ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans lost last night in Tulsa by a score of 6-4. While moral victories are meaningless when you have lost three games in a row, there were some positives from the loss.
The Americans were playing their third game in less than 48 hours, while Tulsa was playing their first game in 161 hours. To make matters worse, the Americans had to travel the 230 miles to Tulsa on game day. Throw in the Americans had to play short two skaters because of injuries and you had a recipe for disaster.
Seven players did not make the trip to Tulsa because of injury. Mike Gunn, Eric Roy, Josh Thrower, Chad Butcher, Thomas Frazee, Pavel Jenys and Kevin Sundher. There are others who are injured but managed to make the trip and play. Because of the injuries, Allen played the game with seven defensemen and just seven forwards.
– The story of the game was one of not giving up against some fairly sizable obstacles. Tulsa scored first early in the opening period (3:57) but Allen came back to tie the score and the teams went into the first intermission tied 1-1.
– The second period was all Tulsa with the Oilers outshooting Allen 22-6 and outscoring them 3-0. With Tulsa taking a 4-1 lead into the second intermission it appeared the Americans had run out of gas against a fresh team and the game was over.
– Allen scored 30 seconds into the third period on a goal by Spencer Asuchak and that gave the team renewed energy. When Zach Pochiro pulled Allen within one goal (4-3) at the 12:39 mark it started to feel like a comeback was possible. Allen pulled Jeremy Brodeur for an extra skater with just over two minutes remaining while the Americans were on a power play, but Tulsa immediately scored an empty net goal. Not giving up, the Americans again closed to within one goal (5-4) with 23 seconds remaining in the game. Tulsa scored a second empty-net goal with 10 seconds remaining to end the comeback attempt and secure the victory.
– It says a lot about the team that they won the third period when they were exhausted from playing with only 14 skaters in their third game in 48 hours. Allen outshot Tulsa in the third period 17-14 and outscored the Oilers 3-2. The two Tulsa goals were both empty net goals.
– There were other positives from the game. The Americans were 2-5 on the power play after going 0-19 in their first four games. The penalty kill was perfect (0-5).
– I had a chance to talk briefly with coach Steve Martinson after the game and he acknowledged that:
“Considering we played shorthanded for two straight nights and we played three games in three days there were some positives, especially in the third period. However, some of the scoring chances we are giving up lack brain power.”
– The Allen penalty kill gave up two goals in the Americans opening game in Kansas City (2-6) but in the last four games, the penalty kill unit is 1-23 for a penalty kill percentage of 95.7%.
– The Americans allowed a season-high 53 shots on goal by Tulsa yesterday. It was the fourth time in five games Allen has allowed 40+ shots. Allen is last in the ECHL in shots allowed. Here is a comparison.
25.50 – Shots allowed per game by #1 in shots allowed – Jacksonville Icemen
38.25 – Shots allowed per game by the #26 ranked team – Brampton Beast
44.00 – Shots allowed by the last place team in this stat, #27 ranked Allen Americans
– Alex Breton had two assists in the game against Tulsa to continue his scoring streak. Breton has a point in all five Allen games and has a total of eight points (2G, 6A). Alex is tied with Braylon Shmyr for the team lead in points, he is also tied with Shmyr for the most points in the ECHL by a rookie. Breton is also the top scoring defenseman in the ECHL. Finally, Alex is tied for second in scoring in the ECHL among all players.
-Shmyr had a goal and two assists in Tulsa and has a total of eight points (5G, 3A). Shmyr is tied with Breton for the team lead in scoring. Here is where Shmyr stands in ECHL scoring:
#2 – overall scoring leader (tied)
#1 – goals (tied)
#1 – points by a rookie (tied)
#1 – goals by a rookie
– As a team, Allen has a plus/minus of -23. The only players with a plus are Joel Chouinard and Spencer Asuchak who are +2.
– Last week, I shared some information about team travel this season on a different bus than the team used last season. I have also heard the team will be flying more this season than last. In addition to flying on the long trips (Idaho, Utah, Rapid City, Reading) the team may be flying to Kansas City as well.
Did You Know?
Allen’s winning percentage has fallen to .300 which places them 23rd in the ECHL. Here are the bottom five teams in winning percentage with their record in parentheses:
.300 – Allen Americans (1-3-0-1)
.250 – Fort Wayne Komets (1-3-0-0)
.250 – Maine Mariners (1-3-0-0)
.250 – Rapid City (1-3-0-0)
.000 – Wheeling Nailers (0-2-0-0)