Coach Steve Martinson is not fond of using war metaphors to describe hockey games as he correctly points out, in war you are literally trying to kill your enemy. However, the Allen Americans hard fought 3-2 victory over the Tulsa Oilers before an announced crowd of 5750 at the BOK Center took place on Military Night with the Oilers wearing camouflage jerseys, so hopefully coach is okay with this military style description of the game. After all, we just celebrated Veterans Day. Describing the game as a battle would be an understatement as there were six fighting majors called along with two lesser skirmishes where the players were given double minors for roughing.
It was a combative contest from the get go and Allen got the tactical advantage by scoring the first goal of the game on a great play by Vincent Arseneau, who was playing in his first game for the Americans after being reassigned by San Jose. Here is how the Tulsa Oilers described the play in their press release, "Arseneau showed a combination of muscle and hustle to create the first goal of the game. He blocked a shot from an Oiler defenseman, and looked to be off to the races before stumbling in the Tulsa zone. The 23 year old winger somehow recovered his balance and the puck before dropping a pass to David Makowski who smacked a shot through goalie Kevin Carr for a 1-0 Americans' lead."
Scoring the first goal was huge as the Americans have not lost all season when scoring the first goal of the game. They are now 8-0 when scoring first.
Allen took what appeared to be a commanding 2-0 lead midway through the second period on a patented cross ice pass through the slot from Chad Costello to Casey Pierro-Zabotel who buried the puck for his fifth goal of the season. Tulsa had scored just three goals in their last three games so the 2-0 lead looked safe but the Americans soon came under attack.
The Americans spent a lot of time in retreat the last half of the game as Tulsa made a frontal assault with puck possession and a barrage of shots. The Oilers outshot Allen 23-12 in the final two periods and in the third period, Allen managed only three shots on goal. When Tulsa tied the score 2-2 with less than five minutes left in the game, it looked like Allen was going to be overrun. However, the Americans managed to mount a counter attack led by two of their young guns. Just 48 seconds after Tulsa had tied the score, J.P. LaFontaine made a great cross ice pass from the right boards to Eric Roy who was streaking down the left side from the point. Roy fired a cannon past the goalie for the game winner.
It was the fourth straight win for the Americans who have now won eight of nine games after starting the season 1-2. No rest for the weary as the team boarded "Big Red" right after the game to head back to Allen where they will take on the Colorado Eagles tonight (Saturday) at 7:05. The Eagles flew to DFW yesterday afternoon and will be the more rested team when they take on the Americans tonight.
- Steve Martinson had this to say about the game, "We started out strong in the game but gradually increased our turnovers. We have too many guys that want to make cute plays. It looked like a contest to see who could make the hardest play by both the forwards and the defense. We have to get back to battling and get pucks in deep."
- Eric Roy has quickly established himself as one of the top rookies in the ECHL. His five goals, including one in each of his last four games, is tied for the team lead and he is also tied for the most goals by a defensemen in the league. His plus/minus of +9 leads the Americans and is second among all defensemen in the league. His two game winning goals is tied with teammate David Makowski for the most by a defensemen in the entire ECHL.
- Chad Costello had an assist to keep his scoring streak alive. Chad has scored in the last eight games and has a total of 13 points (3 goals 10 assists) in those eight games. Chad is now tied for the league lead in assists (10) and is tied for third in points (14).
- Joel Rumpel had another excellent night in goal for Allen and continues to lead all ECHL goalies in wins (9). Joel has given up two or fewer goals in 10 of his 11 starts.
- The Allen penalty kill did not allow a goal last night and hasn't given up a power play goal for seven straight games. Not sure what the Americans all time record is for consecutive games without allowing a power play goal but my guess is this is the record. The Americans have only allowed two power play goals all year (2-43), one on opening night against Quad City and one in game five against Utah. The penalty kill percentage is now at 95.3%. The best penalty kill in the ECHL last season for a full 72 games was South Carolina at 87.7%.
- The Missouri Mavericks continued their excellent play last night in Wichita beating the Thunder 7-2 to maintain their one point lead over Allen in the Central Division standings which now look like this:
19 points: Missouri (12 games)
18 points: Allen (12 games)
10 points: Wichita (13 games)
9 points: Tulsa (11 games)
- Tonight is the Allen Ice Angels calendar release party which takes place at Kelly's right after the game. Seems like more excitement than ever as the Ice Angels have outdone themselves again.
- Greger Hanson & Daniel Doremus played for San Jose (AHL) last night as the Barracuda defeated San Diego in a shootout by a score of 4-3. Greger and Daniel did not figure in the scoring but they each had one shot in the game. The two teams play again tonight.
- It was a pretty good night all around for the Americans and their San Jose affiliates:
NHL: San Jose Sharks 3 - Detroit Red Wings 2
AHL: San Jose Barracuda 4 (SO) - San Diego Gulls 3
ECHL: Allen Americans 3 - Tulsa Oilers 2
ALLEN VS COLORADO GAME PREVIEW
- Allen will play Colorado seven times this season (4 home 3 away) which is the most they play any team outside their own division. In their only meeting thus far (October 21st), Allen won in Colorado 3-1 scoring three goals in the third period after trailing 1-0.
- Here is a match up between Allen and Colorado:
Team Record 9-3-0-0 (18 points) 3-7-1-0 (7 points)
Division Ranking 2nd - Central 5th -West
Conference Ranking 2nd - Western 13th - Western
League Ranking 4th 27th
Home Record 3-1 3-3-1-0
Road Record 6-2 0-4
Last Game 3-2 W (Tulsa) 4-2 L (Utah)
Goals For 41 24
Goals Against 26 31
Power Play 14.0% (7/50) 25.7% (9/35)
Penalty Kill 95.3% (2/43) 89.5% (4/38)
Most PIM's Makowski (21) Bootland (44)
Leading Scorer Costello (4-10-14) Daavettila (2-6-8)
- Here is how Allen and Colorado rank in the ECHL in some statistical categories:
Penalty Minutes Per Game: Allen 17th (14.08) - Colorado 3rd (17.82)
Goals Scored Per Game: Allen 7th (3.42) - Colorado 25th (2.18)
Goals Allowed per Game: Allen 5th (2.17) - Colorado 13th (2.82)
Power Play Percentage: Allen 18th (14.0%) - Colorado 4th (25.7%)
Penalty Kill Percentage; Allen 1st (95.3%) - Colorado 4th (89.5%)
- If you just look at their records, Allen has a big advantage in the two upcoming games against Colorado. Colorado has only won three games all season and is 0-4 on the road. However they have been playing better recently having won two of their last three games.
- Special teams stats may actually favor Colorado in this two game series. While the Americans have the best penalty kill in the league, Colorado is not far behind and is ranked #4. On the power play, Colorado is ranked #4 (25.7%) while Allen is #18 (14.0%). Tonight will be a real challenge for the Allen special teams.
- Darryl Bootland is one of the most popular players to ever play in Allen and he is the ultimate showman. With all of the excitement of having the guy they call "Booter" back at the AEC you can expect he won't disappoint the Allen fans. By the way, when these teams played in Colorado, Dyson Stevenson and Bootland had a fight.
- Officials scheduled for the game tonight are referee Stephen Thomson
(#27) and linesmen Alex Black (#63) and Rick Rivera (#59).
DID YOU KNOW: How good is the Allen penalty kill this season? It is impossible to maintain the current torrid pace for the entire season but here is how the penalty kill stacks up to prior seasons: