Had the chance to stop by the Allen Event Center and chat with coach Steve Martinson and broadcaster Tommy Daniels on a myriad of topics. Here is some of what they had to say.
– With two road trips over that last week (Tulsa, Colorado, Utah) that included plenty of travel, there was little time for quality practices so coach Martinson scheduled practices every day this week. The team got home late Sunday night after the close to 24 hour trip from Utah, but there was practice Monday morning. It was however a “fun” practice (no coaches involved) as co-captians Chad Costello and Gary Steffes drafted players and the two teams played a game with the losers buying lunch. For the rest of the week (Tuesday thru Friday) practice will take place in the main rink each day starting at 10:00 a.m.
– Asked coach Martinson about his strategy in the first three on three overtime of the season in Utah on Saturday. Turns out his strategy was somewhat dictated by circumstances and isn’t necessarily how he will approach overtimes in the future. With Aaron Gens in the penalty box at the start of overtime and a depleted defensive group to start the game (only five defensemen), Martinson opted to go with one defenseman (Federico) and two forwards (Pierro-Zabotel & Costello) in what might be called the high risk, high reward approach. As a matter of fact, coach Martinson shared what Chad Costello said to him when he told the players who would start the overtime. Costello said, “This is going to end one way or another on the first shift.” Turns out Chad was a prophet when Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored the game winner on the first shift.
– For those of you who follow ECHL transactions, you may have noticed several on the list yesterday that generated a few questions. Dayn Belfour was released after signing a contract just a couple of days earlier. The reason for this is Dayn was being carried as the EBUG (Emergency Back Up Goalie) which has a limited time frame so he had to be signed to a regular contract knowing he would be released when the team returned home and Riley Gill was activated from reserve. The other move had Chad Costello being placed on reserve. He is not injured and will be activated prior to the game on Saturday. A player placed on reserve only has to sit out a game if their salary is changed. As long as their salary isn’t changed they do not have to sit out a game. By putting Costello on reserve it allows Martinson to have 19 players on the active list and still stay within the salary cap.
– If you don’t check the ECHL transactions on a daily basis it is a good way to keep up with what is happening with the Americans and around the league. It usually comes out late afternoon and can be found at echl.com. With coach Martinson always trying to improve the team, the transfer of players to and from San Jose and other miscellaneous transactions, there is always something happening. Might see a surprise transaction this afternoon that will be a head scratcher. Will explain after the fact. Also, don’t forget with the Trevor Ludwig trade, Martinson still has a veteran slot he can use anytime he identifies a veteran he wants to sign.
– You may have noticed a picture Tommy Daniels posted last night (see below) of a jam session that took place at the AEC yesterday afternoon. Madi Davis, who is competing in the current season of The Voice, joined players Aaron Gens, Ian Schultz and Tristan King at the jam session. Don’t know about all of the guys but Aaron Gens comes from a musical family and has some serious skill as a singer/songwriter. The official production company of the AEC/Americans (DJP Creative) was recording the jam session so somewhere, somehow fans will get to see a video of the event. Here is just a sample courtesy of the Allen Americans.
– Thanks to Tommy Daniels and one of his interns (Courtney) the media has been provided with up to date information on every player who has played for the Allen Americans along with single season, playoff and career records. After the information was lost last year due to a computer problem it had to be recreated by going back to every game Allen has ever played. It took a lot of effort on Courtney’s part to compile all of this data. Quite the undertaking that has finally been completed. Needless to say, when you write a blog on a daily basis this information is invaluable. Not sure where to start with all this good info but see “Did You Know” below.
– Found this in a story from the Hockey News written by Ryan Kennedy about San Jose Sharks prospect Dylan Sadowy who punched an opposing player from the bench after a shootout goal. Here is part of Ryan’s story:
This is one of those incidents that requires multiple viewings. In Friday’s Ontario Hockey League tilt between the Saginaw Spirit and Mississauga Steelheads, elite 2016 draft prospect Mikey McLeod was returning to the bench after scoring a shootout goal for the home team. I was at this game in Mississauga and didn’t see McLeod do anything untoward, but for some reason, Saginaw’s Dylan Sadowy took exception. Sadowy is no goon and in fact, he’s one of the leading scorers in the league right now (San Jose selected the left winger in the 2nd round, 81st overall in 2014 NHL draft). He and McLeod both had great games, with each registering two points in what turned out to be a 4-3 Saginaw shootout win. But what was up with that punch? The refs caught Sadowy and gave him a game misconduct.
DID YOU KNOW: Gary Steffes has only played 69 regular season games with the Allen Americans but is already third on the all time list for power play goals. With his three power play goals already this season Gary now has 21 career power play goals and has passed Colton Yellow Horn (18) and Nino Musitelli (19) to occupy third place. Ahead of him are Tyler Ludwig (29) and Bruce Graham (34). Good chance Gary tops the list by the end of this season unless he gets promoted to the AHL.