ALLEN, Texas – There are several lessons to be learned from the Allen Americans 1-0 overtime win in Tulsa last night before a crowd of 4089. The win was, in fact, the second time in 10 days the Americans traveled to Tulsa and won a low scoring game in overtime. On February 23rd Allen won 2-1 in overtime and it led coach Steve Martinson to say after the game, “I would like to see this game be a defining statement that we can play the way we need to when we have to.” The very next game Allen lost to Wichita 6-1 in one of their worst games of the season.
– What the 1-0 win last night reinforced was this Allen team doesn’t have to be the highest-scoring team in the league, which they are, to be successful. Team defense along with great goaltending by Andrew Shortridge led to the 33 shot shutout for the Americans. The lesson learned is Allen can win 8-5 games but more importantly for the playoffs they can win 1-0 and 2-1 games.
– The only goal last night was scored by Jordan Topping on a power play 57 seconds into overtime. Topping scored his 24th goal of the season when he batted the puck out of the air into the net off a rebound after a Stepan Falkovsky blast from the point. Allen had struggled during regulation time on the power play going 0-5. The Americans were fortunate to get a 5-on-3 power play in overtime when Tulsa took a high sticking penalty with 29 seconds left in regulation that carried over to the overtime and another high sticking penalty 19 seconds into overtime.
– Allen is getting plenty of overtime experience which will undoubtedly help come playoff time. There are only two ECHL teams with more than seven overtime wins and they will both be in the Mountain Division playoffs. The Americans have 11 wins in overtime and Idaho has nine.
– Here is the game recap issued by the Tulsa Oilers: https://tulsaoilers.com/oilers-pick-up-point-in-shutout-loss/
– You can find the video highlights on the ECHL website at this link: https://www.echl.com/en/tag?id=5bb763bdd3bc0f20ed973ef0&name=ECHL%20Video
– With the win last night Allen became the third ECHL team (South Carolina and Florida the others) to qualify for the playoffs. When I mentioned to coach Martinson after practice on Monday that the team could clinch a playoff spot with a win in Tulsa that was the least of his concerns. He is focused on catching South Carolina and Florida for the top spot and the Brabham Cup. My guess is Martinson will be cheering for Idaho to sweep South Carolina when the Stingrays visits the Steelheads for three games starting tonight.
– Coach Martinson had this to say when I contacted him after the game, “We will take the win. We have a lot of guys out of the lineup between loans to the AHL and injuries. They had their “A” team so we will take the two points. I am going to have to bring in a few players if our guys stay up in the AHL much longer.”
– The Americans headed home right after the game in Tulsa and will leave again tomorrow for a trip to Kansas City. After the Friday night game against the Mavericks, the Americans will bus overnight back to Allen and take on Tulsa on Saturday night. Sometimes all you can do is scratch your head with the ECHL schedule.
– Dereck Baribeau was recalled by Iowa yesterday. Coach Martinson said in his pregame interview with Tommy Daniels he did not know how long Baribeau would be in Iowa but he was recalled because of an injury.
– Allen also announced yesterday they have signed defenseman Ben Carroll who just finished his collegiate career at the University of Alberta. Carroll is a 24-year-old, 6’0″ left-shot defenseman who is listed at 190 pounds. He is from Sherwood Park, Alberta. Carroll played four years in the Western Hockey League (Edmonton Oil Kings) before attending college. In the 2013-14 season, his team won the WHL championship and the Memorial Cup. Ben will be reuniting in Allen with two of his teammates from that Memorial Cup championship team, Brett Pollock and Cody Corbett.
– Carroll wasn’t done with championships when he left the WHL. In 2017-18 his University of Alberta team won the collegiate championship in Canada (USports University Cup Champion).
– This season Ben had 22 points (4G, 18A) in 28 games. While Carroll has some offensive skill, coach Martinson signed him as a steady, hard working defensive defenseman.
– Here is the only video I could find on YouTube about Ben. This goes back a few years when he was playing for Edmonton in the WHL and was nominated as the hardest working player in WHL. This is a “Vote for Ben” video the community put together:
– There are seven games on the ECHL schedule tonight and several are of interest if you track Allen’s place in the ECHL points standings, the conference point standings, and the division point standings. Allen is four points behind South Carolina for the top spot in the ECHL, has a four-point lead over Cincinnati for the top spot in the Western Conference and a 10 point lead over Utah in the Mountain Division. The big game with South Carolina at Idaho is definitively one to watch. Other top teams in action include Florida hosting Jacksonville, Cincinnati hosting Kalamazoo and Newfoundland hosting Adirondack. Here is the ECHL Today with a preview on all of the games: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2020/3/echl-today-march-4
DID YOU KNOW: Here is my ECHL Stats post for today which shows the commanding lead Tyler Sheehy has in the ECHL rookie scoring race. Sheehy needs 10 points in the remaining 12 games to break the all-time Allen scoring record for a rookie which is 76 points, set by Alex Lavoie in the 2013-14 season.
ECHL Rookie Scoring Leaders:
67 points – (26G, 41A), Tyler Sheehy, Allen Americans
51 points – (26G, 25A), Samuel Asselin, Atlanta Gladiators
51 points – ( 25G, 26A), Justin Brazeau, Newfoundland Growlers
47 points – (21G, 26A), Tommy Marchin, Atlanta Gladiators
44 points – (20G, 24A), Corey Mackin, Reading Royals