In a game coaches and fans alike said had the intensity of a playoff game the Allen Americans defeated the Tulsa Oilers last night 3-2 in overtime before a crowd of 5034 at the Allen Event Center. Chad Costello took a perfect cross ice pass from Aaron Gens and whistled home the game winner just 72 seconds into the overtime period. The overtime win snapped a five game home overtime losing streak for the Americans.
The other goal scorers for Allen were Vincent Arseneau who got his first goal for Allen (tenth of the season) and Greger Hanson who tallied his 24th goal which was a power play goal.
The team will be off today, practice tomorrow and leave on Tuesday for games with Tulsa Tuesday night and Wichita Wednesday night.
The win keeps Allen in the hunt for the best record in the Western Conference. The Americans are just one point behind Idaho who lost last night. Allen has played two less games than Idaho.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– It was a great win tonight and we are still in control for having the best record in the Western Conference with Idaho losing tonight.
– When Tulsa tied the score at 2-2 we had a bad change, we didn’t get a center out, a winger went out of position and left a guy all alone in the slot for a one timer.
– I thought we kept it simple on Hanson’s power play goal but did not do that again on the subsequent power plays. Watching some of the forced plays on the power play was frustrating especially the five on three. I am looking forward to not seeing any players tomorrow as they will have the day off. We will work on the power play at practice on Monday.
– We have a goalie coming in tomorrow and expect another player or two to arrive in the next few days. We have a lot of bodies around with all of the injured players plus all of the new guys.
– It was great to get an overtime win for a change. The guys gutted it out and didn’t give up.
– I have been using Garrett Clarke some on the power play as he is a left shot and we have been playing with four rights shot players and you don’t get a one timer when you are working from Costello’s off side. Clarke has a really hard shot so last night (Friday) I wasn’t real happy with some of our guys so I put Clarke out and he scored. That is my thinking on that. Tonight he took a wrist shot from the point when we had the five on three and the rule is if you don’t one time the puck from the point you send it back down low.
– We really stressed before the game tonight the importance of driving the net and screening the goaltender. Valcak was standing right in front of the goalie on Arseneau’s goal and we did a much better job tonight. We need to do more but I will take this effort and the win tonight.
– Eberle has not skated since last Friday and has not had a practice with us. I will move him into a penalty kill role on Tuesday. We have lost a lot of penalty killers and Tanner should do well in that role.
– One of the guys I hope to bring in had 38 goals in the Western League. What I am trying to find for the playoffs is guys that are tough but can also score. He is an energy guy and is a right shot which we need.
– Chad Costello had a goal and an assist in the game last night including the game winner in overtime and was named the #1 star of the game. Chad’s amazing season continues as he now has 109 points to lead the ECHL scoring race by 33 points. With Gary Steffes in the AHL Chad also leads the ECHL in goals with 37.
– South Carolina finally lost last night falling to the Indy Fuel 3-2. The Stingrays winning streak ended at 23 games which blew away the old mark which was 17 games. Job well done.
– The only other Central Division action last night in addition to the Allen win over Tulsa was Missouri beating Wichita 5-2.
Here is an update on the battle for the final three playoff spots:
75 points: Rapid City (6 games remaining)
73 points: Quad City (5 games remaining)
71 points: Tulsa (7 games remaining)
68 points: Wichita (6 games remaining)
All four team are in action today, with Rapid City playing in Brampton, Quad City playing in Missouri, and Tulsa playing in Wichita.
DID YOU KNOW: Chad Costello has 109 points in 66 games this season and will most likely end the season with more points than any ECHL scoring champion in the last fifteen years. Costello will have to pass Tyler Donati who was the ECHL scoring champion in 2009-2010 with 114 points to have that distinction. By the way Donati’s coach when he had 114 points for Elmira in 2009-2010 was none other than Steve Martinson. Do you think players like to play in Martinson’s offensive minded system? What a great recruiting tool.