Game five was a big game for the Allen American. If they won, they would advance to Conference Semifinals in the CHL playoffs. If not, they would head into a game six that would have been in Denver on Tuesday. In front of the 5,283 fans in attendance at the Allen Event Center, the Americans dominated the game, winning 5-2 against the Denver Cutthroats, advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Even Richard Matvichuk, the assistant coach for the Allen Americans had a few words about advancing to the second round.
“Well obviously that’s step one to where we want to go. Our ultimate goal is the championship and it’s a big step to take in the strides we want to go,” he said.
After a slow start to the first period, the Allen Americans were the first to strike first in the goal department with Brian McMillan wrapping around the net and beating Kierran Millan on the blocker side at 10:14 in the first period. Then at the 15:17 mark in the first period, Jarret Lukin extended the lead to 2-0 as he got to a loose puck from an initial shot by Jim Mackenzie and tapped the rebound passed Millan’s blocker side.
In the second period, the Americans added more goals to the game while Dell was very good at the other end, not facing many shots, but stepped up to the plate when needed to. Jim Mckenzie, who had a goal and two assists in the game, made it 3-0 as he tipped in a rebounded puck from a Jason Dietsch shot at the 16:12 mark. After allowing three goals on nine shots, Millan was replaced by backup goaltender Kent Patterson.
At the 15:20 mark, Jamie Schaafsma added to the second period scoring frenzy, landing a rebound goal off an initial shot by newcomer Alex Lavoie to make it 4-0. While on the power play, Tyler Ludwig extended the lead from 4-0 to 5-0 from a point shot that went behind Patterson.
Dell’s shutout bid was taken away at the 6:26 mark in the second period. The Americans were scrambling around the net, unable to clear the puck on the power play, and Brad Smyth slipped it past Dell for a 5-1 Americans lead. With only 1:31 remaining in the second period, Luke Fulghum deflected an AJ Gale shot to make it 5-2 Americans.
In the third period, it was all Aaron Dell, who made a point blank shot on Denver to keep the game at 5-2. The Americans played a tight defense when the Cutthroats tried to come back, but it was all over when Brian McMillan scored his second goal of the game, hitting the empty net with 54.8 seconds left in the third period to make it 6-2.
Goaltender Aaron Dell made 28 saves earning the win for Allen who advances to face the winner of the Missouri Mavs/Rapid City Rush series. The Mavs currently lead three games to two. Matvichuk commended Dell on his performance, saying, “(Dell) was good again and obviously he was there in the right starting in and out in every game and we just keep him in there. He’s a good goalie.”