Americans forward Spencer Asuchak celebrates a goal. Photo Courtesy: Lauren Lyssy
Americans forward Spencer Asuchak celebrates a goal. Photo Courtesy: Lauren Lyssy
It is game day as the Allen Americans take on the Tulsa Oilers tonight at the BOK Center in Tulsa looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best of seven series. It is a must win for the Oilers if they want to get back in the series.

For Tulsa to win tonight they will have to avoid going toe to toe with Allen in a wide open offensive game and do a better job in their defensive zone especially when the teams are playing at even strength. Allen has outshot Tulsa 97-51 in the first two games and has an 11-6 goal advantage. You can’t be successful if you are being outshot by an average of 23 shots per game.

Another key to success for the Oilers is to stay out of the penalty box. While both teams have done well on the power play with Allen going 3-13 (23.1%) and Tulsa 2-9 (22.2%) it is the Oilers that have taken more penalties. Tulsa has 45 penalty minutes in the two games while Allen, who was the most penalized team in the ECHL during the regular season, has only 28 penalty minutes in the first two games.
Riley Gill is expected to start in goal for Allen. Kevin Carr has been the workhorse for the Oilers and has faced a lot of shots in the first two playoff games. With that kind of pressure it makes you wonder if he will be able to hold up playing four games in five days or will backup goalie Andy Iles get a start.

Leading scorers for Allen in the first two games were Spencer Asuchak with six points (3 goals 3 assists), Konrad Abeltshauser with five points (2 goals 3 assists) and Chad Costello with four points (1 goal 3 assists). Drew Fisher has led the way for Tulsa with three points (3 goals 0 assists) all coming in the first period on Wednesday.

The on ice officials scheduled tonight are referee Micheal McCreary (#7) and linesmen Mitch Macpherson (#48) and Tyler Landman (#80).

For those going to the games in Tulsa there are two activities being organized for Allen fans on both nights. The first is a picture on the ice. Report to the box office entrance at the “vendor check-in table” no later than 5:45 and the staff will take everyone on the ice for pictures. The second activity is called the “High Five Tunnel” where you can watch warmups and high five the players as they leave the ice after warmups. This will be a good time for all Allen fans to wish the guys good luck and show them how many made the trip from Allen. Everyone needs to meet at the fan assistance center in the Grand Lobby 45 minutes before the game which starts at 7:35 p.m. and the Tulsa staff will take you to the tunnel. It is not too late to get reduced price tickets for tonight or Saturday. Just call (918-632-7825) or email ([email protected]) Todd Streets and he will hook you up.

UPDATE: If anyone is interested in suite tickets Todd has them available for both games. Cost is $50 and if you already have a ticket you can credit that amount toward the suite tickets. Contact Todd if interested.

Two more playoff series got under way last night and in both cases the lower seeds won on the road. In the North Division the #1 seeded Toledo Walleye lost to the #4 seeded Wheeling Nailers 3-2 and in the Pacific Division #2 seed Ontario lost at home to #3 seed Colorado 4-2. Darryl “Booter” Bootland was the hero for the Eagles with two goals. The Colorado press release said it all, “Eagles, Bootland Fly Through Reign, 4-2.”

The last four playoff series get underway tonight with Quad City at Rapid City, Reading at South Carolina, Orlando at Florida and Kalamazoo at Reading. Playing their second game will be Idaho at Utah and Colorado at Ontario.

The ECHL Goaltender of the Year was announced yesterday and the award went to Jeff Jakaitis  of the South Carolina Stingrays. Jakaitis also won the award in 2011-2012 playing for Gwinnett and last year with the Stingrays. Jeff set three ECHL records during the season as he posted four consecutive shutouts, went 321:46 without allowing a goal and won 16 consecutive games.

The ECHL saves the best for last when it comes to the post season awards and that is the MVP award which will be announced today. The post season awards have been a real blessing for Chad Costello. In the last week he has won Player of the Month, been named to the All-ECHL first team, won the Sportsman Award, won the Leading Scorer award and finished third for the Plus Performer of the Year Award. It would be a fitting end to a phenomenal regular season for Chad to be named as the ECHL MVP. A humble guy who always gives credit to his teammates for any individual recognition he gets. As Ben Crenshaw would say, I have a good feeling about today and as an Allen fan Chad is deserving of the MVP award.

DID YOU KNOW: Allen has won the last six games played against Tulsa (four regular season and two playoff games). In those six games Allen has outscored Tulsa 30-12.

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