Two power play goals and a tremendous effort by netminder Joe Palmer were not enough to stop the Allen Americans in the first game of the North Texas Vintage Series at the Allen Events Center on Saturday night. The Brahmas lost 3-2 in overtime and their record goes to 14-10-4. They earned a point and are now in fourth place in the Southern Conference, tied in points with Laredo at 32. With the win, Allen (18-7-2) remains in second place in the conference behind Odessa with 38 points.
It was the first of two games in the North Texas Vintage Series. Allen wore red Dallas Black Hawks jerseys, while Texas donned white and red Fort Worth Wings sweaters in a night commemorating DFW’s old rivalries. Former Dallas Black Hawks Duane “Whip” Wylie, Curt Ridley and Doug Shelton participated in the ceremonial puck drop before the game started.
Justin Bowers gave the Americans an early lead when he shoved a rebound in the net just 34 seconds into the game. Bruce Graham and Jarret Lukin assisted. It would be the only score of a dull first period. Shots were even at nine and Allen headed into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
The action picked up in the middle frame and fresh off his return from over 30 days on Injured Reserve, it was Jason Deitsch who put the Brahmas on the board with a power play goal at the 2:23 mark, tying the game at one apiece. Jordan Cameron and Mark Kolanos were in on the assist.
The Brahmas then took a 2-1 lead on another power play goal, this one coming from forward Grant Jacobsen at the 9:10 mark. Jason Deitsch and Ross Rouleau were credited with the assist.
The period ended with shots even again, this time at six and the Brahmas has the 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The Americans battled back in the third period, and newcomer Sean Perkins scored his first goal in Allen nine minutes into the third period to tie the game at two. Jarret Lukin and Bruce Graham assisted.
Defenseman Ryan Fairbarn scored at 4:11 of overtime to give the Americans the home win. Bruce Graham, who was in on all three Allen goals assisted along with Nino Musitelli.
Joe Palmer made 28 saves on 31 shots and takes the overtime loss. His record goes to 7-3-3-1. Charlie Effinger made 20 saves on 22 shots and earned the win his first game since November 28th. His record goes to 5-2-0-1.
The Brahmas went two for six on the power play. Allen went zero for five. The Brahmas were assessed 10 minutes on five infractions. Allen was assessed 12 minutes on six infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Charlie Effinger for his performance in net for Allen. The 2nd Star was awarded to Joe Palmer for his performance and the 1st Star went to Allen defenseman Ryan Fairbarn who scored the game winning goal.
You can view the box score here
You can view my photos from the game here
You can view Big D Hockey's John O'Neill's photos here
• I was surprised to see Effinger back in net for this game. It was his first start for the Americans since going out on Injured Reserve on November 28th following the collision with James Hiebert. I think it was a “statement” start to have him come back (and earn the win) against the Brahmas.
• That was a horribly boring first period outside of the goal at the 34 second mark. Joe Palmer did his best but even with the help of Matt Burto and Tyler Skworchinski (inside the crease), he couldn’t prevent Justin Bowers shot from crossing the line (with some help from Jarret Lukin).
• Nice to see Jason Deitsch back on the ice tonight. Scoring the first Brahmas goal must’ve been nice after almost five weeks on IR.
• Allen center Tobias Whelan crashed the net late early in the second period taking down Palmer and dislodging the net. It appeared to be accidental, but running into goalies is now a sensitive issue at the AEC. There was no retaliation.
• Two Brahmas power play goals in a row, let alone in a period, let alone in a game!
• Allen coach Dwight Mullins must have issued a “no abuse of Hiebert” directive to his players. Hiebert probably had his least physical game of the season tonight.
• Defenseman Luke Sellars took an inadvertent stick blade to the throat near the net when Mark Kolanos tripped on Palmer’s stick inside the crease (See photos 289 through 298). Sellars went down briefly and then made his way back to the bench. It looked like it hurt but he was OK and was able to return to the game.
• All in all, a pretty clean game. This one could’ve gone either way. Palmer was in top form but had some bad luck on the first and last goals. He had no chance on Fairbarn’s game winner. Palmer truly earned that 2nd star of the game. He still leads all rookies with 26 star points.
Photo Credit: Robert Keith