You might call it the Allen championship banner raising pattern because for third straight year the Americans have lost their home opener and then followed it up with a win in their second game at home. Allen beat Tulsa last night 4-2 before a crowd of 4553 at the Allen Event Center (AEC).
The Americans got off to a fast start scoring just 24 seconds into the game on a goal by Justin Courtnall who went top shelf. Tulsa was able to tie the score toward the end of the first period but goals by Gary Steffes and David Makowski put the Americans ahead for good. Tulsa closed the gap to 3-2 midway through the third period but Allen held on and sealed the victory with an empty net goal by Tristan King.
With a jersey auction immediately following the game (more on that later) there was no post game press conference but I had the chance to catch up with coach Martinson briefly. Here is what he had to say:
– It was great to win tonight. I really liked the first period especially getting off to that fast start. Fourteen minutes into the first period Tulsa only had one or two shots on goal. Turnovers hurt us at the end of the first period and allowed Tulsa to tie the score.
– We took so many penalties it was hard to get anything going but the penalty kill unit did a good job as Tulsa was 0-8.
– I tried a different group that I worked in practice when we had the five on three power play opportunity and that didn’t work very good and it was painful to see at the end of that power play Tulsa come out of the penalty box and score on a breakaway.
– I thought our young guys looked good. David Makowski played real good tonight.
– Joel Rumpel looked good in goal again tonight.
– We played better tonight than last night, there were fewer turnovers but still too many. Some of our older guys only had nine days of training camp because we started late and I didn’t play them in the preseason game. Guys are still trying to get in sync and it will get better each game we play. We are moving in the right direction.
– With a 4:05 start this afternoon for the rematch in Tulsa the team left this morning at 10:00 am for the shortest commute (230 miles) they have for a road game. They will return to Allen immediately following the game.
– With three games in three days combined with eight hours on the bus it takes a toll, especially on some of the older players. You might see a roster move for this game.
– Had the chance to talk briefly to defenseman Rick Pinkston and ask how he was doing after leaving the ice with an injury on Friday night. He indicated it is too early to tell when he will be back but there were no broken bones and it wasn’t as serious as it looked when he left the ice.
– In the odd stat of the day, after two games Allen has scored just one power play goal in 11 opportunities and has also allowed just one goal in 11 penalty kill opportunities.
– It is early but the Wichita Thunder sit atop of the Central Division standings with four points, followed by Allen & Missouri with two points and Tulsa in fourth place with zero points.
– Besides the Allen vs Tulsa game this afternoon there are only two other games scheduled in the ECHL today. Reading is at South Carolina and Missouri plays Alaska for the third time in three days. They have split the first two games with Missouri winning last night 3-0.
– The officials scheduled for the Allen vs Tulsa game this afternoon are referee Mike Sheehan (#41), linesmen Mitch Macpherson (#46) and Erik Contino (#92). Sheehan was the referee in Allen Friday night.
– The Allen Americans had their first jersey auction of the season last night auctioning off the NASCAR jerseys they wore during the game. Here are the results. These jerseys have to be ordered way in advance and you can tell by some of the names who the Americans had hoped would be in Allen. Crane, Areseneau, and Eberle are playing in the AHL and Schultz & Schwartz are still recovering from an injuries.
Hanson – $600
Young – $450
King – $450
Pierro-Zabotel – $650
Follmer – $500
Federico – $450
Makowski – $450
DiPaolo – $550
Schultz – $700
Clarke – $750
Doremus – $450
Pinkston – $450
Roy – $500
Baker – $500
Belfour – $500
Gens – $1400
Nikkel – $400
Rumpel – $700
Steffes – $650
Crane – $450
Courtnall – $800
Schwartz – $350
Arseneau – $450
Stevenson – $700
Gill – $500
Eberle – $400
The grand total was $14,750.
DID YOU KNOW: The Allen Americans have lost all three games when they raised the championship banner in their home opener in 2013, 2014 and 2015. But did you know they won their second home game all three years and Tulsa was the opponent each time.