The Allen Americans denied the Tulsa Oilers a season-ending home victory and secured the top seed in the Central Hockey League playoffs with a 3-2 win Sunday night at the BOK Center. The Oilers were unable to get one more win for their captain Tyler Fleck, who retires after a 14-year professional career.
The Americans struck quickly in the first period when Jarrett Lukin buried a rebound off of Shane Madolora's pad and gave the visitors the early 1-0 edge at the 2:16 mark. Just over a minute later, a Drew Fisher wrister past Allen netminder Aaron Dell squared the game at 1-1. The score remained tied until Kale Kerbashian lasered a shot off both posts and in to give the Americans a 2-1 lead with 6:24 left in the opening frame.
In the second stanza, Ryan Cramer equalized the score at 2-2 with 9:20 remaining for the only score of the period. It was Cramer’s 14th goal of the season and his second goal in as many nights.
The game-winning goal came from Allen defenseman Brian McMillin with 17:34 left in the game. On the only Allen powerplay of the night, Trevor Hendrikx flung the puck at the net and McMillin deftly tipped it past Madolora.
Fleck, the Oilers captain for the last three seasons, walks away from the sport as a hockey legend in the state of Oklahoma. The Saskatchewan native spent 10 seasons playing for the Oklahoma City Blazers and appeared in 208 games as a member of the Oilers. The 34-year old played 773 career CHL games, which places him at second all-time.
With two assists, Oilers forward Ryan Menei finishes the season with 82 points. Menei is only the sixth Oiler in the last 11 seasons to post at least 80 points.
Madolora had 27 stops on the night, completing his rookie campaign with 1,156 saves and a record of 14-18-3. Americans goaltender Dell finished a stellar regular season with a record of 22-11-6.
The Oilers wrap up the season with four-straight losses and at the bottom of the CHL standings at 22-39-5. Tulsa wraps up its 21st season of hockey with a 14-15-4 mark at the BOK Center, snapping a streak of three consecutive seasons with a home record of .500 or better.
Allen ends the year at 39-18-9 and will have home ice advantage throughout the upcoming playoffs.