Monday, February 29, 2016

Allen Sweeps Wichita, Game Recap, Martinson's Comments, Playoff Brackets Explained

When the Wichita Thunder took a 1-0 lead against Allen early in the second period yesterday it set up the battle of the "streaks" for the Americans. Would the 10-0 winning streak against the Thunder end or would the streak of 14 straight games for Allen when the team that scored first won the game. It took goals by Greger Hanson and Tristan King in a shootout to settle the issue, as Allen beat Wichita 4-3 and improve their season long record against the Thunder to 11-0.

- Goal scorers for Allen were Justin Courtnall (7), Vincent Arseneau (8), and Greger Hanson (14). Courtnall's goal was key because it came shorthanded with Allen trailing 1-0. Arseneau's goal was key because it tied the score 2-2. It was the fourth straight game Arseneau scored a goal. Hanson's power play goal at 12:42 of the third period gave Allen the lead.

- Despite Wichita's poor record they are a team that works hard. They used that hard work to score a power play goal with just 103 seconds left in the game to tie the score 3-3. It was only the third power play goal the Thunder have scored against Allen in 44 opportunities this season.

- Gary Steffes took an ill-advised penalty as regulation time expired so Allen started the five minute overtime period shorthanded. Luckily, the Americans have the best penalty kill in the ECHL and were able to kill off the four on three penalty. Joel Rumpel was the best penalty killer stopping several excellent scoring chances by Wichita. The Thunder out shot Allen 7-1 in the overtime.

- The shootout was all Allen as Hanson went first and scored, Wichita sent out Andrew Huff who missed. In the second round Chad Costello missed and Wichita's Kale Kerbashian missed. Tristan King scored in the third round and that was the end of the game.

- Allen is now off until Saturday when they start the last long road trip of the season. The team will get on "Big Red" for the 842 mile drive to Colorado where they play on Saturday. They will get on the bus after the game on Saturday and drive 347 miles to Rapid City where they play Sunday afternoon. After the game on Sunday they drive the 1058 miles back to Allen. Whew!


- That is what I call an ugly win. We were 2-11 on the power play and it was frustrating to watch. When you have three games in three nights with travel and everyone is tired the skill level goes down a little bit. I think we saw some of that on the power play tonight.

- In the overtime, I played with two defensmen all the time because I felt we had an advantage if the game went to a shootout.

- It was a great weekend getting all six points. The guys lobbied for two days off so I told them I would be happy to not see them for a couple of days.

- I may change our approach to five on three power plays because it has not been working. We just went over it at practice on Thursday because I thought we might have the opportunity against Wichita. Last year we played Costello up high where he could pass to Tyler Ludwig for a one timer and I may go back to that.

- It is hard for me see how Lizon only got a two game suspension for targeting Courtnall's head. I tell my guys not to target heads with all we know about concussions. You get concussions from normal play but there is no place in hockey for targeting heads. I don't want my guys targeting heads and I don't have any sympathy for guys who get suspended for doing it.

- Our goal is to finish with the second most points in the Western Conference. We are certainly capable of doing that with the line up we currently have and playing 11 of our final 17 games at home.

- I believe Joel Rumpel is playing for the San Jose Barracuda on Tuesday. I have had discussions with San Jose and we will have options to add players for the playoffs. It could be guys currently on the Barracuda roster or guys San Jose has coming out of juniors and college.

- It is great for Aaron Dell to get called up to the NHL. That is the first player from my time in Allen that has made it to the NHL. It is quite an accomplishment.


- Here are some photos from the game:
Asuchak & Miller go back to their junior days - photo by

photo by Dianne Webster

photo by Dianne Webster

- Tulsa was idle yesterday and 0-2 on the weekend while Allen was going 3-0.  After Tulsa had reduced Allen's lead from 11 points to two points in the race for second place in the Central Division, the Americans have now extended the lead back to eight points.

- The San Jose Sharks play the Montreal Canadiens at home tonight after beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 yesterday in Vancouver. Is it possible Aaron Dell gets his first NHL start? Have seen both yes and no to that question on social media this morning but let's hope.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Thanks to Paul who asked this question at the post game press conference last night. How does seeding work after the first round of the playoffs? Thanks to ECHL Director of Communication Joe Babik for providing the answer. There is no reseeding after the first round. Everything is a straight bracket. In both conferences the winner of the #1 vs #8 series will meet the winner of the #4 vs #5 series in the second round. The winner of the #2 vs #7 series will play the winner of the #2 vs #7 series in the second round. What that means for Allen is if they end up with the best record of all the non-division winners in the Western Conference (a spot they currently occupy) and get the #4 seed and home ice advantage in the first round they will play the #5 seed. If they win that series they will play the winner of the #1 vs #8 series in the second round. Most likely the Missouri Mavericks.

DID YOU KNOW: In the last seven years the ECHL team that won the regular season championship won the Kelly Cup just twice. Both times it was accomplished by the Alaska Aces (2011 & 2014).

1 comment:

  1. Glad Joel is going to San Jose. I was afraid he might have missed his opportunity.
    Go Dell, Rumpel, Go Red.