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Three Quick Goals Spell Defeat, Can the Americans Bounce Back Today – Game Recap and Rematch Preview Plus Steve Martinson’s Comments

Sunday, April 3rd
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I am not going to spend a lot of words this morning analyzing what happened in Tulsa last night when Allen was defeated by the Tulsa Oilers 4-1 in front of one the biggest ECHL crowds of the season, 10,809.

– When you consider the razor thin gap between third place in the Mountain Division and in the playoffs and fifth place in the division and out in the playoffs, the game last night could not have been more important. The Americans performance was disappointing and frustrating. Here is a list of what went wrong last night:

  • Puck drop was delayed until 7:30 because of an earlier hockey game.
  • Allen gave up the first goal on the first shift, just 21 seconds after puck drop.
  • Allen gave up goal #2 less than two minutes after goal #1.
  • Allen gave up goal #3 at the 6:01 mark of the first period and the game was essentially over.
  • Allen trailed 3-1 after the first period and 4-1 after the second period.
  • Allen managed just 21 shots in the game, by period shots were 8, 6, 7.
  • Allen was outshot by Tulsa 43-21.
  • Tulsa had 43 shots in the game but scored goals on shots #1, #3 and #4.
  • Tulsa’s fourth goal was scored shorthanded, Allen’s league leading 19th allowed.
  • Allen’s power play percentage was 0%, going 0-5.
  • Former Allen players Jackson Leef (shorty), Duggie Lagrone (goal) and Joe Garreffa (assist plus 5 shots) did a lot of the damage.
  • The only stat in Allen’s favor was penalty minutes (46-22).

– Allen’s only goal was scored by Jackson Leppard at 8:15 of the first period. It was his 18th goal of the season. Here are the video highlights: https://youtu.be/RakX96WYCeg– Game recap from the Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-drop-4-1-decision-to-oilers/– Game recap from the Tulsa Oilers: https://tulsaoilers.com/oilers-overpower-americans-4-1/

– With the loss last night the Americans played themselves out of a playoff spot but all is not lost. It was just one game and the best part of the loss is Allen doesn’t have to wait very long to do something about it. After what I am sure was a somber 235 mile bus trip back to Allen overnight, the Americans will be back at it with an opening puck drop this afternoon (2:05 pm) exactly 15 hours and 34 minutes after the end of the game last night.

– Allen has to find a way to get off to a better start today. It wasn’t just last night, the Americans have given up the first goal the last four games, going back to Toledo. While Allen has overcome a couple of those poor starts it will be tough against Tulsa who has a record of 25-7-3-1 when scoring first.

– Tulsa’s record against Allen now stands at 8-3-0-0 this season. The last three times they have played the Oilers, the Americans lost by scores of 7-3, 5-2 and 4-1. Tulsa outshot Allen in those three games 45-19, 39-24 and 43-21. Defense has been the Achilles’ heel of Allen all season. You hear coach Martinson talk about it in some form of fashion in almost every interview he gives. Here is a sample of what I have heard from Martinson that contributes to the defensive woes:

  • Not enough pressure on the puck
  • Poor forecheck and backcheck
  • Losing puck battles
  • Neutral ice turnovers
  • We got doubled up on blocked shots
  • We are not covering shooting and passing lanes
  • You don’t hear our team described as hard working
  • Our defensive indifference caught up with us again
  • The other team back pressured better than us all weekend
  • Too often we try to contain rather than pressure
  • We don’t get on the defensive side of players, we get on the hope side of the play

– Allen has had spurts of playing good defense but it has been inconsistent. It is all about will over skill. It sounds rather bleak after the lopsided loss last night, but the game today reminds be of a weekend in January. It was one of those dreadful four games in five days with travel, just like this week. Here is how the week in January went:

  • Wednesday – lost 4-1 at home to Tulsa
  • Friday – lost 2-1 in overtime in Tulsa
  • Saturday – lost 3-2 in a shootout in Kansas City

Allen headed back to Tulsa for a Sunday afternoon game with a tired team and little hope for a win. Tulsa was well rested with Saturday off while Allen played in Kansas City. The Americans not only won that game, they shutout the Oilers 8-0. That is the kind of effort the Americans need today.

