|Trevor Ludwig - photo by SceneByKimberly.com|
The Allen Americans suffered a tough loss last night in Wichita in more than one way. They lost the game to the Thunder 5-2 before a crowd of 6182 at the Intrust Bank Arena. The trend of one sided games continued as the margin of victory was three for the third straight game. Wichita parlayed two first period goals into a lead that was never overcome by the Americans. Brian McMillin scored a power play goal (his league leading 10th of the playoffs) to make the score 2-1 but that was as close as Allen got.
It is bad enough to lose the game but the Americans have also lost Trevor Ludwig to injury. Trevor took a slapshot to the face and suffered a broken jaw. Looks like he will have surgery in the next couple of days.
And if you believe bad news comes in threes stay tuned to see if Booter Bootland will be suspended for the game this afternoon after getting a match penalty for high sticking.
Here are my thoughts and comments:
- I wasn't at the game but heard on social media that many Thunder fans were cheering when Trevor got hurt. If that is the case and I emphasize the "if" that is pretty classless. I have seen many players injured from visiting teams at the Allen Event Center and the crowd always gives them a round of applause when they leave the ice. I hope if this happened it was only a few fans and it doesn't represent the mainstream Thunder fan.
- I hope Jim Wiley, CHL Director of Hockey Operation, considers the type of player Les Reaney is when he decides if any additional discipline is warranted in the Bootland high sticking case. While the high sticking was the right call, from what I saw on CHL TV it appeared Reaney was embellishing as he usually does. The referees never give Bootland the benefit of the doubt and the way the calls have been going against Allen who knows what will happen.
- Once again special teams ended up being a wash as each team scored one power play. Allen killed off a five on three again which was great. Even with each team scoring a power play goal their percentages are anemic. Allen is at 11.1% and Wichita is at 10.5% in the series.
- As is always the case goaltending will be key in game four. Torrie Jung heads into game four with a 2-1 record and a 2.63 goals against average in the series. Aaron Dell has a 1-2 record in the series with a 3.07 goals against average in the series. Overall in the playoffs, Jung has a 10-1 record with a 1.75 goals against average. Dell is 9-6 with a 2.66 goals against average.
- Shots on goals were closer than previous games with Wichita having the edge 24-20. For the Americans to win game four they will have to execute the "men and pucks to the net" theme better than they did in game three.
- Both teams will have their suspended players from game three (Lutz for Wichita, Deitsch for Allen) back in the lineup.
- Thought it would be interesting to repost the coach comparison the CHL put out in light of the "flex off" which has now reached 4000 views on YouTube. Steve Martinson has won six championships with the last one coming in Rockford (UHL) in 2007. He won five crowns over an eight year period including three straight as the head coach of the San Diego Gulls in the West Coast Hockey League.
As a player Martinson played in 49 NHL games scoring two goals and one assist and 244 penalty minutes playing for Detroit, Montreal & Minnesota. In 1985 playing for the Hershey Bears of the AHL he had 488 penalty minutes in 72 games for an average of 6.78 minutes per game.
Kevin McClelland is a veteran of 588 NHL games scoring 68 goals with 112 assists and 1672 penalty minutes. He is a four time Stanley Cup champion (1984,1985,1987,1988). He had 233 penalty minutes in 39 games for the Moncton Hawks (AHL) in 1994 which is an average of 5.97 minutes per game.
As a coach McClelland is a two time CHL coach of the year (2007 & 2012) and he has made two trips to the CHL finals losing in 2009 to Fort Worth while he was coach of the Colorado Eagles and losing last season to the Fort Wayne Komets while the Thunder's coach.
If you look at the number of fights they have had in their careers Martinson has 45 NHL fights and 197 total fights while McCelland had 196 NHL fights and 258 total fights.
Bottom line is these are a couple of tough dudes that know how to fight but more importantly know how to coach. They should both be proud of what their teams have accomplished this year.
- Keep in mind when things have looked bleak all year the Americans have risen to the occasion. Also remember no team was better on the road than Allen this year. I say they play a great game tonight.