The Allen Americans started off the week in style last night with an entertaining 5-3 win over the Tulsa Oilers before a crowd of 1786 at the CUTX Event Center. Tulsa scored 29 seconds after opening puck drop and 38 seconds before the end of the game. It was not a good start for Allen as Tulsa scored on its first shot of the game and had a couple of other quality opportunities in the first two minutes. The rest of the period was dominated by Allen and when the dust settled the Americans outshot the Oilers in the first period 17–11 and scored two goals (Jackson Leppard and Chad Butcher) to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
– Allen’s domination continued in the second period as the Americans outshot Tulsa 14-6 and outscored them 2-1. Tulsa tied the score 2-2 early in the period but Allen’s leading goal scorer (Jack Combs) and hottest goal scorer (Colton Hargrove) responded to give the Americans a 4-2 lead after the second period.
– Allen’s 4-2 lead held up until Tulsa pulled its goalie for an extra attacker and scored to close the gap to 4-3 with 38 seconds remaining in the game. Hank Crone put the nail in the coffin scoring an empty net goal with 5.9 seconds remaining to give the Americans a well-earned and much needed victory.
– Goals scorers for Allen were Jackson Leppard (3), Chad Butcher (1), Jack Combs (19), Colton Hargrove (11) and Hank Crone (16). Crone also had two assists and rookie Grant Hebert got an assist in his first pro game. Here are the video highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/1/tulsa-oilers-vs-allen-americans—jan-11-2023-naPC7Few
– Here are the game recap press releases from the teams:
– Allen’s top offensive players continued to lead the way last night. Here are some recent stats on some of these players.
- Colton Hargrove – scored the game winning goal last night and now has seven goals in his last six games.
- Jack Combs – had a goal and assist last night and now has 13 points in his last nine games (6G, 7A).
- Hank Crone – had a goal and two assists last night and has points in five straight games. In his last 11 games has 17 points (5G, 12A).
– The Americans great game was reflected in the stats. After the second period Allen led in shots 31-17 and had a 37-26 advantage for the game. The Americans had a 2-1 lead after the first period and 4-2 lead after the second period. Allen was 1-3 on the power play and 0-4 on the penalty kill. They had a shorthanded goal disallowed when an apparent whistle by the linesman, that nobody heard, for too many men on the ice on Tulsa, ended up with the goal being disallowed. Allen was not deterred, scoring on the power play that resulted with the too many men on the ice penalty.
CHAD COSTELLO COACH’S COMMENTS
“I thought we played a good game tonight. We actually played 58 good minutes of hockey; the first two minutes were terrible. I was on the bench saying here we go again.”
“The guys regrouped, and I thought we dominated the game for the next 58 minutes. We had a big advantage in shots and Peressini played well.”
“For the first time in a long time the game felt comfortable for us. Guys were making good plays and sticking together on the bench.”
“We need to start winning two of every three games and see where it will take us.”
“We still have a few roster moves we will be making soon.”
“I thought Grant Hebert played a great game in his first as a pro. He got his first pro assist and brings a lot of speed and youth to our lineup.”
“We got more shots tonight because of our offensive zone time. We have a lot of skill on the team and sometimes try to pass the puck too much.”
“Goalie Chase Perry arrived during the game. I explained to him that I believe our team is great and we will get stronger in the next few days. He has great numbers, he has played great in our building before, so the stage is his and we will see how he does. He will get his first start in Wichita.”
“Liam Finlay will go on the trip to Wichita, he will skate tomorrow and if all goes well, he should play in Wichita and also play in the all-star game on Monday.
“I took this job hoping to help players like Robidoux. I know some fans think differently, but he is one of our players and my job is to help him and that is what I am going to do.”
– Allen was the only Mountain Division team in action last night so the Americans were able to gain ground on everyone with their victory. Here are the current standings by points percentage with games played in parenthesis:
- .859 – Idaho (32)
- .632 – Wichita (34)
- .533 – Kansas City (30)
- .500 – Rapid City (34)
- .450 – Tulsa (30)
- .403 – Utah (31)
- .391 – Allen (32)
– It will be difficult for Allen to make up a lot of ground the rest of this week. The Americans will have two tough road games in Wichita but the other six teams in the division will play three games. Four of them will be playing the same day as the all-star game (Monday). Utah will play Idaho three times, twice in Idaho. Kansas City has the most favorable schedule playing three home games, two against Iowa and Monday against Rapid City. Tulsa plays Rapid City at home on Friday and Saturday and in Wichita on Sunday. All Allen can do is try and take care of business in Wichita and then see where the chips fall.
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL stats post today is about how few veterans remain on ECHL rosters. Just four ECHL teams have the maximum four vets on the roster. Those teams are Allen, Cincinnati, Florida and Fort Wayne.
The ECHL is considered a development league, but veterans (260+ pro games) have always been a key to success. Is that role changing? With four vets allowed per team the total number of vets in the league could be 112 (4×28). There are currently less than half that number, just 55 vets on ECHL rosters. Only four teams have the maximum of four veterans while five teams have no vets on the roster. Here is a breakdown of the number of vets teams have on the roster (includes active roster, reserve, IR and loaned veterans):4 vets – 4 teams3 vets – 7 teams2 vets – 6 teams1 vet – 6 teams0 vets – 5 teams