ALLEN, TX – The 5043 fans at the Allen Event Center last night witnessed the best game of the year by the Allen Americans as they beat a good Tulsa Oiler team by a score of 7-1. It was the largest margin of victory for the Americans all season. After a scoreless first period in which Allen had numerous quality scoring chances and out shot Tulsa 16-5 the floodgates opened. Allen scored four goals in the second period and three in the third to take a 7-0 lead before Tulsa spoiled the shutout for goalie Joel Rumpel.

There were pretty goals, greasy goals, goals off the rush, goals from the point, tip in goals, odd man rush goals, power play goals and any other type of goal you can think of. Goal scorers for Allen were in order: Hanson (8), Costello (17), Makowski (7), King (7), Hanson (9), Jevpalovs (1) and Courtnall (4).

It wasn’t just the explosive offense that made the game the best of the year for the Americans. They played excellent team defense and had great goalie play from Joel Rumpel who stopped 19 of 20 shots before coach Martinson inserted recently acquired goalie Peter Di Salvo into the game for the last 6:37.

Allen won the special teams battle holding the Oilers scoreless on three power play opportunities including a five on three in the first period. The Americans were 1-5 on the power play but had numerous quality chances.

– My team Sin Bin colleague Kimberly Sauer shot a photo gallery of last night’s game, which you can view here: https://thesinbin.net/photos-allen-americans-vs-tulsa-oilers-012916/

– The team will leave at 1:00 pm for the trip to Tulsa (230 miles) and a rematch with the Oilers tonight (7:05 pm).

STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:

– We had more skill in the lineup tonight and that was a big part of the win. All three guys we added to the lineup tonight (Makowski, King, Jevpalovs) had goals.

– I thought we worked hard, played hard and had good pace. With 11 forwards and just five defensemen we were able to play four lines a lot and that enables you to pick up the pace and that helped.

– Some of the things we worked on in practice and talked about made us better in the game.

– The power play was good put we still need more traffic in front of the net when we shoot. Too often the forwards were standing around the perimeter when shots were taken.

– We will go back to six defensemen for the game tomorrow. Because we went with 11 forwards in the game tonight we should have good legs for the game tomorrow night.

OTHER COMMENTS:

– There are several reasons the Americans won 7-1 last night after being shut out by Tulsa 2-0 on Tuesday. They had some rest after playing four games in five days, they worked harder and they added offense to the lineup with the addition of Tristan King, David Makowski and Nikita Jevpalovs. But after talking to coach Martinson and several players after the game the most important factor may have been some subtle adjustments that were made in how and where they attacked the Oilers.

– You know it is a good night when 13 of 16 skaters score a point in the game. That is what you call balanced scoring. There were three players with three points (Costello, Hanson, Pierro-Zabotel).

– It was great to see Nikita Jevpalovs get a goal in his first game with Allen. He had several other quality opportunities as well. The goal he scored was a goal scorers goal as he had his stick on the ice looking for the shot from the point and made a perfect deflection. He is a talented young player and will only be with the Americans for another day or two with the AHL All-Star break coming up. However, there is a chance he could be back later in the season and during the playoffs. What a great addition he would be if that happens.

– If the Americans can keep up the intensity they exhibited last night, get 30 shots on goal and take advantage of their special teams play they will be in good shape against Tulsa tonight.

– With the win last night over Tulsa the Americans extended their lead over the Oilers to 11 points but gained no ground on Missouri who beat Wichita 2-1. The Central Division is the only division in the ECHL which has so much disparity in points from top to bottom. Missouri now leads last place Wichita by 40 points. The leads the first place team has over the last place team in the other five divisions ranges from 15-21 points.

Here are the Central Division standings with games played in parentheses:
68 points:  Missouri (40 games)
53 points:  Allen (43 games)
42 points:  Tulsa (38 games)
28 points:  Wichita ( 44 games)

– It was a goal scoring frenzy around the ECHL last night. In addition to Allen’s 7-1 win, Kalamazoo beat Quad City 6-5, Norfolk beat South Carolina 8-2 and Indy beat Evansville 7-3. League wide the ECHL average for goals scored in a game is 2.84. The 14 winning teams last night averaged 4.71 goals. Be sure to visit thesinbin.net for more game wraps.

DID YOU KNOW: Many times it seems like Allen has struggled this year but everything is relative. There are only six teams in the 28 team league with a better winning percentage than the Americans.

Here is the list:
.850     Missouri
.726     Florida
.700     Adirondack
.678     Manchester
.675     Toledo
.616     Allen

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