The Allen Americans start a four games in five days stretch tonight as they travel to Tulsa to take on the Oilers for their fourth of fifteen meetings this season. The team will leave around 1:00 pm for the 230 mile bus trip to Tulsa. The line up will have a different look as the big news yesterday was Greger Hanson and Daniel Doremus getting the call from San Jose that they will join the Barracuda. In return, Gary Steffes and Vincent Arseneau have been sent to Allen.

– Tulsa is in last place in the Central Division with just four wins in 10 games but two of those four victories have been against the Allen Americans. Allen only has three losses all season but two of those losses have come at the hands of the Oilers. The home team has won the three previous meetings between these teams. The Americans won at home 4-2 on October 17th and the next day Tulsa won at home by a score of 3-1. Since the October 18th loss in Tulsa, the Americans have won seven of eight games with the only blemish another 3-1 loss in Tulsa on November 3rd.

– The combined stats from the first three meetings between Allen & Tulsa shows two pretty evenly matched teams. Tulsa has the edge in goals (Tulsa 8, Allen 6) and shots (Tulsa 78, Allen 75), penalty minutes are almost identical (Allen 38 minutes, Tulsa 41 minutes) and the power play has been close (Allen 1-12 & Tulsa 0-12). The key to victory tonight maybe how these teams have progressed since they played 10 days ago. Allen has played three times, won all three games and scored 16 goals. Tulsa has played three times, lost all three games and has scored just three goals.

– Here is a match up between Allen and Tulsa:

ALLEN TULSA
Team Record 8-3-0-0 (15 points) 4-5-0-1 (9 points)
Division Ranking 2nd – Central 4th – Central
Conference Ranking 2nd – Western 10th – Western
League Ranking 4th 19th
Last Game 5-2 W (Wichita) 2-1 L (Wichita)
Goals For 38 21
Goals Against 24 24
Power Play 14.3% (7/49) 11.1% (4/36)
Penalty Kill 95.1% (2/41 84.4% (7/45)
Leading Scorer Costello  (4-9-13) Pleskach (0-7-7)

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

Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 21st (13.27) – Tulsa 12th (15.60)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 5th (3.45) – Tulsa 26th (2.10)
Goals Allowed per Game: Allen 5th (2.18) – Tulsa 7th (2.40)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 18th (14.3%) – Tulsa 23rd (11.1%)
Penalty Kill Percentage; Allen 1st (95.1%) – Tulsa 14th (84.4%)

– Six different players (Courtnall, King, Makowski, Steffes, Costello, Baker) scored the six goals for Allen in the first three games against Tulsa, but if you are looking for who might be the hero tonight, watch Gary Steffes and Chad Costello who always seem to play well against their former team.

– This is another case where getting off to a good start is essential. Both teams have not lost when scoring first, combining for a prefect 11-0. Allen is 7-0 and Tulsa is 4-0.

– Looking at home and road special teams stats gives a different picture than overall stats especially for Tulsa. The Oilers power play percentage overall is 11.1% but at home it is 28.6%. The Tulsa penalty kill is 84.4% overall but at home is 93.8%. Allen’s power play overall is 14.3% but on the road it is 15.4%. Their penalty kill is 95.1% overall and 95.2% on the road.

– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Andy Howard (#2) and linesmen Erik Contino (#92) and Chip Excell (#42).

– Ian Schultz and Mike DiPaolo have been cleared by the doctor so they are available to coach Martinson. DiPaolo is wearing a cage. Just because they have been cleared doesn’t mean they will be in the line up. DiPaolo just got back on the ice while Schultz has been practicing for a couple of weeks so more likely you will see Schultz play tonight.

OTHER COMMENTS

– Missouri plays at Wichita tonight so an Allen victory and a Missouri regulation loss would vault the Americans into first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. However, being that Allen is 0-2 in Tulsa this year, they need to worry about taking care of their business and play better against the Oilers.

– The last time the Allen Americans played four games in five days was about a year ago (November 25 -29) when they played Tulsa (A), Missouri (A), Tulsa (A) & Wichita (H). They won the three away games and lost game four at home.

– Nolan Descoteaux, who was released by Rapid City on Tuesday, has been signed by the Atlanta Gladiators.

– The four Central Division teams (Allen, Missouri, Tulsa, Wichita) have not played any games against teams outside the Western Conference. The Central Division is 4-4 against the Midwest Division (Allen is 0-1) and 9-3 against the West Division (Allen is 5-0).

DID YOU KNOW: The very first Tulsa Oilers hockey team was way back in 1928 as part of the American Hockey Association. More recently, Tulsa was one of only two teams (Wichita the other) that played in all 22 seasons of the Central Hockey League (CHL) from 1992-2014. Tulsa’s one and only CHL championship came in the inaugural season in 1993.

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