Unanswered Goals Doom Oilers In Playoff Game 1
ALLEN, Texas - Four unanswered goals in the second period boosted the Allen Americans to a 6-2 victory over the Tulsa Oilers in Game 1 of their division semi-final playoff series on Tuesday night at the Allen Event Center. The Oilers were outshot 41-19 and Allen forward Spencer Asuchak led his squad's attack with a pair of goals and an assist.
The home side started strong with the first goal of the 2015 playoffs just over six minutes into the first period. Allen defenseman Kevin Young slid a shot toward the Tulsa net and after the puck bounced around in front of Kevin Carr, Americans' forward Spencer Asuchak was able to slip a pass across the crease that was buried by Vincent Arseneau. Seven minutes later, the Oilers created the equalizer thanks to the hustle and quick hands of Stephen Perfetto. The rookie winger stole the puck from Allen forward Kyle Follmer and fed T.J. Caig who was cutting toward the top of the crease. Caig, participating in the playoffs for the ninth time in his ten-year career, made a nifty forehand-to-backhand deke and flipped shot over Riley Gill to level the game at 1-1. The two clubs both failed on their two power play attempts of the opening frame and the game remained even through the remainder of the period.
The Oilers first and only lead of the contest was created by Jon Booras at 4:59 of the second period. A shot from Perfetto from the low slot was stopped by the glove hand of Gill but the rebound sat at the edge of the crease and Booras was able to slam it home to give Tulsa a 2-1 edge. The Americans answered just 56 seconds later after a scramble in front of the Oilers' net ended with Chris Crane chipping a puck past the blocker of Carr to even the game at 2-2. At 8:44, the Oilers were caught with six skaters on the ice and the Americans capitalized on the power play. Asuchak ripped a shot over the shoulder of Carr at 9:23 to put the Americans back in front. Chad Costello, who assisted on Asuchak's power play marker, tallied his second point of the night by firing a wrist shot through the legs of Oilers' defenseman Kevin Noble and past the glove of Carr. Asuchak provided Allen's fourth unanswered goal of the middle frame at 15:41 by slipping his own rebound underneath Carr for his second strike of the night and a 5-2 Americans' lead.
In the third, the Oilers were only able to muster five shots on goal and the three-goal deficit remained until the closing seconds. On a late Americans' power play, Gary Steffes, the ECHL's leading goal-scorer during the regular season, cranked a shot over the shoulder of a crouching Carr to put the finishing touches on the one-sided win.
Tulsa ended the night with just 19 shots on goal, its lowest total since firing 14 shots in a 6-3 loss to Rapid City on January 4. The Oilers went 0-for-4 on the man-advantage while the Americans ended the night 2-for-7 on the power play. Including regular season games, the Oilers have lost five in a row to the Americans and have been outscored 25-8 in those contests.
The Oilers will look to bounce back and even the series in Game 2 on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. from the Allen Event Center.