ALLEN, Texas – A shorthanded Allen Americans team had a great start and disappointing finish last night losing to the Tulsa Oilers 3-2 in overtime before a crowd of 1652 at the Allen Event Center. Playing short two forwards, Allen got off to a great start having a 7-1 shot advantage early in the first period. When Spencer Asuchak scored midway through the period, it was a good sign as before last night the Americans were 15-2 when scoring first. Allen took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission which was another good sign. Prior to last night Allen’s record when leading after the first period was 11-0-1-0.
Allen took a 2-0 lead at the 8:55 mark of the second period when Scott Conway, who was just re-signed by Allen, scored his second goal as an American. All looked good until late in the third period (19:01) when Tulsa scored a power-play goal. Penalty killing has been a problem for Allen, ranked 12th with a home penalty kill percentage of 80.0%. It didn’t help that the Americans missing two of their best penalty killers, Dyson Stevenson and Samuel Laberge. The second period ended with the Americans still in the lead 2-1 and prior to last night Allen’s record when leading after the second period was 14-1-0-0 so there was another reason for optimism.
It seems like it happens all of the time when the opponent scores right after a great opportunity at the other end of the ice. Josh Lammon had a breakaway and tried to go five-hole on Devin Williams. The move actually worked but as the puck came out, the puck barely touched his pad and slowly deflected just outside the post. The Oilers went right down the ice and scored to tie the game 2-2.
Allen had so many grade-A chances in the game but could never come up with the third goal. It was particularly frustrating for the Americans when they had a power play late in the third period but had trouble getting set up. Tulsa had the better opportunity shorthanded as each team had one shot on goal during the power play.
It took just 50 seconds into overtime for Tulsa to get the game-winner. Allen had a shot blocked which turned into a rush for the Oilers. Two Allen players took the same Tulsa player and left Matt Lane wide open.
It was a tough ending for a game in which Allen was in control early, lost the special teams battle, and had a defensive breakdown in overtime that cost them the extra point. The Americans will now get ready for the rematch with Tulsa on Friday night.
– Goal scorers for Allen were Spencer Asuchak (5) and Scott Conway (3). Here are the video highlights from the Allen Americans YouTube Channel:
Coach Martinson played short two players last night and had to use an EBUG. There is not much time to bring in players but he has several options to get help for Friday night and beyond. Hopefully some of the players listed as day-to-day, both those that didn’t play last night (McAuley & Laberge) and others who were dinged up in the game last night will be ready by Friday.
– Allen’s two most recent signings, Frank DiChiara and Scott Conway acquitted themselves quite well last night. Conway had a goal and DiChiara had an assist on both Allen goals.
– Allen lost ground to Wichita last night as the Thunder beat Indy 3-2. With their win in Allen, the Oilers moved into a tie with Utah for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Here are the current standings:
.821 – Fort Wayne
.671 – Wichita
.645 – Allen
.544 – Tulsa
.544 – Utah
.500 – Kansas City
.486 – Rapid City
– Three ECHL teams have seven or more wins in their last 10 games and they are all in the Western Conference. First place Fort Wayne is 9-0-1-0. Fourth place Tulsa is 7-3-0-0. Last place Rapid City is 7-2-1-0.
– The attendance last night at the AEC was 1652 and Allen’s average attendance for its 10 home games is now 1789 which ranks Allen #10 in average attendance. ECHL average attendance ranges from 3235 (Jacksonville) to 986 (Wheeling).
Did You Know?
Just five ECHL teams have scored more goals than they have allowed. ECHL’s best goal differential (goals for minus goals allowed):
+20: Fort Wayne
Goal differential ranges from +45 to -30. Here are the nine teams with a minus goal differential:
-18: Rapid City
-18: South Carolina
-11: Kansas City