ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans lost their first preseason game to the Kansas City Mavericks last night by a score of 3-1. As predicted, the players on both teams were ready to hit someone after a week of practice.
When the smoke settled, there were 26 penalties called in the game for a total of 110 minutes (Allen 49, Missouri 61). A fracas at the end of the second period resulted in three fighting majors for each team and two game misconducts for each team. Bryan Moore, Mike Gunn, and Jonathan Lessard were the players involved for Allen with Gunn and Lessard given game misconducts for secondary altercations.
– Three of the four goals in the game came on the power play (two by the Mavericks), and each team had a five-on-three power play goal. Allen is always at or near the top of the ECHL in special teams ratings but have spent just one practice on special teams. Coach Steve Martinson said after the game he liked a lot more of what he saw in the game than what he didn’t like and the penalty kill was something he indicated as an area that needs improvement. He also mentioned the speed of the team as a strength and talked specifically about Olivier Archambault and Zach Pochiro.
– Something to keep in mind is a lot of players that will be counted on during the season were not in the game. Martinson wants to get everyone some game action but also needs to make roster decisions so that factors into who gets the most ice time.
– If you add Riley Gill, David Makowski, Joel Chouinard, Vincent Arseneau, Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Spencer Asuchak to the lineup (none of them played last night), you are adding a lot of firepower. If all goes as planned, you could see all six of these players in the opening night lineup.
– Another comment Martinson mentioned after the game was how good Goalie Stephon Williams looked giving up just one goal in 40 minutes of play, stopping 26 of 27 shots including 15 in the first period when Allen was outshot 15-9.
– After the game, Martinson released the three tryout players that were in training camp, (Max Cook, Charlie Finn & Matt Zenzola). They will head back to their SPHL teams. It is certainly possible you might see one or more of these players again in Allen if the team is shorthanded during the season because of injuries and call-ups. The roster is now at 21 players.
– You can expect to see some of the players that didn’t play last night in the lineup tonight. I would expect with only two goalies now in camp and the fact Williams played 40 minutes last night you will see Gill get most of the playing time tonight. The team is a little short on forwards so you might see one of the defensemen move up to play forward and it is likely one defenseman will not play. There are eight defensemen in camp and based on past seasons; I would expect Martinson to carry eight defensemen when the opening day roster is finalized. Incidentally, the roster is due to the ECHL office next Wednesday (October 11) at 3:00 pm EDT.
– I am working on a story about the new bus the Americans will be using this season. It is a fascinating story about the bus, the company that owns the bus and a fond farewell to Big Red. I plan to post the story on Monday. With the new bus being leased and used for many other purposes there will be no Allen Americans identifier on it.
DID YOU KNOW: Steve Martinson has spent his entire coaching career in AA hockey winning ten championships in 21 seasons. In those 21 seasons, he has won 943 regular season games.