A late game-tying goal from Kyle Bochek helped the Tulsa Oilers secure a single point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Allen Americans on Saturday night at the Allen Event Center. Former Oiler Chad Costello, the ECHL's leading scorer, blasted a shot past Tulsa goalie Brandon Anderson at 1:12 of the extra session to lift the Americans to their third straight win over the Oilers. The OT loss, coupled with the Wichita Thunder's regulation loss in Missouri, gives the Oilers a three-point cushion in the race for the final Central Division playoff berth.
After both sides generated quality chances through the first half of the opening stanza, Americans' forward Vincent Arseneau ended the scoreless stalemate at the 12:42 mark. A Tulsa clearing attempt was knocked down by Garrett Clarke who centered a pass to Arseneau lurking in the high slot. In his third game in an Allen sweater, Arseneau zipped a wrist shot through Oilers' goalie Brandon Anderson for his tenth goal of the season and his first as a member of the Americans. The Oilers were not penalized in the first period but failed to take advantage of a pair of power plays.
With just over four minutes off the clock in the second period, Tulsa forward Drew Fisher shrugged off a hit by Patrik Valcak and pushed the puck to the front of the Allen net. As he has done so many time this season, Adam Pleskach had position on top of the crease and was able to nudge the puck through J.P. Anderson for his 36th tally of the season. The Americans re-gained the advantage with a power play strike from Greger Hanson at 10:31 and carried a 2-1 edge into the second intermission.
A string of penalties in the second half of the third forced the Oilers to kill a 4-on-3 Americans' power play and a 5-on-3 Americans' power play. Moments after Anderson denied the breakaway attempt of Allen forward Kyle Follmer, the Oilers went to work deep in Americans' territory and made the most of their opportunity. Stephen Perfetto, playing in just his fourth game as a pro, ripped a pass into the middle of the Allen zone where Kyle Bochek was waiting for a one-timer. Bochek's shot rocketed between the legs of J.P. Anderson to knot the contest at 2-2.
The only shot on goal in the overtime session came off the stick of Costello who cranked up a shot from the edge of the far circle for his 37th goal of the season. The Americans tasted victory for just the second time in their last 11 home games while the Oilers fell to 0-2-1 against Allen in their three meetings over the last six days. In a battle of Anderson's in net, J.P. (Allen) stopped 32 shots while Brandon (Tulsa) turned aside 28 shots in his first action since March 3 against Missouri.
The Oilers complete their two-game weekend road trip with another visit to Wichita on Sunday at 5:05 p.m.