ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans lost to the Tulsa Oilers last night 4-3 before a crowd of 4585 at the BOK Center. The loss was the first regular-season regulation loss for the Americans in 20 games dating back to February 19 of last season.
In the game preview yesterday, I talked about the team that scored first would win the game and the team that won the special teams battle would win the game. Turns out Tulsa accomplished both last night. The Oilers tallied the first goal of the game before two minutes had elapsed. On special teams, Allen did manage a power play goal going 1-6 on the night but gave up two shorthanded goals (both on breakaways) which proved to be the difference in the game. Tulsa added a power-play goal (1-3) to the two shorthanded goals for a clear win on special teams. It was the first home win for the Oilers after losing their prior two home games.
– The best thing about losing a road game is when you can come back and play the same team again the next night. Allen has that chance tonight as they will be right back at the BOK Center for a 7:05 pm puck drop. The keys to the game remain the same, the Americans need to get off to a better start and they need to be much better on special teams.
– After the game coach Steve Martinson‘s comments to me were all about special teams and they went like this, “Special teams let us down. Two shorthanded breakaway goals were the difference in the game. The power play needs some work.” Martinson was short and to the point. Look for a different outcome tonight.
– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Sean MacFarlane (#4) and linesmen Micheal Houle (#49) and Addison Brush (#80).
The Story of Brett Bergman
– Allen fans may recognize interim athletic trainer Brett Bergman from seeing her at practice or during games or from the video that has played about her story during intermissions. I first met Brett back in April. Not in person but through her boyfriend, Tom Manning, Director of Game Operations for the Americans. Tom would share with me what was happening with Brett after she was diagnosed with breast cancer last January. Every time I stopped by the Americans front office I would ask Tom for an update and sometime in April, he mentioned Brett was chronicling her journey on Facebook in an effort to help and educate other women.
I went home and watched all of the videos Brett had posted which I found to be a combination of open, honest, raw, heartbreaking, uplifting, sad, inspirational, emotional and compelling all at the same time. I have been keeping up with Brett through her Facebook videos ever since. There has even some humor mixed in with the down times, especially the video of Tom cutting Brett’s hair when it started to fallout back in July.
– I finally got to meet Brett in person at training camp earlier this month as she was helping out as the interim trainer for the Americans. A bright light with a positive attitude and always thinking about others. Brett gets her last chemo treatment on Monday and then will begin preparing to head back to school to finish her degree.
– Allen captain Joel Chouinard said it best, “Considering what Brett is going through it is very impressive how she is always in a good mood and she never complains about anything. Looking at her go about her day makes you put things in perspective.”
– Here is a video that explains in more detail Brett’s story, in her own words, in an interview with the Americans game host, Kayla McLain. You can also check out “Brett Bergman’s Cancer Crusade” on Facebook to see the video journal entries she has posted about her journey.
– There has been no official announcement by the Americans but coach Martinson has mentioned that he would have four alternate captains this season and two more were unveiled last night. David Makowski and Spencer Asuchak wore the “A” the first four games of the season. Last night Vincent Arseneau and Peter MacArthur were wearing the “A”. Martinson has said he will use the four alternate captains interchangeably. Congrats to all!
– Coach Martinson told Tommy Daniels during his pregame interview last night that Stephon Williams will be recalled to San Jose on Sunday. The plan is to have Williams start tonight and then Jeremy Brodeur will get his first start in Allen Sunday afternoon.
– Don’t forget the online auction for the Halloween specialty jerseys the Americans will wear on Sunday is currently underway. If you always get priced out of buying jerseys at the live auctions this may be a chance to pick one up at the minimum bid of $249. As of this morning there were still 13 jerseys with no bid. Check out the details on how to sign up and bid here: https://one.bidpal.net/goamericans/welcome
– Casey Pierro-Zabotel had two assists last night and now has 12 points (3 goals 9 assists) in five games to lead the ECHL in scoring. Zach Pochiro scored a goal, his sixth, leads the ECHL in goals and is tied for second in points with nine.
– With the loss last night by the Americans and the fifth straight win by Colorado, Allen is now five points out of first place in the Mountain Division. Colorado plays in Rapid City tonight. Here are the current Mountain Division standings with games played in parentheses:
12 points – Colorado (6 games)
10 points – Wichita (5 games)
7 points – Allen (5 games)
6 points – Utah (7 games)
6 points – Idaho (6 games)
5 points – Tulsa (6 games)
0 points – Rapid City (5 games)
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has scored 25 goals and allowed 16 over the first five games. Their goal differential of +9 is second best in the ECHL trailing only Colorado who is +12. How important is a positive goal differential? Over the past five NHL season only 6 of 80 (7.5%) playoff teams were even or minus in goal differential.