Wichita Goaltender Grant Rollheiser makes a save Sunday afternoon. Photo: Ed Bailey/The Sin Bin
Wichita Goaltender Grant Rollheiser makes a save Sunday afternoon. Photo: Ed Bailey/The Sin Bin

It wasn’t textbook by any means as the Allen Americans blew a 2-0 lead against Wichita last night, but they came away with a much needed victory by defeating the Thunder 3-2 in overtime before a sparse crowd of 3071 at Intrust Bank Arena. Rookie defenseman Eric Roy was the hero with two goals including the game winner at 3:33 of overtime.

The Americans got on the scoreboard first midway through the opening period on a great three on two passing play from Jonathan Parker to Dyson Stevenson on right wing, back to Parker and then to Gary Steffes on left wing who buried the puck for his eighth goal of the season. It wasn’t one of those greasy goals, it was a pretty goal.

Allen took a 2-0 lead at the 15:59 mark of the second period on a power power play goal by Eric Roy. It was one of those patented Chad Costello precision passes from the side boards, through the slot, to Roy, who was sneaking in from the point for a one timer from the face off circle. Another “pretty” goal. For Eric, Erit was his seventh goal and 20th point of the season.

Wichita has won only one game in their last 12 but have been close in many of the games going to overtime in four of their last five games. They showed their resolve as they cut the score to 2-1 just 30 seconds after Allen had taken a 2-0 lead and tied the score 2-2 at the 13:09 mark of the third period to send the game to overtime.

Both teams had excellent chances to score in overtime but great goalie play at both ends of the ice prevailed until Eric Roy got his second goal of the night. Riley Gill made a pad save that went directly to Jonathan Parker which created a two on one going the other way. Parker passed to Roy who skating up the left side. Roy skated to the face off dot and beat the goalie cleanly with a wrist shot that went high glove side. Gill got an assist on the play.

You can check out all of the highlights by going to echl.com and then clicking on the “ECHL REWIND” section. All three Allen goals are worth watching over and over.

STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:

– Eric Roy has scored some clutch goals for us this year and he did it again tonight with that overtime goal.

– Wichita had more puck possession than we did in overtime but we did a good job of limiting their scoring chances.

– When you make a mistake in overtime it ends up with a scoring chance the other way.

– In close games like tonight, special teams is always a key and we won special team play scoring one power play goal and not allowing them to score on the power play.

– Their goal that tied the score 2-2 in the third period was a pretty lucky goal.

– We need to do a better job in eliminating odd man rushes and when we do give up an odd man rush we need to do a better job of letting Gill see the puck.

OTHER COMMENTS:

– The team headed home immediately after the game and were hoping to make the 360 mile trip without any weather problems and arrive home around 2:00 a.m. this morning. In what is some curious scheduling the team will head back to Wichita tomorrow (Tuesday) night for a rematch with the Thunder on Wednesday night.

– With his two goals last night Eric Roy now has 21 points (8 goals 13 assists) and is among the league leaders in several categories. He is tied for eighth in scoring among rookies and is the only defenseman on the list. His three game winning goals and one shootout winning goal is the most by a rookie. Among all ECHL defenseman, Eric is 3rd in points (21), 2nd in goals (8), 2nd in power play goals (4), 3rd in shooting percentage (16.0%), and 1st in game winning goals (3).

– One of the few perfect records remaining for Allen is winning when leading after the second period. They hung on last night for the win to preserve a prefect 14-0 record when leading after the second period.

– The San Jose Barracuda (AHL) beat Stockton last night 5-1. Greger Hanson had an assist and a fight in the game. It is a rarity for Greger as he has had just three fights in his pro career and it was his first AHL fight. Those that saw the fight rated it a draw. Rick Pinkston, who was just recalled by the Barracuda, was a healthy scratch and did not play in the game. The Barracuda play again today as they take on Charlotte in a Monday matinee that starts at 1:15 pm PST. They have to play during the day as the NHL Sharks take on the Colorado Avalanche in the building tonight.

– Former Allen player, Jack Combs has been recalled to Hartford (AHL). Jack plays for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and is tied for the ECHL lead in goals scored with 15.

– Despite going 5-4-1-0 in their last ten games the Allen Americans still have the second most points (35) in the Western Conference trailing only Missouri who has 47 points.

DID YOU KNOW:  The Allen Americans are on pace to have the worst goal differential (goals for minus goals against) in franchise history. The figures below are derived by taking average goals for and against per game and multiplying by 72 to account for the different number of games played by year. If you can derive any conclusion from the data below it would be the team doesn’t need better defense, they need more goal scoring.

Here are the figures:

Goals For     Goals Against     Differential
2015-16:      211               211                          0
2014-15:      292               208                        +84
2013-14:      271               233                        +38
2012-13:      229               192                        +37
2011-12:      231               191                        +40
2010-11:      296               230                        +66
2009-10:      236               206                        +30

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