Based on their combined record when scoring the first goal of the game (now 8-0) you could have turned off the Allen vs Tulsa game last night after the first 11 seconds when Tulsa won the opening face off, skated up the ice, took a shot and scored on the rebound. The Oilers took a 2-0 lead at the 15:00 minute mark of the first period and never looked back. The Americans had trouble generating offense and ended up with just three shots on goal in the first period and 17 for the game. Allen scored their only goal of the game early in the second period on one of those patented Chad Costello cross ice passes to Justin Baker who was breaking in from the blue line. It was Baker’s first goal of the season and closed the gap to 2-1, but Tulsa would score to regain a two goal lead just a few minutes later and that was the end of the scoring for the night. Tulsa sent the announced crowd of 3969 (if you watched the game there was nowhere close to that in the building) home happy and improved their record against Allen this season to 2-1.
The Americans headed back to Allen right after the game and will leave tonight for Rapid City (close to 1100 miles) where they play the Rush on Friday and Saturday.
STEVE MARTINSON’S POST GAME COMMENTS:
– We didn’t generate much offense. Sometimes you need to score those greasy goals by throwing pucks to the net and screening the goalie. We didn’t do enough of that in the game tonight.
– It was obvious the Tulsa game plan was to put pucks on the net and screen Gill and they were successful at doing that. That was the difference in the game.
– We were trying some plays in the neutral zone that would have been hard to defend because you could not tell what we were doing. The problem is we didn’t know what we were doing either.
– The 17 shots on goal for Allen tied their lowest number of shots in a game all season. Ironically, the other time they had just 17 shots, which was against Colorado, they won the game.
– Special teams continued to be both good and bad. The power play was 0-3 and is one of the worst in the league. It is ranked #23 at 10.8% (4-37). The penalty kill was perfect again (0-2) and is ranked #1 in the ECHL at 93.1% (2-29).
– Dyson Stevenson had his third fighting major in eight games as he tried to get the team going after the poor start. Dyson was the clear winner in his fight against Tulsa’s Ben Walker.
– The Americans have plenty of offensive firepower and can get scoring from all three lines but are struggling mightily compared to last year. The defense is also not contributing offensively like they did last season when four players were in the top 18 in the ECHL in scoring by defensemen. It is still early but if it continues there is cause for concern.
Here are the figures with the ECHL rank in parenthesis:
Last Year This Year
Goals For Per Game: 4.06 (#1) 2.75 (#13)
Shots For Per Game: 32.83 (#5) 27.38 (#22)
Power Play Percentage: 21.9% (#2) 10.8% (#23)
– Allen has scored two or fewer goals in four of their eight games. Last season they didn’t have their fourth game of two or fewer goals until January 6th.
– The rough and tough Central Division has been anything but that so far this season. If you look at average penalty minutes per game the teams rank #13 (Wichita), #19 (Allen), #23 (Tulsa) and #28 (Missouri) in the ECHL.
DID YOU KNOW: The Adirondack Thunder are the only undefeated team in the ECHL and at 7-0 are closing in on the all time record for wins to start the season which is 8-0. The record is shared by the Trenton Titans (2001) and Dayton Bombers (1994). Adirondack defeated Kalamazoo in overtime in the annul Education Day Game where the arena will be full of students. The Thunder will play in Cincinnati on Friday with a chance to tie the record.