Allen, Texas– The Allen Americans came into the Allen Event Center off of a 2-1 loss against the Denver Cutthroats that didn’t have any jump or energy to their game. But tonight, they came out with more fire and a better start to improved their record to a 14-5-1 with a win against the Wichita Thunder, 3-2.
Neither team gained more than a two-goal lead, and Darryl Bootland’s goal in the third period proved to be the difference maker.
“It was one of those games where I thought we all played real well,” said Americans assistant coach Richard Matvichuk. “It was a gut-check for us knowing we were going in for a first place battle. We obviously have had some injuries as of late. Scott Howes is out, (Brett) Skinner’s out, we probably lost (Brian) McMillan for a little bit. Our team just played hard. Today is a character win; these are ones that you build the team around. Our guys got in trouble this morning from the coaches and they had their own team meeting. I thought they responded real well from last night’s game.”
Both teams had some good chances in the first period but it was the Americans who struck first on the power player. Tyler Ludwig shot the puck from the point end which Torrie Jung didn’t see. Not even 2 minutes after Ludwig scored his 3rd goal of the season; the lead for the Americans went from 1-0 to 2-0 when Darryl Bootland shot the puck as Jung kicked it out as Maiani got the rebound for his 7th goal of the season.
Wichita made it an interesting first period when they scored a goal to make it 2-1 Americans as Ian Lowe who was in front of Dell’s way scored the goal for his 9th goal of the season.
Ryley Grantham had a chance to make 3-1 as he shot the puck that went over the net in the second period. After Grantham’s scoring chance, Ian Lowe scored his second goal and 10th goal of the season on the power play to tie the game up at 2-2.
Then a scary moment happened when Brian McMillan was boarded by Travis Wright as he stayed down. While McMillan was down, a fight between Bootland and Wright took place as Bootland got a little payback. McMillan was then helped off the ice and he went to the dressing room. Not only did Bootland showed his fighting skills, he also showed his scoring finesse. He tipped in Jason Dietsch’s shot to take a 3-2 lead at the 5:43 mark as Jung didn’t see the puck at all.
STAR 1: Bootland, Darryl (ALN)
STAR 2: Lowe, Ian (WIC)
STAR 3: Maiani, Anthony (ALN)