No matter how avid a fan is they don't expect their team to win every game so the fact that the Allen Americans lost last night to the Tulsa Oilers by a score of 4-3 is not a surprise. After all they were playing their third game in 48 hours against a rested Oilers team. What was a surprise and maybe even shocking is how the Americans lost the game. Allen gave up the first goal of the game at 3:31 of the first period but battled back with three unanswered power play goals, two by Ian Schultz and Jamie Schaafsma with the other to take a 3-1 lead going into the third period. When leading after two periods the Americans were 15-0 going into the game yesterday. Allen gave up three unanswered goals in the third period including two goals 32 seconds apart at the 16:33 and 17:05 mark. For a team with as much talent as Allen it had to be disappointing to the players, coaches and the fans to have so many defensive lapses when they had the game won.
When I caught up with coach Martinson after the game he sounded more disappointed than angry and he was disappointed in himself as well as the team. Here is what he had to say:
- We lost because we were not committed to winning the game, we were committed to scoring.
- Losing this game had nothing to do with playing three games in three days or the fact that Tulsa was rested. We had bad gaps, we did not do a good job back checking, we took stupid penalties and it finally caught up with us.
- Maybe the only way this team can win is by scoring more goals so the score is always 5-4 and they don't have to play good defense.
- It was very embarrassing how we performed in the third period especially after we discussed the only way Tulsa gets back in the game is to let them do exactly what they did.
- To be successful you have to have pride on both sides of the puck.
- It is bad coaching when you have the stronger, more experienced line up with a two goal lead yet you can't get the team to play an intelligent third period.
- With three home games this week Allen will have plenty of opportunity to get back in the win column. They play Rapid City Wednesday and Friday and Wichita on Sunday.
- The game last night was the first game all season that the Americans did not score an even strength goal. All three goals came on the power play as Allen was three for six and raised their overall power play percentage to 20.3% which ranks them #6 in the ECHL. Their power play percentage on the road is 24.3% which is #2 in the league.
- The winning goal for Tulsa was a power play goal as the Allen penalty kill has given up four power play goals in the last three games. The penalty kill percentage was recently at 90%. In the last three games it is at 76.5%.
- It is important to keep everything in the proper perspective as it is easy to focus on the fact Allen got only one of a possible four points in the two road games this weekend. The Americans have only lost two games in regulation since November 9. That is two regulation losses in 21 games.
- Despite losing to Tulsa the Americans maintained their eight point lead in the standings as second place Quad City lost last night to the Brampton Beast.
- The former CHL teams get another crack at the older ECHL teams tonight as Quad City travels to Fort Wayne to play the Komets. It will be a tough task for the Mallards as Fort Wayne is the best team in the league with a record of 22-5-1-0.
- Allen is now done playing Tulsa until the end of February but the next month will have its own challenges. Other than the three game road trip to Indy, Toledo and Kalamazoo which everyone is looking forward to seeing the entire schedule is made up of games against just three teams. Allen will play Rapid City four times, Missouri four times and Wichita three times.
- Other than the three games in three days road trip to Indy, Toledo and Kalamazoo (January 23-25) Allen has only one other road game all month which is a game in Missouri on January 6. Lots of time at home for the team in January.
DID YOU KNOW: Allen has had 26 different players on the roster thus far this year. The fewest players used is Wichita with 23 and by far the most players used is Missouri at 38.