Saturday, March 30, 2013

McMillin, Kirsch, Updates & Attendance

Brian McMillin had the game winning goal and was selected #1 star of the game - photo by
The Americans got a big win last night over the Denver Cutthroats (4-2) to tie the series 1-1. Better game, better attendance, better score, better outcome. Here are my thoughts and observations:

- In the Americans last three victories which you could call must win victories (at Wichita after they beat us at the AEC, Tulsa the last game of regular season to win the Governor's Cup and last night to avoid going down 2-0) Brian McMillin has four goals, three assists and is a +5. He was named the #1 star in all three of these games.

- Brian missed the last part of the game after taking a shot to the mouth where no penalty was called. He posted on twitter a closeup pic of his mouth with a couple of teeth dislodged. Here is a picture where he was asking the ref why no penalty was called.
What, No penalty? - photo by
- Speaking of the referee, it was Kevin Curtis, who you might remember was almost knocked out cold in a game at the AEC on March 1 and suffered a concussion that kept him out for over three weeks. I thought he had a tough night last night and heard the same thing from many fans I talked to during and after the game.

- For the second night in a row one of the newly signed amateurs got the first goal. This time it was Justin Kirsch who just finished his career with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. In his first pro game Justin not only had the first goal of the game, he assisted on the second goal (Todd Robinson scored) and was +2 for the game. To top things off he was named the #3 star. And did you notice Darryl Bootland go on the ice and retrieve the puck for the rookie after he scored. I'm sure a night he will never forget.
Justin Kirsch celebrates first pro goal assisted by Brian McMillin - photo by

- The penalty kill unit was back in great form as they killed off all ten Denver power play opportunities.

- The power play continues to struggle going 0-6 in the game and is now 1-13 (7.69%) in the playoffs.

- I thought when Todd Robinson arrived the power play would improve dramatically and when he has the puck it seems like he is putting others in position to score but the results have not been there. Since Todd arrived the power play is 5-39 (12.82%). As coach Martinson has said a couple of times we will not have a 25% power play like we did when Brett Skinner was distributing the puck but he expects us to be at 18 or 19 percent.

- Look at the box score and it looks pretty unimpressive for Jason Deitsch with no points, two shots and four penalties but I thought he showed real leadership especially finishing his checks, mixing it up and showing a lot of intensity.

- Getting to be quite a players section of those not playing. In addition to Clarke & Doyle there was Berube, Maiani, and Pineault all looking dapper in their suits sitting in the second level.

- Thanks to Matt Canavan,  Garrett Clarke and Chris Doyle for spending a few minutes with the Heritage Ranch fan club who filled two suites at last night's game.

- I had several comments concerning my last post regarding attendance at the Thursday game when I said it was the lowest attendance in the history of the franchise. Interestingly last nights game had the highest attendance in franchise history of any game two. Day of the week was one comment as they thought the low turn out was because of the Thursday start. Our series also started on Thursday in 2011. I thought I would post attendance for the first two playoff games in each of the last four years and you can draw your own conclusions.

                First Game                 Second Game
2010        2493 (Fri)                  3377 (Sat)
2011        2400 (Thur)               3074 (Fri)
2012        3585 (Fri)                  3476 (Sun)
2013        2382 (Thur)               3842 Sat)

- The team boarded the bus for the long twelve hour drive to Denver immediately after the game and planned a practice at 4:00 pm Saturday. Getting acclimated to the higher altitude is important for the game on Sunday. Don't forget the game will start at 5:05 Central time tomorrow.

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