ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans picked up where they left off last season with a 2-0 victory over the Wichita Thunder last night in their only preseason game before ECHL league play commences on Saturday. The Americans were led by Gary Steffes who had both goals and the goalie tandem of Riley Gill and Jamie Murray, who combined for a 22 save shutout. Gill played the first half of the game and recorded 12 saves, Murray played the second half and had 10 saves.
– The first Steffes goal came at the 10:05 mark of the second period with assists to Joel Chouinard and Aaron Gens. His second goal was scored at the 10:00 mark of the third period assisted by Kale Kerbashian and Tristan King.
– The win by Allen was the 14th straight against Wichita as the Americans won all 13 regular season games last season against the Thunder. The last Wichita victory over Allen came in a preseason game a year ago.
QUOTES FROM THE GAME:
Here are some post game quotes. Thanks to Matt Harding for sharing his post game interviews with both coaches.
“The goalies were sharp and I liked what I saw from the defense.”…..Allen coach Steve Martinson
“We had some young new guys in the lineup from the NAHL and tier two in Canada and they showed some jitters but I thought they played well.”…..Martinson
“We started out a little slow but it is tough when you come into an Olympic size rink in preseason as it is a different game.”…..Martinson
“None of the lines tonight have worked together all week and I am sure it was the same for Wichita. We didn’t have some our regular guys back from San Jose and sitting Chad Costello out changed the lineup so I switched up the lines in the third period. I liked Kerbashian, Steffes and King together as they have good speed and good skill.”…..Martinson
“We got a couple of defensemen (Eric Roy & Travis Brown) back yesterday and will get a few more guys back next week. It will be good to get a few more guys back in town and start working on some stuff.”…..Martinson
“I am not keeping any of the tryout guys even though they showed well. Basically, I was looking for guys I could bring up during the season.”…..Martinson
“Depending what happens with San Jose, we could get two or three forwards assigned next week and we still have Tanner Eberle and Harrison Ruopp in San Jose.”…..Martinson
“We will have three lines capable of scoring and six real mobile defensemen that can jump in the play and shoot the puck from the point.”…..Martinson
“Normally I don’t talk about winning, I talk about all of the stuff that adds up to winning but obviously we want to try and do it again. The line up I have now I would love to have going into the playoffs but that is a long way off.”…..Martinson
“I thought the first period was ours and the majority of the second period was theirs. It was back and forth in the third period and we had a good push at the end. We had a three on one and couldn’t finish, a couple of good opportunities in the slot, a couple of good looks on the power play and some chances at the end when we were six on five.”…..Wichita coach Malcolm Cameron
“The majority of that group we played against tonight have been together for two years. We have been together for six days so I am pretty pleased with what I saw.”…..Cameron
“We have a new coach, a new style and a bunch of new players that have never played together. I think in six weeks we are going to look pretty polished.”…..Cameron
“The big difference tonight was Allen managed the puck a little bit better in the offensive zone than we did. Some of that was nervousness on the part of our guys. They (Allen) have the benefit of the same coach, same system and same teammates.”…..Cameron
“My style is very similar to Steve Martinson. If you don’t have a play with the puck you have to make the other team take it off of you. You don’t just give the puck away. For me, tough hockey and tough teams to play against are ones that make you take the puck off them. I think we gave the puck over unnecessarily on both of the goals tonight. I think guys were trying to do too much offensively looking for the sweet play. But you can’t teach everything in five days. Again, overall I am pretty pleased.”…..Cameron
“It was fun to get back into game action tonight. Coach Martinson has put together another great team and we are ready to get things going next Saturday.”…. Number one star of the game with two goals, Gary Steffes
– Chad Costello, Dyson Stevenson and Nolan Descoteaux did not make the trip to Wichita.
– The makeup of the team will change quite a bit in the next few days from the team that played in Wichita last night. All of the tryout guys will be released and several players from San Jose will be sent to Allen after the last Barracuda preseason game tonight.
Look for coach Martinson to spend a lot time this week at practice putting line combinations together for next weekend.
– Former Allen American players have made their presence known this weekend. Jamie Schaafsma had two goals for Fort Wayne in a losing cause. If Jamie, who is a notorious slow starter, gets hot early everyone better watch out. Trevor Ludwig had a goal last night for Orlando and Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored for Colorado. Two former Americans fought each other when Reid Halabi from Rapid City took on Jessey Astles from Colorado. Astles also scored the first goal for Colorado. Daniel Tetrault had his first two games behind the bench as the assistant coach for the Rapid City Rush.
DID YOU KNOW: The first regular season game ever played between Allen and Wichita took place on New Years Eve in 2009. Allen won 3-0 on goals by Nathan O’Nabigon, Christian Gaudet and Tyler Wooddisse. Goalie Charlie Effinger had a big night with an assist in addition to a 33 save shutout.