TULSA, OK – One of the trademarks of the 2015-16 Allen Americans has been inconsistent play and last night was a perfect example as they lost to the Tulsa Oilers 5-2 before a crowd of 6024 at the BOK Center.
The game was almost the opposite of the 7-1 Allen victory over Tulsa on Friday night. The Americans got off to a slow start, gave up an early goal, were out shot in the first period 16-9, and trailed at the end of the first period 1-0. Tulsa scored two more goals in the second period to take what turned out to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
To their credit, the Americans fought back in the third period on goals by Chad Costello (18) and Gary Steffes (14) to make the score 3-2, but Tulsa scored just 37 seconds after Allen got their second goal to put the game away. The Oilers added an empty net goal to make the final score 5-2.
The Oilers and Americans meet again this afternoon (4:05) at the Allen Event Center (AEC) to finish their four game series. The home team has won the first three games, so the Americans need a win this afternoon to split the series. If Tulsa can pull off a victory at the AEC this afternoon they well climb within seven points of Allen in the standings and don’t forget the Oilers have played five fewer games than the Americans.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– We just didn’t play greasy enough tonight. We talk all the time about getting shots on goal with traffic in front and that is really important when you play a goalie like Carr.
– We got caught too many times on defense in our own zone standing around watching while they were moving their feet and skating.
– They scored a couple of times on cycling plays, we need to defend those better.
– Nikita Jevpalovs will play on Sunday and then head back to San Jose. He could have returned with the Barracuda but wanted to stay and play on Sunday. That will give him three games in Allen and makes it possible he could return before the end of the season and for the playoffs. He needs to play in five regular season games to be eligible for the playoffs.
– Tristan King was injured in the game on Friday and his status is day to day. Hopefully he will be back in the line up next weekend.
– Allen has always struggled against Tulsa goalie Kevin Carr, especially when playing in Tulsa. When Chad Costello scored at the 3:57 mark in the third period last night, it was the first Allen goal scored on Carr at home in over 111 minutes. It hasn’t been easy for Allen at the AEC either despite the four goals Carr allowed on Friday in just 36 minutes. In Carr’s two prior starts in Allen before Friday he allowed just one goal in each game.
– Allen has the second best power play percentage in the ECHL at 21.7% but has struggled against Tulsa. In the 10 head-to-head games against Tulsa this season, Allen is 5-37 (13.5%) and in the three games this week is 1-8 (12.5%).
– Chad Costello scored his 18th goal of the season last night and is now tied for fifth in goals scored in the ECHL. Chad is first in assists (44) and has 12 more assists than any other player in the league. That adds up to 62 points which leads the league by 14 points. You hear all the time that Chad should shoot more but the idea he doesn’t shoot much is kind of a myth. Because Chad has the puck so much it might appear he never shoots, but he has 128 shots which leads the team. Only one other players has as many as 100 shots (Gary Steffes – 101). Chad is also in the top ten in the ECHL in shots.
– The first three games of this four game series with Tulsa have been very calm for two teams toward the top of the ECHL penalty chart. Combined, these two teams average 33.15 penalty minutes per game. In the first three games of this series they have averaged just 14 minutes per game. That equates to only 3.5 penalties per game by each team. It will be interesting to see how the game today is played. Usually when teams play four games in a row, things get a little chippy. However, with Reid Halabi injured and Dyson Stevenson being told not to fight, the fisticuffs will probably be limited.
– Have had many questions about how you say Nikita Jevpalovs name and you certainly hear it pronounced in a variety of ways. When the San Jose Sharks signed Jevpalovs to his NHL contract they included this phonetic spelling in the press release, (YEFF-pell-uhvs). If you can get the first syllable correct and say “YEFF” instead of the anglicized “JEFF” you should be home free or you can take the easy way out and just call him Nikita.
TODAY’S GAME PREVIEW:
Here is an updated statistical comparison between Allen and Tulsa:
|Team Record||25-16-2-1(53 points)||20-15-2-2 (44 points)|
|Division Ranking||2nd – Central||3rd – Central|
|Conference Ranking||4th – Western||9th – Western|
|Power Play||21.7% (36/166)||12.6% (18/143)|
|Penalty Kill||85.6% (25/174)||83.4% (26/157)|
|Leading Scorer||Costello (18-44-62)||DeSalvo (11-21-32)|
– Here is how Allen and Tulsa rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 3rd (17.00) – Tulsa 5th (16.15)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 8th (3.00) – Tulsa 19th (2.77)
Goals Allowed Per Game: Allen 13th (2.84) – Tulsa 7th (2.54)
Shots For Per Game: Allen 25th (27.86) – Tulsa 26th (27.85)
Shots Against Per Game: Allen 15th (30.25) – Tulsa 4th (27.64)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 2nd (21.7%) – Tulsa 27th (12.6%)
Penalty Kill Percentage: Allen 7th (85.6%) – Tulsa 15th (83.4%)
– Allen and Tulsa are two of the worst teams in the league in generating shots on goal. Shots on goal don’t necessarily predict game winners but the last six times Allen and Tulsa have played, the team with the most shots on goal won the game.
– Allen has scored the first goal in only half of their games this season (22-44) but have won over 80% of the games when they score first. Sure would be nice to get off to a quick start with the first goal this afternoon.
– Officials scheduled for the game are referee Kenny Anderson (#16) and linesmen Mitch Macpherson (#48) and Eric Contino (#92). This is the same crew that worked the game last night in Tulsa.
– To no one’s surprise, Missouri beat Wichita last night for their 12th straight win over the Thunder this season. It was the 34th win of the season for the Mavericks who now have a nine point lead in the ECHL overall standings and a 17 point lead in the Central Division over Allen. If they keep up their current pace Missouri will end up with 123 points this season. The all time record is 116 points.
– If Tulsa beats Allen today in regulation time they will pass the Americans for second place in the Central Division in winning percentage.
– Eric Roy had a power play assist last night for Lake Erie but it was in a losing cause as they lost to Texas 3-2.
– Jack Combs had no points but was a +1 as his Hartford team won. Spencer Asuchak was a healthy scratch for Chicago.
– Daniel Doremus played and had an assist and was a +1 as San Jose beat San Antonio 4-3.
– Aaron Dell was in goal for San Jose and stopped 23 of 26 shots to pick up the win.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen will play Tulsa 15 times this season (6 home 9 away). Thus far they have played 10 times (4 home 6 away) and the Americans record is 4-6. Allen is 2-2 at home and 2-4 in Tulsa. In their four wins the Americans have scored 4, 3, 4, 7 goals. In the six losses Allen has scored 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 2 goals.