The next chapter in the ECHL era for the Tulsa Oilers begins tonight against the Allen Americans, as both begin their chase for the Kelly Cup. A tough hill to climb sits in front of the Oilers as they get set to take on the second-place-overall Americans.

The Oilers and Americans met a total of 17 times over the course of the regular season, meaning both teams are well aware of the playing styles each has. Allen has quite a bit of momentum going against the Oilers as well. Both teams played four times over the course of 10 days with Allen winning all four of those matchups.

Over the course of the season, Allen holds a 12-4-0-1 record against Tulsa, while the Oilers record was 5-10-1-1. Take out those last four games and Tulsa’s record turns into a much better sub-.500 record, something they need to hold onto as they head into the series.

The Oilers are led by T.J. Caig against the Americans, with 18 points in the 17 meetings between the teams. Adam Pleskach and Drew Fisher were right behind him with 16 points apiece. Fisher finished the season third on the ECHL’s point list with 77 total points.

Kevin Carr held a 4-5-0 record against the Americans, with a 4.43 goals against and a .864 saves percentage. With Brandon Anderson called up to the Hershey Bears, Tulsa signed former Florida Everblades goaltender Andy Iles to a contract to fill that spot.

ECHL scoring leader Chad Costello led the Americans in scoring over the Oilers during the season, scoring 31 points in all 17 matchups. Allen also gets back Gary Steffes, who was released from his professional try-out contract with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals where he scored four goals in nine games. Steffes had 17 points in 14 contests against Tulsa.

In net, Riley Gill took the brunt of the work against Tulsa this season, going 7-2-1 with a 3.14 goals against and a .891 saves percentage.

To end the season, the Americans went 8-0-1-1 over their last ten games while Tulsa went 4-4-2-0. But with a little rest, anything can happen as the Oilers look to play spOilers. (Bad pun, sorry not sorry)

The Kelly Cup playoffs begin tonight with the Oilers and Americans beginning as the only game happening to kick things off. Game 1 begins in Allen at 7:05, with Game 2 tomorrow night with the same 7:05 start time. Afterwards, the series shifts back to Tulsa with games this Friday and Saturday at the BOK Center.

-Eric Rodgers

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