COACH’S CORNER WITH STEVE MARTINSON“We got out worked on the goals last night. If we had skated hard on those goals we could have prevented a couple of them.”“We had plenty of good scoring chances by couldn’t put the puck in the net.”“One of the benefits of playing a team back to back is you can show video of what has to change in the game today.”“An advantage in the game today is we have last change, so I can keep defensively weak players away from Tulsa’s top players.”“We need to do a better job of pressuring their defense. When we did that last night it created opportunities for us.”“Tulsa’s forwards work hard and skate hard all of the time. We have to match that intensity.”“It is possible we could get one of the sick players back today, but it will be a game time decision.”“Luke Peressini will get the start in goal today,”“I have to balance our lines to make sure there are players on each line that go hard after loose pucks and win puck battles.”“I like the way Justin Young played in his first pro game. He kept his feet moving and went after the puck.”

OTHER COMMENTS

– It is important to remember Allen’s fate is totally within its own control, but it will get a lot more difficult if the Americans lose this afternoon. Here are the remaining games for Allen, Idaho and Tulsa. The current points percentage is in parenthesis:

  • ALLEN (.531)
  • Apr 3    Tulsa
  • Apr 6    Kansas City
  • Apr 8    Kansas City
  • Apr 9    at Wichita
  • Apr 10  at Wichita
  • Apr 13  Iowa
  • Apr 15  Iowa
  • Apr 16  Iowa
  •  IDAHO (.545)
  • Apr 6     Utah
  • Apr 8     Utah
  • Apr 9     Utah
  • Apr 15   at Utah
  • Apr 16   at Utah
  •  TULSA (.538)
  • Apr 3   at Allen
  • Apr 6   at Wichita
  • Apr 8   Wichita
  • Apr 13  at Rapid City
  • Apr 15  at Rapid City
  • Apr 16  at Rapid City

– Here is how tight the playoff race is right now. If Allen beats Tulsa today in regulation and with Idaho idle, this will be the point percentages:

  • ,5448 – Idaho
  • .5384 – Allen
  • .5299 – Tulsa

– The battle for the top spot in the Mountain Division between Utah and Rapid City could not be closer. The teams went head to head for three games this week in Utah and swapped first place twice. The Rush won two of the three games including a 4-3 win last night. Rapid City is now in first place by the slimmest of margins (.5909 vs .5896). Utah has five games remaining, all against Idaho, three are on the road. Rapid City has six games remaining, three in Greenville next week followed by three at home against Tulsa.

– Here is the ECHL Today with a preview of the nine games scheduled today: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2022/4/echl-today-april-3

– Looking at attendance in the AHL last night you can see the top drawing teams in the ECHL were very close to the AHL attendance. Tulsa had the biggest crowd in either league. There were 14 games in the AHL last night and seven drew more than 7000. The ECHL had six of 13 teams draw 7000+ (see below). Here are the seven AHL teams that drew 7000+ last night.

  • 9836 – Chicago
  • 9088 – Springfield
  • 8719 – Grand Rapids
  • 8001 – Charlotte
  • 7719 – San Diego
  • 7716 – Wilkes-Barre
  • 7084 – Lehigh Valley

DID YOU KNOW: It was a big night in the ECHL last night with a total attendance of 77,662 watching 13 games. Attendance was led by Tulsa, the Oilers had one of the largest crowds in the ECHL this season. Hats off to the sales and marketing staffs of the six teams that drew more than 7000 fans last night.

10,809 – Tulsa*8673 – Orlando8122 – Fort Wayne7845 – Toledo*7378 – Cincinnati*7233 – Florida**Won their game and sent the fans home happy!

The post Three Quick Goals Spell Defeat, Can the Americans Bounce Back Today – Game Recap and Rematch Preview Plus Steve Martinson’s Comments appeared first on Allen Americans Hockey Club.

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