– It was a historic night at the Allen Event Center last night as a crowd of 4658 witnessed something that has happened only three times in pro hockey. Allen coach Steve Martinson became the third coach and first American born coach to reach 1000 wins. There was definitely some irony in the win which came the day after Allen was eliminated from the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The 1000th win came against the Tulsa Oilers, a team Martinson played for back in 1983-84.
|Martinson played for Tulsa in 1983-84|
– After the game coach Martinson’s wife (Michelle), son (Logan) and daughter (Lily) joined him on the player’s bench to watch a great video tribute put together by the Allen Americans staff with the help of Michelle Martinson. Steve received congratulations from far and wide and the video congrats included coaches, players, media,friends, family, fans and staff. I am sure at some point it will be put on YouTube but you can be assured the video and much more will be shown when the Americans have a celebration of Martinson’s 1000th win, including the Steve Martinson bobble head on March 29.
|Logan, Steve, Michelle & Lily Martinson celebrating the 2016 Kelly Cup championship|
– I will include some facts and figures in the blog today about Steve Martinson’s career but I refer you to this must read story written by Rick Gosselin that tells the story of Martinson’s journey from player to a coach with 1000 wins. Gosselin has covered all sports in his 46 year sports journalism career but is most known for his NFL coverage. He was selected into the writers wing of the NFL Hall of Fame way back in 2004. However, if truth be known hockey is his favorite sport and it has been since he grew up playing hockey in the Detroit area. He was an All-City right wing in high school and played senior hockey for almost 20 years until he moved to Dallas in 1990. Rick spent well over an hour with Martinson asking him all the details about his playing and coaching career to come up with this great story that I hope gets circulated around the hockey community. https://footballmaven.io/talkoffame/nfl/steve-martinson-becomes-third-pro-hockey-coach-with-1-000-victories-BmzS1E-wf0-BnmK8RSXWSw/
|Martinson played two seasons in Montreal|
– What is remarkable about Martinson’s journey to 1000 has been his consistency which I think comes from intensity and a singular focus on winning. He has averaged 44 wins per season and in some of those seasons they only played 64-66 regular season games.
|Martinson the coach|
– Martinson often refers to his family as a 24 hour hockey family and that isn’t far from the truth. I have worked with Martinson for seven years and what I saw last night in his office after the on ice celebration was the same Martinson from year one. He has a hard time being in the spotlight when being praised. When he says he didn’t think about the 1000th win leading up to last night unless someone brought it up that is the absolute truth. He appreciated all of the hard work that went into the video tribute and was truly surprised to hear from so many from his past. It was difficult to get him to reflect on his accomplishments as a parade of people stopped by his office to congratulate him. He was much more comfortable telling old war stories about the people that sent him the video clips. It was classic Martinson with plenty of laughs. And in the midst of all the celebration talk Martinson would lapse back to where he is most comfortable, talking about the game and where improvement is needed for the upcoming game on Tuesday.
– Among the comments I remember Martinson making after the game was that it was great to win the 1000th playing a good game against a good team. however, always the realist, he also said how it sucks to win your 1000th game in a season like this.
– There will be public appearances and media coverage over the next few days to acknowledge his 1000 wins but there is no doubt his focus is already on what makes him tick, working on getting the next win.
– Allen has played a big part in Martinson’s coaching career. Four of his 10 championships have come in Allen. 273 of his 1000 wins are in Allen. He has won 103 playoff games in Allen. He has coached in 17 playoff series with the Americans and has a record of 15-2. He is 5-1 is seven game playoff series including 2-0 in seven game championship finals. What a career and he is nowhere near done.
– The best thing about last night was how the Americans played in getting Martinson his 1000th win. They overcame some real obstacles in getting the 3-2 win over Tulsa. To start with Allen was playing their third game in four days while Tulsa was well rested having not played since last Sunday. Tulsa came to Allen super motivated as they are in a battle for the top spot in the Mountain Division and the #1 seed in the playoffs.
– The Americans were being out shot 15-4 at one point in the first period but scored on their sixth shot of the game and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Over the last 43 minutes of the game Allen out shot Tulsa 35-23. This against a team that had out shot Allen 443-292 in their previous 11 games.
– The star of the game was Lukas Hafner who made big saves over and over. It was great to see Hafner shine after a couple of rough outings against Kansas City.
– Here is a game recap issued by the Tulsa Oilers: https://tulsaoilers.com/tulsas-streak-snapped-in-allen/
– The goal scorers for Allen were Braylon Shmyr (16), Joel Chouinard (6) and Dante Salituro (16). Here are the Sporfie highlights of their goals.
– Here are is the highlight package from the Allen Americans:
– I have four FREE premium level club tickets (second level) for the Allen game on Tuesday (March 12 at 7:05 pm) against Tulsa. I will have a drawing for the tickets tomorrow (Monday) morning, notify the winner and leave the tickets at will call. If you are interested let me know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). All I need is your name and whether you are interested in two or four tickets. The tickets are on the upper level in the end of the rink where the Zamboni enters the ice. Good luck!
– I also have a pair of Free tickets for the game on Tuesday in Section 100. These seats are in the lower bowl in the second row behind the goal where Allen is on offense twice. If you are interested let me know by email (email@example.com). All I need is your name and make sure to let me know you are interested in the Section 100 tickets. I will have a drawing for these tickets tomorrow (Monday) morning, notify the winner and leave the tickets at will call.
DID YOU KNOW: I have always found it interesting when records are talked about they are only for the regular season. Steve Martinson has won 1000 regular season games but he has 252 playoff wins to go along with those 10 championships he has won. So the win last night was actually 1252 in Martinson’s coaching career.