Monday, January 13, 2014

Comeback Victory, Martinson Comments, Scoring Streaks, & Stats

You can take it to the bank the game last night against Tulsa did not go according to script as you would never plan to get into a wide open, free wheeling, loose checking game with the high scoring Oilers (remember the 10-8 loss at the Allen Event Center). Nevertheless the Allen Americans over came a two goal deficit twice and beat Tulsa 6-5 in the last of eleven meetings between these teams this season. A big victory for Allen who ended the weekend with five of six points and now have sole possession of second place in the standings just one point behind league leading Rapid City.

- Here is the game recap from the CHL:
Nine of the first ten meetings this season between the Tulsa Oilers and Americans were decided by two goals or less and Sunday's series finale followed the trend with no shortage of drama or momentum swings.  The Oilers held a 4-3 lead going into the third period but the Americans tallied three times in the final frame to surge ahead and hand Tulsa a 6-5 loss in front of 4,587 at the BOK Center.

The Oilers jumped out to a quick 2-0 leads thanks to goals by Michel Beausoleil and Ryan Menei in the first two and a half minutes of action.  Allen rookie forward Alex Lavoie put his team on the board at 6:42 of the opening period when he jammed a loose puck past fallen Oilers goalie Brad Fogal.  After Beausoleil was called for roughing at 7:14, it took the Americans just ten seconds to even the score with a power play goal from Jonathan Lessard.  At 8:59, Oilers center Todd Robinson, who recorded his 1,000th career assist on Saturday night, fed the puck from behind the Allen net to the waiting stick of Blair Macaulay and the Oilers rookie winger slid a shot through the pads of Mark Guggenberger to put the Oilers back on top 3-2.  Guggenberger gave up three goals on the first four shots he face and was lifted from the game in favor of Bryan Pitton.  Tulsa re-gained its two-goal advantage at 16:48 when Robinson set up Beausoleil with another perfect pass on top of the Allen crease.  The home team carried a 4-2 lead into the second period thanks to Beausoleil's second goal of the period.

Guggenberger was back between the pipes for Allen to start the second period and the contest tightened in the middle frame with the only goal coming on an American's power play.  Kale Kerbashian drew the attention of the Oilers penalty killers and opened up space for Greger Hanson who snapped a shot over the glove of Fogal from the right face off dot.  Tulsa's lead was cut in half as the two sides approached the start of the third period. 

Less than 90 seconds into the third, Jamie Schaafsma batted a loose puck past Fogal to pull the Americans even at 4-4.  The Oilers countered with a nifty passing play off of a neutral zone rush.  Ryan Menei sent the puck from the right wing to the middle and Ben Gordon slid a pass across to rookie forward Adam Pleskach who reached back and cranked a one-timer through Guggenberger to put the Oilers back in front.  Americans defenseman Ross Rouleau tied the game at 10:07 when he intercepted an Oilers clearing attempt and elevated a backhand past Fogal for his fourth goal of the season.  Lavoie, who started the scoring for Allen, blasted in the go-ahead goal at 11:42 and his second tally of the night held up as the eventual game-winner.  Despite outshooting Allen 33-30, the Oilers were unable to squeeze another shot past Guggenberger and saw their three-game win streak come to an end. 

Tulsa finished the season series against Allen with a 4-6-1 record and a 2-4-0 mark on home ice.  Robinson dished out three assists for the second straight game and Fogal made 24 saves in a losing effort in his first game as an Oiler


- Mark Guggenberger deserved a better effort from our team after his shut out on Saturday. While I didn't like his play on the third goal our team had an awful start with turnovers and poor play in our zone by both the defensemen and the forwards.

- We have been focusing more on our team and dictating play but in this game we needed to pay closer attention to Todd Robinson as we allowed him to dictate play and when you do that he will hurt you. Robinson had the primary assist on three of the four goals Tulsa scored in the first period.

- We made some adjustments after the first period to help with Robinson and we contained him the rest of the game. Robinson had no points and took two penalties in the final two periods.

- Special teams did a good job as we were 2-4 on the power play while our penalty kill held them scoreless going 0-3.


- Tyler Ludwig had an assist to extend his scoring streak to eight games and has 11 points (7 goals, 4 assists) in those eight games. Other players who have have been scoring regularly are:
Greger Hanson: scored in 8 of last 9 games with 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists)
Alex Lavoie: scored in 7 of last 8 games with 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists)
Kale Kerbashian: score in 6 of last 7 games with 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists)

- The Americans have three players scoring at a point a game pace. Alex Lavoie leads the group with 47 points in 34 games followed by Kale Kerbashian with 36 points in 34 games and Greger Hanson with 23 points in 21 games.

- There are now two teams (Tulsa & Brampton) the Americans will not play again the rest of the season. They still have six games remaining with Arizona & St. Charles.

- Allen once again made a special teams advantage work in their favor. Tulsa has the #9 ranked penalty kill (78.53%) while Allen is ranked #2 (85.64%). Allen had two power play goals while Tulsa was scoreless on the power play.

- Allen will now begin preparing for three games in four days against Arizona. They travel to Arizona for games Friday and Saturday. The teams then return to Allen for the traditional "Kid's Day Out" MLK afternoon game on Monday (1/20). Will do a preview on these games later this week but let it suffice to say Arizona is playing much better than their eighth place in the standings. They currently have the longest win streak in the CHL (4) and have not allowed a goal in their last three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Allen won last night when trailing after the second period (4-3). It was the first time all year the Americans have won a game when trailing after the second period. Their record in these games is now 1-9.

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