The Americans kicked off a three game, weekend-long series last night with a 6-2 victory over the Wichita Thunder. The victory was crucial for the Americans, as the Thunder trail only three points behind in league standings. Before last night’s victory, Allen was only a point ahead of Wichita.
The Americans launched into scoring late in the first period with Jim McKenzie landing the first goal with only five minutes remaining in the frame. Allen dominated the first frame, leading the Thunder 14-6 in shots on goal.
Just out of the first intermission, Brian McMillin pushed the Americans further in the lead with a shot from behind Wichita goalie Torrie Jung just 1:37 into the period. Again, the Americans out-shined the Thunder, with another 14 shots on goal in the period. Wichita had taken only eight.
The action really exploded in the third period when Allen’s Corbin Baldwin took a shot off a redirected pass, landing his 10th of the season to put the Americans up 3-0. Minutes later, the Americans capitalized on the power play, with Trevor Ludwig scoring Allen’s first power play goal of the season.
The Thunder began the unsuccessful attempt to tie with a goal by Kevin Young six minutes into the period. The American’s wouldn’t relent, though, as McMillin scored his second of the night and 14th of the season with only eight minutes remaining in the game. Again the Thunder returned the goal, just four minutes later, with Chad Painchaud netting one behind Allen goalie Aaron Dell. The Americans refused to allow the Thunder the last buzzer though, and closed out scoring with a goal by Jason Deitsch on an empty net.
The Americans now sit fairly comfortably in first place in the CHL with 85 points. A single victoy this weekend would guarantee the Americans the Governor’s Cup and home-ice advantage in the quickly-approaching playoffs.
Tonight the Americans will face the Missouri Mavericks for the final 2012-2013 regular season home game. Game start is scheduled at 7:05 p.m. at the Allen Event Center.