The Allen Americans lost to the Tulsa Oilers last night 3-2 before a huge crowd of 14,013 at the BOK. The Oilers came back in the third with two unanswered goals to take the victory. It is difficult to assess this game because of the situation since Allen played in Kansas City on Friday night and then traveled to Tulsa after the game. Tulsa didn’t play on Friday night. Did Allen run out of gas in the loss to Tulsa or did the inconsistency the Americans have exhibit play a part in the loss. It won’t get any easier for the Americans today. Allen had to drive home from Tulsa after the game while Allen’s opponent, Kansas City, flew to DFW yesterday afternoon and relaxed awaiting the game this afternoon (2:05 pm). You can only hope they had a good time on the town last night in the Fairview/Allen area.
– Any time a team scores first, has a first period lead and a second period lead it would be safe to assume they would win the game. Across the league, teams that score first win about 72% of the time. Teams with a first period lead win about 80% of the time and teams with a second period lead win over 90% of the time. Allen had the trifecta last night. The Americans scored first just 59 seconds after the puck drop when Colton Hargrove scored his eighth goal of the season and Allen took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Tulsa tied the score midway through the second period but Allen responded quickly, taking a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later on Colton Hargrove’s second goal of the game and ninth of the season. Allen was lucky to get out of the second period with a 2-1 lead as Tulsa dominated the period outshooting the Americans 20-6.
– With a 2-1 lead going into the third period it looked like Allen could make it three straight wins for the first time all season, after back-to-back wins in Kansas City. The referee let the teams play in the third period, calling no penalties. Tulsa tied the score at the 7:44 mark and took a 3-2 lead at the 13:12 mark of the period. Allen pulled goalie, Logan Flodell, with 43 seconds remaining but never managed to get a shot on goal. It was one of the more disappointing losses because Allen could have easily won the game. Logan Flodell made a lot of great saves stopping 34 of 37 shots for a .919 save percentage, but he would probably like a couple of the goals back. Tulsa scored one goal with the player on his knees, and it appeared Flodell put the game winning goal in his own net. After winning his first start in Wichita on October 22, Flodell has lost eight straight games. His 1-9-0-0 record includes a GAA of 3.78 and a .891 save percentage. Logan has not got a lot of offensive support in his nine losses. In six of the nine losses the Americans scored one or two goals. Here are the video highlights with all of the goals. Here the video highlights with all of the goals.
– Here is the game recap from the Allen Americans with quotes from coach Costello and Chad Butcher. They were both focused on moving forward and getting a win against Kansas City Sunday afternoon. https://allenamericans.com/media/game-recap-americans-fall-to-tulsa-3-2-2/
– The task today will not get any easier for the Americans. An exhausted team had to bus back to Allen from Tulsa after the loss last night while Kansas City flew to DFW yesterday and rested. When I talked to coach Costello this morning he was dealing with another suspension. Mikael Robidoux has been suspended indefinitely as a result of a kneeing penalty in the game last night. Further discipline will be administered after a hearing. Here is the press release with the details. https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/1/echl-announces-fine-suspension-jan-8
– Since suspended players must remain on the active roster, replacing them creates a salary cap issue. What is known is Luke Peressini will be in goal and Liam Finlay will not play. The plan was to have Grant Hebert in the lineup today but that will depend on his equipment arriving on time and overcoming the salary cap issues. A fitting end to a tough week for the Americans. A win today would be a big boost for the team.
– I have seen situations like today many times over the years when teams have arrived in Allen having played the night before and then traveled overnight. Meanwhile the Americans did not play and rested. It is surprising to me how often the team that is exhausted ends up playing great and wins the game. Allen is in that position today and I expect they will step up and play a good game.
– In the two wins in Kansas City the Americans outscored the Mavericks 6-4. However, Kansas City had the edge in shots (64-54) and on the power play. Allen was 1-5 (20%) on the power play, the Mavericks were 2-6 (33%).
– Colton Hargrove scored both of Allen’s goals last night and led the team in shots for the third straight game. He has points in nine of his last 10 games, a total of 13 points (6G, 7A). He hits, he fights, he is good at faceoffs, he plays a 200-foot game and plays on the power play and penalty kill. You can thank Chad Costello playing 3ICE in the summer for Hargrove playing in Allen. They got to know each other commuting to the 3ICE tournaments each weekend which led to Costello luring Hargrove out of retirement to play in Allen. Prior to this season Hargrove had never played in the ECHL. He played four seasons in the AHL (259 games) and then spent two seasons in Europe before retiring.
– Kevin Mandolese had a great game in his first start since being recalled to Belleville. The Senators were outshot 32-19 and Mandolese stopped 31 of 32 shots (.969 save percentage). He was selected as the #1 star of the game in Belleville’s win over Manitoba.
– Kansas City at Allen and Wichita at Tulsa are the only Mountain Division teams in action today. There are seven ECHL games today. Here are the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/1/echl-today-jan-8
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL stats post today is about the best save percentages in the league. Kevin Mandolese had a .927 while playing in Allen but is not on the list because he only played 343 minutes:
ECHL goalies with the best save percentage this season (minimum 600 minutes). Four of the top six are rookies. The player’s GAA is in parenthesis:.931 – Adam Scheel, Idaho (2.01).931 – *Clay Stevenson, South Carolina (2.12).930 – *Remi Poirer, Idaho (1.98).930 – Tyler Parks, Atlanta (2.41).923 – *Luke Cavallin, Newfoundland (2.23).921 – *Isaiah Saville, Savannah (3.04)*Rookies