Saturday, January 24, 2015

Disappointing 4-1 Loss, Martinson Post Game Comments, Allen vs Toledo Preview

There are many adjectives to describe the Allen 4-1 loss last night to the Indy Fuel but going to go with highly disappointing for the following reasons.

- The first opportunity to play a team outside of the Central Division ends up with the with a three goal loss. The largest margin of victory all year by an Allen opponent. (ties opening night three goal loss)

- The most potent offense in the ECHL was held to one goal for only the third time all year.

- After a scoreless first period and out shooting Indy 10-5 the Americans managed only twelve shots on goal (5 in the second & 7 in the third) in the final two periods. 

- Allen gives up four goals on twenty one shots.

- Allen took the lead 1-0 at 5:57 of the second period on a Gary Steffes goal (his league leading 25th) and wins 90% of their games when scoring first. Not last night.

- Indy scored their four goals on two quick offensive outbursts. In the second period it was two goals in 31 seconds on  a rebound and an odd man rush. In the third period it was two goals in just 20 seconds on a rebound and a misplayed puck by Riley Gill.

- Allen snapped a nine game win streak while Indy extended their win streak to four games. The Fuel have only allowed a total of four goals in the four games.

- Steve Martinson was short and to the point in his post game comments. "We were not strong in front of our net which cost us. In our offensive zone we got no second man pressure. Bottom line is we just did not play hard enough to beat Indy."


- Much of the Indy Fuel improved performance has come as a result of recent roster changes. They have added six new players in the last couple of weeks including familiar names (Kyle Stroh from Rapid City, Evan Vossen from Missouri, Nicklas Lindberg from Tulsa and Vincent Areseneau who played with Denver last year). This team is much better than the record shows.

- Ironic that in a game where the Hansen Brothers were in attendance, Garrett Klotz was back in the Indy lineup and Allen being the most penalized team in the ECHL there were no fighting majors and just eight minutes in minor penalties by each team.

- Special teams play was a non factor as both teams were 0-4 on the power play.

- It was a tough night for the Allen fans that made the trip Indy but knowing this group they made the best of a bad night on the ice. The report from the group was Allen play liked a team which was unfamiliar to the fans.  Let's hope they have something to cheer about in Toledo tonight.

No victory celebration for the Allen faithful after the 4-1 loss in Indy - Just a Cards Against Humanity Game

The view from some of the Allen contingent in Indy

- Alex Lavoie had a four point night last night (2 goals 2 assists) but his division leading Florida Everblades lost to the last place team (Gwinnett) by a score of 7-5.

- Jack Combs played his first game for Bjorkloven last night and his team won 3-1. Combs had no points.

- Even though they lost Allen maintained their 17 points lead in the Central Division standings over the three teams tied for second. Both Tulsa and Wichita lost while Quad City did not play.


- One of the best things about playing Toledo tonight is the Americans don't have to dwell on the loss to Indy very long and can get back on the winning track quickly. It will not be an easy task however. The Walleye have not lost in regulation since just after Christmas. They have won seven of their last nine games including a 2-1 shootout win at home last night over Kalamazoo.

- Toledo will be the best team Allen has faced all season as they lead the Eastern Conference in points (57) just as Allen leads in the Western Conference with 59 points. The teams are close in almost all statistical categories with the exception of average penalty minutes per game where Allen is ranked #1 with 22.78 while Toledo is #28 with 10.67. This is one stat where being first is not good.

- Here are some team comparisons:

Winning percentage: Allen #1 (.797) - Toledo #2 (.792)
Win percentage when scoring first goal: Allen #5 (87%) - Toledo #1 (95.8%)
Average goals scored per game: Allen #1 (4.27) - Toledo #2 (4.25)
Average goals allowed per game: Allen #2 (2.62) - Toledo #3 (2.67)
Power play (overall): Allen #5 (19.9%) - Toledo #1 (24.4%)
Penalty kill (overall): Allen #1 (89.2%) - Toledo #2 (88.4%)
Shorthanded goals: Allen #1 (9) - Toledo #7 (6)
Goal differential: Allen #1 (+61) - Toledo #2 (+57)

- The big difference in penalty minutes between these two teams is significant. Allen has taken 843 penalty minutes and 254 minor penalties this season. Toledo has taken 384 penalty minutes and just 142 minor penalties. Combine this with the fact that the Walleye have the best power play in the ECHL which at home scores on 25.4% of their opportunities and you have a big key to victory for the Americans. Stay out of the penalty box.

- The referee scheduled for the game is Andy Thackaberry (#22) and the linesmen are Bob Marcis (#94) and Jesse Pletsch (#54).

DID YOU KNOW:  The Toledo Walleye play at the Huntington Center which was opened in 2009 at the cost of 105 million dollars. It seats 7389 for hockey. The Walleye average 6447 per game which is #3 in the ECHL.
Huntington Center - Home of the Toledo Walleye

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