|Chad Costello was the #1 star last night and is now 3rd in ECHL scoring - photo by scenebykimberly.com|
Have to admit as the game progressed last night different thoughts kept popping up. When Tulsa took at 2-0 lead in the first period the thought was Tulsa sat home on Wednesday resting up while Allen traveled to Missouri to play and the guys are just out of steam. Then when Allen scored three unanswered goals (Hanson, Schultz, Young) to take the lead 3-2 and dominated the second period with shots on goal of 20-6 the thought was the Americans can win this game. Then Tulsa scored early in the third period to tie the game 3-3 and the thought was if the Americans can hold on and get one point it will be a great three days. Finally, when Tulsa took a 4-3 lead midway through the third period the thought was the team is exhausted and winning two of these three back to back midweek games playing rested teams would be a good outcome.
It says a lot about the character and talent on this team that they never quit and even when they were operating on fumes they found a way to come back. The team scored their second power play goal of the night at the 15:00 minute mark of the third period as the top line tied the score with a Chad Costello goal assisted by Ian Schultz and Jack Combs to preserve one point and send the game to overtime.
Allen dominated play in the overtime but could not score and Riley Gill made a great stop on the one opportunity Tulsa had in overtime. As the overtime expired another thought came to mind and that was with the skill on the Americans team they will be dynamite in shootouts and this is the first time to put that to the test. The shootout was over in four rounds as Riley Gill stopped three of four Tulsa shooters while Allen scored three straight goals (Steffes, Costello, & Hanson) after Jack Combs led off with a miss.
Final score was 5-4 before a disappointed crowd of 3648 at the BOK Center in Tulsa as Allen won their eighth straight game overall and fifth straight game on the road. About all you can say is enjoy this outstanding hockey while you can as this is very special. The time will come, as it always does, when the team will struggle (usually in January) and fans will long for the quality of hockey the team is playing during this win streak.
The team gets a well deserved day off today. They stayed in Tulsa overnight and will get to sleep in this morning before taking the short trip to Wichita (175 miles) where they play the Thunder tomorrow (Friday) night.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS:
- That was a great comeback victory tonight. The team never stopped working and the hard work paid off.
- The guys were really tired. It is more than three games in three days. It is three days of travel on top of the three games. And then having to play teams that did not play the day before like we did made it a tough task.
- With the games and the travel, to come into Tulsa tonight and hammer them with 56 shots is impressive.
- We felt very confident if the game went to a shootout with Riley Gill in goal and the skill guys we have on this team.
- I am not sure when we will leave for Wichita tomorrow (Friday). I am going to let the guys sleep in.
- The three stars of the game were #1 Chad Costello, #2 Kyle O'Kane and #3 Kevin Young. All good selections but thought Tulsa goalie, Brady Hjelle, who was peppered with 56 shots deserved recognition.
- It took Kevin Young thirteen games to get his first goal but he has now scored a goal in back to back games. Kevin has eight points (2 goals 6 assists) in the last seven games.
- Chad Costello continued his hot streak with the game tying goal in the third period and his goal in the shootout. Chad has had multiple point games in four of the last five games, has a point in eight straight games and is now tied for third in scoring in the ECHL with twenty points (6 goals 14 assists).
- Jack Combs had two assists and has scored in all fourteen Allen games this season. He extended his ECHL scoring lead to three points as he now has 24 points (10 goals 14 assists).
- With a 28 team league it is difficult to be a league leader in any statistic but Allen has more than their fair share. Here are the categories where the team or individual players lead the ECHL:
Points: Jack Combs (24) #1
Assists: Jack Combs & Chad Costello (14) #1
Shorthanded Goals: Greger Hanson (2) #1
Game Winning Goals: Greger Hanson (4) #1
Penalty Minutes: Brett Lyon (76) #1
Goalie Save Percentage: Riley Gill (.937) #1
Goalie Wins: Riley Gill (9) #1
Point Streak: Jack Combs (14 games) #1
Plus/Minus: Ian Schultz (+13) #1
Plus/Minus Defensemen: Trevor Ludwig (+11) #1
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen (4.36) #1
Longest Winning Streak: Allen (8) #1
Longest Current Road Winning Streak: Allen (5) #1
Conference Winning Percentage: Allen (.786) #1
- Brian McMillin did not play in the game against Tulsa last night because of an injury. Brian's status is day to day.
- Coach Martinson mentioned at his last home press conference that he will be sending a player to Worcester (AHL) and it would be a young player but he would not name the player. It seems unusual he would know someone is going up but the announcement is delayed. This is just a guess but the one young player on the team that might cause a delay in making a decision is Spencer Asuchak. If Worcester is interested in Spencer they would want to make sure he played a few games in Allen after his injury to make sure everything was okay. Now that he has played three games in three days a decision may be forthcoming. Guess everyone will have to just wait and see if a player gets called up this week and who the player might be.
- It is way too early to be looking at playoffs but if they started today two of the teams on the outside looking in would be Rapid City and Missouri. The beginning of this year is a sharp contrast to the beginning of last year when Rapid City and Missouri were dominating play in the Central Hockey League. Rapid City has played sixteen games this year and and has a record of 5-11. Last year Rapid City was 14-2 after sixteen games. Missouri has played fourteen games this year and has a record of 6-8. After fourteen games last year Missouri was 11-3 and had played nine of the fourteen games on the road. What a difference a year makes. If there is any solace for the Rush and Mavericks fans it is their teams started strong and ended weak last year year. This year they may get a slow start with a strong finish.
DID YOU KNOW: Two of Allen's three losses this season have been to the Tulsa Oilers. The other was to the Rapid City Rush. Since the team started in 2009-2010 the Americans have always played well on the road and actually have a slightly better road record than home record. This trend continues this year as Allen is 4-2 at home and 7-1 on the road.