ALLEN, Texas – After the 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Mavericks on Wednesday night Allen fans were looking for a better effort and outcome in the rematch last night. For the first 10 minutes of the game it looked like they would get their wish as the Americans started with a vengeance. Allen had six shots and two goals before Kansas City took their first shot. By midway through the first period Allen had out shot the Mavericks 13-1 and had a 3-0 lead. From that point on the roof fell in as Kansas City out shot Allen 37-19 and scored nine unanswered goals.
– How bad was the 9-3 loss last night? You have to go back to the Allen Americans very first game in the ECHL to find a game where they allowed nine goals. Opening night of the 2014-15 season (October 14, 2014) the Americans lost at home to Tulsa by a score of 9-6.
– The goals scorers for Allen were Jake Doty (4), Dante Salituro (15) and Zach Pochiro (33).
Martinson’s Postgame Thoughts
“The last 40 seconds spell out what is going on with our team. We are shorthanded, the score is 8-3 and all we are trying to do is score a goal.”
“I don’t know how many times I can come in here and apologize to the season ticket holders. It was the worst defensive effort again and it is just flat out dumb.”
“We were up 3-0 and we gave up two 4-on-3 rushes because our forwards were caught low and just didn’t come back hard. We are not playing to win, we are just trying to get another goal.”
“The reality with our team is if our goalie doesn’t make a bunch of big saves we can’t win. The goalie didn’t play great the last two games but look at all of the odd man rushes we gave up.”
“To play good defensively you have to give a shit and you have to be smart. We have the worst defensive team I have ever had. I don’t ever remember even playing a team that was this bad defensively.”
“To win your key guys have to be more complete players and we don’t have that right now.”
Allen vs Tulsa Preview
– After being outscored 15-3 in the last two games Allen will be challenged to avoid another loss tonight against Tulsa. The Oilers have been playing the best hockey in the Mountain Division over the last 10 games (7-3-0-0) and have won their last four games. Tulsa is tied for the division lead with 74 points.
– Allen will be playing their third game in four days tonight while Tulsa has been at home resting. The Oilers haven’t played since last Sunday.
– Allen finished with a record of 1-9-0-0 against Kansas City. It is not much better against Tulsa this season. The Oilers overall record against Allen is 9-2-0-0 and at the Allen Event Center their record is 3-0. The odd stat of the day would be Allen’s two wins over Tulsa were both shutouts and were both on the road. The Americans shutout the Oilers 2-0 on November 17 and 5-0 on January 25. C.J. Motte was in goal for both shutouts.
– In their 11 head to head games, Tulsa has outscored Allen 33-27. The biggest difference between Allen and Tulsa relates to shots. Tulsa is ranked #1 in the ECHL in average shots taken per game (36.02) compared to Allen who is ranked #19 (30.92). To go along with taking the most shots the Oilers are also ranked #1 in allowing shots, giving up an average of 26.07 shots per game. This compares to Allen who is ranked #26 allowing an average of 36.06 shots per game. It computes to a shot differential of +9.95 for Tulsa and -5.14 for Allen. Tulsa and Allen have played 11 times this season and the Oilers have out shot the Americans in all of them. Tulsa’s total shots advantage is a staggering 443-292.
– If you look at the 11 head to head games on special teams the Americans power play was 5-40 (12.5%) and Tulsa’s power play was 5-52 (9.6%). What is notable in these numbers is Tulsa has had 12 more power play opportunities than Allen. The Americans lead the ECHL with 364 minor penalties, Tulsa has been called for 287 minor penalties. Allen needs to stay out of the penalty box if they expect to win.
– If you look at season long special team stats these teams are close. The Oilers road power play percentage is 14.3% compared to Allen’s home power play percentage of 14.4%. The Oilers road penalty kill percentage is 85.8% compared to Allen’s home penalty kill percentage of 85.0%.
– Scoring first is always key but even more so against Tulsa. The Oilers are ranked #1 in the league when scoring first with a record of 22-1-3-1. Allen’s record when scoring first is ranked #27 (tied) at 13-7-4-1.
– Tulsa is almost unbeatable with a first period lead on the road with a record of 11-1-1-0. Not so true for the Americans who have managed a first period lead at home 11 times with a record of 3-6-1-0.
– Fans will have the chance to see the top two goals scorers in the ECHL tonight. Adam Pleskach and Zach Pochiro have a lot in common. They both wear #18, they have both had a four goal game this season and they are #1 (Pochiro, 33 goals) and #2 (Pleskach 31 goals) in the league in the goal scoring race. One difference between Pochiro and Pleskach is the number of shots they take. Pleskach is known for shooting the puck from everywhere which is why he leads the league in shots with 259 which is 38 more shots than second place. His shooting percentage is 12.0%. Pochiro has scored his 33 goals on 195 shots for a shooting percentage of 16.9%.
– Zach Pochiro leads the ECHL with 13 power play goals, Adam Pleskach is #4 with 11 power play goals. Pochiro has scored a goal in his last seven games which is one shy of the longest streak in the ECHL this season.
– The referee scheduled tonight is Andrew Bruggeman (#25). The linesmen will be Jordan Solomon (#78) and Michael Miggans (#47). Bruggeman was the referee in both of the games against Kansas City.
– Zach Pochiro is moving up the list of most goals in a season for the Allen Americans. He is now tied for sixth all-time with 33 goals. With his next goal he will tie Bruce Graham and Nino Musitelli for fourth all-time and with two more goals he will tie Greger Hanson for third all-time. It will tough for Zach to reach 40 goals and join the only two Allen players to ever reach that milestone, Gary Steffes (44 goals) and Chad Costello (41).
– Rapid City and Wichita both won last night and put another nail in the coffin for the Americans chance to escape the Mountain Division cellar. The magic number is now 10 points for Rapid City and 11 points for Wichita. With the Rush having two games in hand and the Thunder three games in hand over Allen the hopes are fading fast.
– Alex Breton and Riley Bourbonnais were both in the lineup for their AHL teams last night. Alex was on the ice for the game winning goal as his Springfield team beat Binghamton 3-2. Riley has played in every game for Iowa since being loaned. He was credited with one shot on goal last night as his team won 4-3 in overtime over Grand Rapids.
Did You Know?
In the history of the Allen Americans franchise there have been 679 regular season games. Allen has lost by six or more goals just three times in those 679 games and two of the three have come in the last two games. That tells you all you need to know how bad this team is defensively. Here are the all-time losses by six or more goals. Notice the three worst losses in team history all took place at home.
9-3: Kansas City – 3/8/19 (home)
6-0: Kansas City – 3/6/19 (home)
8-1: Colorado – 11/14/15 (home)
The most goals Allen ever allowed also happened at home. On 1/1/11 Colorado scored 11 goals to defeat the Americans 11-6.