ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans lost last night to the Missouri Mavericks by a score of 4-2 before a crowd of 5,689 at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The good news is the Americans showed they can play with Missouri, the bad news is for the fourth straight time the Mavericks found a way to come out on top. Allen is now 1-4 against Missouri and play the Mavericks six times in the last month of the season.

– It was an auspicious beginning for Allen as Missouri’s Jesse Root threw the puck toward the net from a sharp angle only to have it go off Mike Gunn’s skate right through the five hole past goalie Joel Rumpel. Less than a minute into the game the Mavericks took a 1-0 lead.

– To their credit, the Americans came right back just 29 seconds later when Tristan King put in a long rebound after Chris Crane banged a shot off the post. It was King’s eighth goal of the season.

– The Americans took a 2-1 lead at the 6:18 mark of the second period on a power play goal by Aaron Gens (7) assisted by Hanson and Crane.

– The Gens goal would be the end of the scoring for Allen as Missouri scored three unanswered goals to win the game 4-2. The three goals were a power play goal, a poorly played shorthanded goal and an empty net goal.

– Allen out shot Missouri 30-25 and outplayed the Mavericks through much of the game. Three of the four Mavs goals including the game winning shorthanded goal were unique to say the least. But moral victories are always reserved for losing teams and Missouri got the two points and extended their lead over Allen to an insurmountable 22 points. Good teams find ways to win and that is what Missouri did last night.

– Each team had a power play goal with Allen going 1-7 and Missouri 1-5. The big special teams difference was the game winning shorthanded goal by the Mavericks.

– Allen and Missouri have now played five times this season with the Mavericks winning four times. The Americans have been outscored 16-7 in the five games and have never scored more than two goals in a game. For Allen to be successful in the six games they have remaining against Missouri they will have to score more than two goals per game.

STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:

– It was a disappointing outcome tonight. We played much better defensively giving up only one odd man rush.

– The first goal was a lucky goal going off our defenseman’s skate through the five hole.

– It looked to me like goalie interference on the Mavericks second goal.

– Their third goal (shorthanded) was painful to watch. It is the type of mistake you can’t make against a team as good as Missouri.

ALLEN VS  TULSA GAME PREVIEW:

– While Allen was losing to Missouri, the Tulsa Oilers were at home beating Evansville 5-2 to close within four points in the battle for second place in the Central Division. After last night Allen has 61 points and Tulsa has 57 points plus two games in hand.

– The results last night set up a battle for second place when Allen and Tulsa play back to back games tonight (Saturday) and Sunday afternoon. If the Oilers win both games in regulation to tie Allen, they will have erased an 11 point Americans lead in less than two weeks.

– Riley Gill will get the start in goal for Allen tonight. It will be Gill’s first start since January 17th when is was injured.

– Allen had to travel from Missouri to Tulsa after the game (265 miles) so they didn’t get into their hotel rooms until around 3:00 am. This weekend is one of those gut check weekends for the Americans with three road games in 48 hours with travel. Tulsa is also playing three in three but all games are at home.

– The game tonight against Tulsa will be the 12th of 15 games these teams will play this season. The Americans record against the Oilers in the previous 11 games is 5-6. In addition to the typical comparison between the teams, thought it would be interesting to look at averages based on the 11 head to head match ups.

Here are the results:

ALLEN TULSA
Goals: 2.36 2.82
Shots: 24.45 27.45
Power Play %: 12.8% 12.2%
Penalties/Game: 5.45 5.27
Penalty Minutes/Game: 13.81 13.73

 

– Here is the regular comparison between Allen and Tulsa:

ALLEN TULSA
Team Record 29-19-2-1(61 points) 26-18-3-2 (57 points)
Division Ranking 2nd – Central 3rd – Central
Conference Ranking 4th – Western 6th – Western
Last 10 Games 5-5-0-0 6-3-1-0
Last Game 4-2 L (Missouri) 5-2 W (Evansville)
Goals For/Against 154/145 132/121
Power Play 21.6% (41/190) 13.6% (23/169)
Penalty Kill 86.5% (27/200) 84.8% (29/191)
Leading Scorer Costello  (19-50-69) DeSalvo (13-30-43)

 

–  Here is how Allen and Tulsa rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (16.71) – Tulsa 7th (15.67)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 9th (3.02) – Tulsa 22nd (2.69)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 14th (2.84) – Tulsa 5th (2.47)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 26th (27.27) – Tulsa 25th (27.55)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 14th (29.92) – Tulsa 4th (27.78)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 2nd (21.6%) – Tulsa 25th (13.6%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 4th (86.5%) – Tulsa 11th (84.8%)

– Special teams will most certainly play a role in the game tonight. If you look at the ECHL stats, Allen has a big advantage with a much better overall power play percentage than Tulsa (21.6% to 13.6%).  If you look at Allen’s road power play percentage (24.5%) versus Tulsa’s home power play percentage (20.5) the advantage is not as big. If you look at the 11 head to head games between these teams, the power plays are even, Tulsa is at 12.2% on the power play compared to Allen at 12.8%.

– Both of these teams have trouble getting shots on goal with Allen ranked #26 in the league and Tulsa #25. They both average just under 28 shots per game.

– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Chris Pontes (#2) and linesmen Mitch Macpherson (#48) and Chip Excell (#42). Pontes was the referee in Missouri last night.

DID YOU KNOW: Missouri needs 34 points in their last 23 games to break the all time ECHL points record of 116. The Mavericks have only six regulation losses in their first 49 games. If the Mavericks go 17-6 in the last 23 games they will have the record.

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