With the attendance of 4685 last night Allen's season long average attendance has once again gone over the 4000 mark with average attendance now at 4016. The next goal is to get to the ECHL average of 4354. League wide attendance for the ECHL just surpassed the two million mark.
- I was reminded last night of a difference in overtime rules in the ECHL from the CHL. Minor penalties in overtime are a full two minutes in the ECHL versus the one minute overtime penalties in the CHL.
- With his win last night Riley Gill is second in the ECHL with eighteen victories.
- Allen scores a ton of their goals in the second period. Here is goals scored by period for the season:
1st - 36
2nd - 58
3rd - 39
DID YOU KNOW: Allen's overall power play percentage is 20% which is ranked #6 in the league. But the odd stat is they are ranked #17 at home with 16% and are #3 on the road at 23.8%.