Monday, February 23, 2015

Tulsa Beats Allen 3-1, Game Recap, Martinson Comments, Combs May Return, Dell Has Another Shutout

The Allen Americans lost last night to the Tulsa Oilers 3-1 before a crowd of 4048 at the Allen Event Center (AEC). It was the fifth straight home defeat for the Americans and one where the team played good defensively but the highest scoring team in the ECHL had trouble putting the puck in the net. Tulsa took the lead midway through the first period on a power play goal but Allen answered right back just 92 seconds later as Jamie Schaafsma scored his 12th goal of the season on a great passing play from Gary Steffes and Chad Costello. That was the extent of the scoring for the rest of the first period and the entire second period. Before the puck dropped in the third period coach Steve Martinson was given a game misconduct as he was questioning the officials about the call they made to eject Aaron Gens on an aggressor penalty in the second period.

Tulsa took the lead 2-1 at the 6:21 mark of the third period when Tulsa winger Tom Mele won the race for the puck on the left wing and somehow fired a shot past Allen goalie JP Anderson from a very sharp angle. That proved to be the game winner. Despite out shooting Tulsa 14-5 in the third period Allen could not make the comeback fans have become accustomed to over the last few games. An empty net goal by Tulsa made the final score 3-1.

The Americans will practice at the AEC this morning and leave this evening for Quad City (790 miles) where they will take on the Mallards on Wednesday.

Here are the video highlights from the game:


Coach Martinson's post game comments are below but have to say how lucky Allen is the have him as a coach. Not talking about his eight championships or back to back championships in Allen but his willingness to always take the time to meet with the media and season ticket holders and stay as long is it takes for everyone to ask their questions. Last night was a perfect example as his team lost a tough game, it was the fifth home loss in a row, he was thrown out of the game and the press conference was not at the AEC so it required a walk through pouring rain. He could have easily said he was not going have a press conference but he didn't. As he always does whether there are 10 or 100 people in the audience, he stayed until every question was asked, was open and honest with his answers and provided some real insight into what his job entails both on and off the ice. Everything that is talked about at the post game press conference is not posted here on the blog so I encourage all season ticket holders to attend. You will definitely find them informative, insightful and entertaining.

Here are the comments:

- I thought we played well defensively but we had to kill way too many penalties. It seemed like the referee often times didn't see the first violation but saw the retaliation which is always frustrating. We need to be smarter and not retaliate especially since we are not scoring a lot of goals right now.

- I was actually ejected by the linesman after questioning the Gens call in the second period. After I looked at the tape between periods it didn't meet the definition of an aggressor that would result in a game misconduct penalty. Gens didn't continue fighting or punching he just didn't let go of the guy. I don't think that meets the definition of an aggressor. I will go over some of these calls with the league office to get clarification but as I said we just need to be smarter and not retaliate. We can't kill seven or eight penalties a game and expect to win.

- I sat there by myself for a little bit in the third period and then I went to a suite where my son was sitting by himself watching the game. I have never done that before. So we watched the game together and talked about what was happening on the ice.

- With so many guys up in the AHL right now it is a chance for other guys to step up and show they can play and contribute. We can't have the Costello line scoring all of the goals. Everyone will still have to earn their ice time. At some point we will get some guys back whether it is next week or next month so now is the time for the players to show they can contribute.

- College and junior guys are starting to become available and you have to remember the rules are different in the ECHL as the playoff roster can be up to 24 players. Twenty will count against the salary cap and then four on reserve. In addition to to the college and junior players there will be contracted players from our affiliates to consider when playoff time comes so there will be a lot of players in the mix. It is a busy time of year both on and off the ice.

- A couple of things that were apparent to me from watching up in suite in the third period was we turned the puck over way too many times at the blue line and their goalie was seeing all of the shots we took. We score some pretty goals with the skill we have on this team but sometimes you you have to jam the net, get screens and have traffic. We have some guys that the only way they will stay in the line up is go the the net and get in the tough areas and they didn't do that tonight.

- I thought goalie JP Anderson was good in goal tonight. He was really good on a couple of the Tulsa power plays. Obviously, I am sure he would like to have that second goal back when they scored from a sharp angle. I don't know why goalies go down on that play rather than stand up and hug the post but they all do it. Other than that I thought he played a solid game.

- We will have a light practice tomorrow and will definitely work on screening the goalie (which we do all of the time) and then we will leave for Quad tomorrow night (Monday) at 6:00 or 7:00. I prefer to leave after dinner so we don't have to waste time on the road.

- Jack Combs has reported to Stockton who claimed him on waivers. There is still a chance he could end up back in Allen before the trade deadline on March 12. Some things have to happen to make that possible (some teams will have to rescind their waiver claims) but I am cautiously optimistic.


- Even though Allen still has a big lead (18 points) in the Central Division the dominance they showed earlier in the season has certainly slipped away. In the fifteen games over the last month they actually have a losing record winning only seven times.

- One of the problems lately for Allen has been getting off to a slow start. They have scored the first goal only one time in the last eight games.

- As is usually the case special teams was a key to victory last night. Tulsa's  first goal was on the power play as they went 1-7 while Allen was 0-3.

- Chad Costello had an assist (his 59th) and sets a new single season record for Allen each time he gets an assist. He also increased his ECHL scoring lead to 26 points.

- Despite playing in close to 20 fewer games than most ahead of him Jack Combs is still 7th in the ECHL scoring race with 56 points. Jack is reporting to Stockton so look for him to start making his way back up the scoring chart soon. Wouldn't be surprised to see him finish second in the ECHL scoring race behind Chad Costello.

- Aaron Dell continued his great play for Worcester last night recording another shutout (his third) while make 24 saves as the Sharks beat Manchester 3-0. Saw a tweet which said that Aaron now holds the all time Worcester record for GAA for goalies with at least ten games. His career GAA in Worcester is now at 1.81. You would think Dell is just one injury or one call away from making it to the NHL. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

- Had several Allen fans tell me how much they appreciated the video posted yesterday of the speech by Gary Steffes at the prayer breakfast in Bakersfield last year and how impressed they were with this young man. He is definitely a warrior on the ice doing whatever is necessary to help his team win. You could not find more of a gentleman off the ice who is both kind and considerate.  As you would expect he did an outstanding job with the meet-n-greet talking to fans after the Faith and Family game last night.

Win or Lose Gary Steffes & Aaron Gens give thanks after the game - photo by

 - I met a young man named Ben at the game last night who reads this blog but also has a blog of his own on Instagram which is "Allen Americans Hockey." If you are on Instagram give Ben a follow as he would appreciate it. He was so proud that Kyle Follmer and Nicole Schaafsma were following him so hopefully you can help him get some more followers.

DID YOU KNOW: In the ECHL this season the team that has scored the first goal has won 75% of the games. The Allen Americans win 84% of the games when they score first.


  1. Due to the weather yesterday my son and I didn't get to see Gary speak after the game. He is the real deal. I've talked to him several times after games. Humble off the ice yet a warrior on the ice. Great guy. I pray he continues to make an impact.

  2. Allen and Wichita get way too many penalties. It is called a penalty for a reason, it penalizes you. I agree, Allen needs to play smarter.

  3. Sad to hear you're not posting everything from Coach's meeting, since we were at Gary's event and couldn't be in 2 places at one time.

  4. Turtle, I have never posted every thing from the post game press conference. There are some thing said off the record and some things best left unsaid especially as it relates to officiating. With that said the recap in the blog today was complete. No topics were left out. The point I was trying to make is being there in person will always be better and more complete than my summary.