The Sin Bin’s Kelly Cup Playoff coverage is brought to you by Kalwei Law Firm.
With the Kelly Cup playoffs starting last night, all eyes were on the Tulsa Oilers and the Allen Americans as they were the only series kicking off. With both teams making their first appearances in the ECHL playoffs, adrenaline was running high for both teams to get their postseasons started on the right track.
The first period began in favor of the Americans as Spencer Asuchak found Vincent Arsenaeu in front of the net, making it a 1-0 game at the 6:11 mark. The Oilers battled back, and seven minutes later, rookie Stephen Perfetto stole the puck from Allen, found T.J. Caig streaking and Caig deked his way past goaltender Riley Gill for the equalizer at 13:12. With the score tied at 1-1 after the first period, Allen had the edge in shots as they doubled up Tulsa with a 14-7 edge.
Tulsa started the second period with a real jump in their step, taking the lead at 4:59 as Jon Booras picked up a Perfetto rebound and put it home to make it a 2-1 score.
Facing the deficit, the Americans kicked their game up a notch and tied it up a minute later. With a scramble at the goal mouth, Chris Crane found the puck and chipped it in to make it a 2-2 tie. The Americans kept their foot on the gas and took the lead during the power play at 9:23 with Asuchak finding space over Kevin Carr’s shoulder to make it 3-2.
Regular-season scoring champion Chad Costello found the back of the net at 14:25 as he threaded the needle on a shot through the Tulsa defense, and past Carr’s glove for a 4-2 score. The fourth straight goal for the Americans came 1:16 later with Asuchak scoring his second goal of the night, picking up his own rebound for the 5-2 lead. After forty minutes, the Americans extended their shot advantage to a 30-16 pace.
The Oilers were unable to muster anything in the third period, despite having a chance with a 5-on-3 power play. Allen’s forecheck stymied any chances the Oilers could come up with, holding their shot total to five in the final frame. With another power play late in the third, Gary Steffes walked in along the goal line and scored from a steep angle over the shoulder of Carr, sending the final score to a 6-2 Allen win.
With five straight goals to close out the game, all of the momentum is swinging in the Americans favor. With not much time to rebound, the Oilers need to hit the reset button to get ready for tonight’s game and not let last night’s game sit in their minds. Puck drops for Game 2 at 7:05 in Allen.