One of the signs of a good hockey team is finding a way to win when you don’t play your best hockey. Such was the case with the Allen Americans last night as they beat the Kalamazoo Wings 6-4 before a great Saturday night crowd of 5005 at the Allen Event Center.
– The bad news was Allen giving up the first goal of the game, blowing a 3-1 lead to give Kalamazoo a 4-3 lead midway through the third period, giving up two power play goals (2-5) and being out shot 16-11 in the crucial third period.
– The good news was Allen took a 3-1 lead after giving up the first goal of the game, out shot Kalamazoo 37-31 including 20-6 in the second period, scored two goals in 86 seconds after falling behind 4-3 in the third period, scored two power play goals (2-7) after having a total of two in the previous six games (2-26) and had a regular hattrick (Gabe Gagne) and a Gordie Howe hattrick (Alex Guptill).
– Goal scorers for Allen were Gabe Gagne (20, 21, 22), Stepan Falkovsky (7), Alex Guptill (16) and Brett Pollock, (11). Here are the video highlights:
– Here is the game recap issued by the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/americans-win-a-back-and-forth-affair-with-kalamazoo/
– Here is the game recap issued by the Kalamazoo Wings. If you want a goal by goal description along with other happenings this is a great read: https://www.kwings.com/en/news/k-wings-take-third-period-lead-fall-late-in-allen
– Assistant coach Jason Deitsch covered the post game duties as Steve Martinson had a rare opportunity to watch the end of his son, Logan’s game on a real time live stream. Here are Deitsch’s post game comments:
“We got the outcome we wanted tonight but obviously I think we still have a lot to work on.”
“Hopefully we will get some players back from Iowa in the next few days.”
“We have guys upfront that work hard every shift night in and night out but we also have guys that work hard when they have the puck but they don’t work real hard when they don’t have the puck. We are winning but to be a really good team that will have to change. We need more consistency from top to bottom.”
“When we get more players back, guys are either going to change the way they play or they won’t be playing.”
“Sometimes guys choose when to work hard, they take a shift off, don’t backcheck, and don’t win battles for pucks. To be successful this will have to change.”
– The video replay was used twice last night with both going the Americans way. Both reviews were for kicking the puck in the net. The referee ruled Gabe Gagne didn’t kick the puck in the net. A Kalamazoo goal was disallowed after a review for kicking the puck.
– Gabe Gagne’s hattrick was his first as a professional. He now has 22 goals which puts him at #1 in the ECHL. Gagne has a lot of company at the top of the ECHL goal scoring list:
#1 – Gabe Gagne (22)
#10 – Alex Guptill (16)
#10 – Jared VanWormer (16)
#10 – Jordan Topping (16)
#17 – Tyler Sheehy (17)
– Allen’s empty net goal with 19 seconds left in the game made for a rare double hattrick night for the Americans. Alex Guptill passed up the empty net goal to give the puck to Gabe Gagne. Gagne put the puck in the net for his third goal of the night. Guptill picked up the assist to go along with his earlier fight and goal to complete his Gordie Howe hattrick. Gagne rightfully was selected as the #1 star of the game but Guptill wasn’t in the top three. I would have given him the #2 star.
– It was a big honor for me to be asked to participate in the pregame on ice ceremony last night along with Michelle (wife) and Lily (daughter) Martinson in honoring coach Martinson for reaching #2 on the all time coaching win list. Thanks to the Americans for allowing me to be part of the ceremony for this historic event. My only regret is that local media and the ECHL did not cover this remarkable feat. My only hope is I will still be around and Martinson is still in Allen in 2025-26 when he passes Scotty Bowman for #1 all time.
– I often write about how singularly focused Steve Martinson is on hockey. He eats and sleeps with hockey on his mind. When you hire him you get a guy who is all in all of the time. You can hear from him at 5:00 am or midnight and if it is not about the Allen Americans it is still about hockey. His other passion is his kids hockey. After the game last night, the locker room was empty, the concourse was empty and Martinson was alone in his office watching the end his son’s game. I hung around to watch the game with him and it was quite a sight to see. He was just a dad cheering on his son’s team. Logan plays in the NAHL for the New Mexico Ice Wolves who are coached by two former Allen Americans, Phil Fox and Kyle Follmer. New Mexico scored four goals from the 6:12 to 16:37 mark of the third period for a come back 6-5 win. With each goal Martinson’s smile got bigger, I noticed a fist pump or two and I am pretty sure he jumped out of his chair at one point. Just a dad being a proud dad.
– If you have watched or listened to interviews with coach Martinson or assistant coach Deitsch this week it is clear they expect to get players back from Iowa prior to Monday’s game with Utah. The caveat is always unless there are unforeseen injuries. Turner Ottenbreit and Tyler Sheehy have been healthy scratches recently so I would expect them to return to Allen. If so, it will be a nice shot in the arm as the Americans take on Utah, who has been the best team in the Mountain Division over the last 10 games with a record of 7-2-0-1.
– With their win last night Allen now has 59 points and a 12 point lead over second place Idaho and a 15 point lead over third place Utah. However, Allen has played the most games in the ECHL (40) while Idaho has played 38 games and Utah just 36.
– Tyler Sheehy has missed seven games since being called up to Iowa but is still #3 in the ECHL in points (43), #3 in assists (28) and #17 in goals (15). Tyler’s 43 points are still 10 more than any other rookie in the league.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen leads the ECHL in goals scored with 155 and is on pace to finish the season with 279 goals. Here is how that compares to other ECHL seasons:
279 2019-20 (projected)