It was a big opportunity lost by the Allen Americans as they were defeated in Tulsa last night by a score of 7-3 before a crowd of 5565 at the BOK Center. Rather than heading home in third place in the Mountain Division, Allen has dropped to fifth place and out of the playoffs. The Mountain Division is so tight right now it takes one loss to drop two spots in the standings. If there is a silver lining in the loss, it is the Americans will play four games next week with another opportunity to climb back into the playoff picture.
– It was how Allen lost that was so disappointing after winning three straight including a 5-1 win over Tulsa on Friday night. Here are a few examples that led to the disappointing loss:
- Allen allowed seven goals in a game for the first time in four months (November 13).
- The score was tied after the first period but the Americans were outshot 13-4.
- Allen had a combined total of seven shots in the first and third periods.
- Allen managed 12 shots in the second period but allowed 18.
- Overall shot total was 45-19, one of the most lopsided shot totals of the season.
- Allen allowed its league leading 18th shorthanded goal with a minute remaining in the game.
- Allen was 0-4 on the power play.
– Despite being outplayed and outshot, Allen had a chance to win until late in the third period. The Americans got off to a bad start from the opening puck drop. Tulsa took the first seven shots of the game and halfway thought the period had a 11-1 shot advantage. Allen was lucky to survive the first period scoreless, given the shot total of 13-4.
– Allen broke the scoring ice early in the second period on J.C. Campagna’s eighth goal since joining the Americans 11 games ago. Just when it looked like the Americans had seized the momentum, Tulsa proceeded to score four unanswered goals by the end of the second period, to take a 4-1 lead. When you consider Allen hasn’t won a road game all season when trailing after the second period (0-11-3-0) it didn’t look good.
– To their credit the Americans fought back in the third period, to close the gap to 4-3 on goals by Darian Skeoch, his first on the season, and J.C. Campagna’s second goal of the game and ninth of the season. It looked like a comeback in the making when Campagna scored at the 12:09 mark with plenty of time to get the equalizer. Tulsa burst that bubble by scoring just eight seconds later to take a 5-3 lead and it was downhill from that point. The Oilers scored an empty net goal and shorthanded goal late in the period to make the final score 7-3.
– Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/wLgWMU0-MuU
– Game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-fall-to-tulsa-in-series-finale/
– Game recap issued by the Tulsa Oilers: https://tulsaoilers.com/gilmours-hat-trick-jettisons-oilers-over-allen/
COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON
“We had too many puck turnovers and we were weak on puck pursuit. It is hard to win when you don’t pressure the puck.”
“Tulsa did a better job of getting pucks to the net with traffic in front.”
“It was a simple case of will over skill. They clearly outworked us.”
“We finally got back in the game in the third period and then immediately gave up a goal off a simple center ice faceoff loss.”
“The empty net goal was the icing on the cake and showed how poorly we forechecked the entire game.”
– Allen is now back to one game above .500 with 18 games remaining in the season. It is clearly crunch time and the next two weeks (7 games) will tell the story of the season for the Americans. Next week Allen plays four games in five days:
- Wednesday at home against Wichita
- Thursday at home against Tulsa
- Friday on road against Wichita
- Sunday at home against Wichita
Splitting these four games will not be good enough. Allen will have to get a minimum of six points next week.
The following week Allen will travel to Toledo for three games in three days (25, 26, 27) against the best team in the league. The Americans will have to find a way to win that series to stay in the playoff race.
– Despite the loss last night the Americans continue to put together a stronger lineup and that should continue this week. Defensemen Nick Albano, who was acquired in a trade yesterday arrives in Allen today, Chad Butcher should return to the lineup this week and other injured players may return. Branden Troock will be out of the lineup and just how serious his injury is will be determined in the next day or two. The bottom line is there are now 27 players on the roster which is way too many once injured players start to return. The maximum a team can carry is 22 players (20 active plus two reserve) but because of the salary cap Allen can’t afford 20 players on the active roster. Players on injured reserve don’t count. You have to assume there will be roster moves this week to accommodate the addition of Albano and injured players returning to the lineup.
– Idaho is the only Mountain Division team in action today. The Steelheads are in Toledo for a third game. Idaho is trying to snap a six game losing streak that has seen what was a comfortable lead for second place in the division just a month ago, with a points percentage above .610, to battling for a playoff spot with a points percentage of .526.
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL stats post today is about the teams that play best at home. Allen’s home points percentage is .538 on a record of 13-11-2-0. That ranks the Americans sixth in the division. Allen’s road points percentage is .482 on a record of 11-12-4-1, which is the fourth best road record in the Mountain Division.
To be successful you have to play well at home. The five ECHL teams with home points percentage above .700 with home record:.739 – Reading, 15-4-3-1.732 – Idaho, 20-7-1-0.717 – Atlanta, 21-8-1-0.714 – Toledo, 19-7-1-2.714 – Fort Wayne, 19-7-2-0Just two teams have a road points percentage above .700:.741 – Florida, 19-5-4-1.712 – Toledo, 18-7-0-0