ALLEN, TX – It was a special teams bonanza for Allen in Tulsa last night as the Americans beat the Oilers 6-3 before an announced crowd of 5902 at the BOK Center. The Americans came back from deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 largely through the play of their special teams. Three power play goals, a shorthanded goal, an empty net goal and an even strength goal paved the way to victory for the Americans.
– No question the power play was a liability the first part of the season. Remember when the power play had scored 11 goals but given up eight shorthanded goals? There has certainly been a turn around in the month of December as the power play has become an asset that is winning games for Allen. The Americans power play was 3-3 last night, has scored on their last five attempts, is 8-13 over the last three games and is 12-42 (28.5%) in the month of December. On December 1st the Allen power play was ranked #26 at 8.2%. Today, just nine games later, the power play is #19 at 15.0%.
– The penalty kill has been great recently. The penalty kill was 16-92 (82.6%) at the end of November. During December the penalty kill is 5-47 (89.4%) including 0-4 last night. On December 1st the penalty kill was ranked #16 at 82.6%. As of this morning, the penalty kill is ranked #10 at 84.9%.
– The improved special teams play has translated into more goals scored and fewer goals allowed which has translated into more wins. Thus far in the month of December (nine games) Allen is averaging 4.11 goals per game while allowing their opponents 2.44 goals per game. In their last 11 games, the Americans record is 8-2-0-1.
– The goal scorers for Allen last night were Bryan Moore (3) on the power play, Spencer Asuchak (11) on the power play, Asuchak (12) on an unassisted shorthanded goal, Chad Costello (14) even strength, Jake Marchment (8) on the power play and Costello (15) unassisted into an empty net. Rather than me describe the goals take a look for yourself. You can see all of the goals plus Derek Mathers making quick work in a fight with former Allen player Reid Halabi. Halabi is not a big guy but is known as a guy that is willing to fight anyone. Not a wise choice to agree to fight Mathers. Derek must know about Halabi as he used Reid’s technique of quick short punches to his advantage. Mathers hit Halabi with at least 15 unanswered punches in less than 10 seconds and then threw him to the ice like a rag doll. Here at all of the highlights:
– With the win against Tulsa the Americans are now three games above .500 for the first time all season. Their record is 16-13-1-0 and they are tied with Idaho for third place in the Mountain Division with 33 points though Idaho has three games in hand. Allen and Idaho play on Thursday and Friday at the Allen Event Center.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS
– The special teams were definitely special tonight! It has been a long time since we have scored four goals off special teams.
– The second power play unit (Steffes, Moore, Marchment with Makowski and Chouinard) made some good plays to end up with two open net goals.
– Spencer Asuchak’s shorthanded goal was pretty unique. He made a long poke check to give himself a breakaway and then made a great shot to beat the goalie. It was big to get that goal to tie the score 3-3.
– Zach Hall was sick and with some defensmen out we played two skaters short tonight. It is great to win on the road when you have a short bench. Hall should be good to go on Thursday and there is a possibility Eric Roy and Harrison Ruopp could also be back.
– Some streaks of note continued last night. Bryan Moore had a goal in his third straight game. David Makowski had two assists and was a +3. David has a point in four straight games and has not had a minus game since returning to Allen seven games ago. Makowski is +11 in seven games. Greger Hanson had an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games. Chad Costello had two goals to extend his point scoring streak to 10 games. Chad now has a five point lead in the ECHL scoring race with 44 points (15 goals 29 assists).
– Spencer Asuchak has a point in nine of the last ten games including a power play goal, shorthanded goal and an assist last night. Spencer is the Allen Americans all time leader in shorthanded goals with eight.
– Riley Gill has won five of his last six starts and has won four in a row on the road. Riley won last night against Tulsa goalie Jamie Phillips. Phillips (16) and Gill (13) are one and two in the league in wins. Phillips leads the league in minutes (1395), saves (652) and shootout wins (3). Riley is third in minutes (1126), second in saves (591) and first in shutouts (3). In the main categories of GAA, Riley is #5 at 2.35 and Phillips is #7 at 2.41. Gill is #4 in save percentage (.931) and Phillips is #7 (.921). These are two of the top candidates for Goalie of the Year.
– Derek Mathers has played in only 25 games for the Allen Americans but is already #14 on the single-season penalty minute record list. With a league leading 131 penalty minutes he has already passed players such as Liam Huculak, Scott Langdon, Kip Brennan (one of his two years) and Trevor Hendrikx (one of two years). Next up is Darryl Bootland (145 minutes), Kip Brennan (146) and Brett Clouthier (157). Derek still has a ways to go to catch the top three of Garrett Klotz (257), Brett Lyon (256) and Garrett Clarke (223) but he is averaging 5.24 penalty minutes per game and there are 42 games remaining in the season. At his current pace, Mathers would break the single-season penalty minute record in another 24 games.
– The Americans announced yesterday there would be doubleheader hockey at the AEC on January 21st. There should be plenty of new fans on hand to see Texas A&M take on the University of Texas at 4:05 pm before the Allen Americans play the Wichita Thunder at 7:05 pm. One ticket gets you into both games and there are discounted tickets available. If that isn’t enough it is also Star Wars Night. Here is a link to all of the details: https://allenamericans.com/college-hockey-comes-to-allen-event-center-in-january/
DID YOU KNOW: Tulsa scored the first goal last night but the score was tied 2-2 after the first period and Allen had a 4-3 lead after the second period. Based on the past, Allen fans should have known it was almost a guaranteed victory. When tied after the first period the Americans are 8-0 this season. When leading after the second period they are 10-1.