Monday, May 6, 2013

Americans Win, Meet Bryan Lewis, Stats & More

 McMillin with game winning goal & #1 Star -
Call it gritty, gutsy, or great, the Americans played never give up, keep working, blue collar hockey last night. Out shot for the fourth game in a row (36-24) Allen found a way to get the job done and beat the Thunder 2-1 before a crowd of 4883 at Intrust Arena to tie the series 2-2 and take back home ice advantage. Game five will be at the Allen Event Center on Tuesday (May 7th). The team was led by the Deitsch, McMillin, Schaafsma line as they scored both goals, each had two points, and were all a +2 for the game.
- Aaron Dell had a great night in goal shutting Wichita down after they
Aaron Dell stopped 35 of 36 shots & was #2 Star -
 scored the games first goal half way through the first period. The Thunder had numerous scoring chances in the final two periods but Dell was great in limiting rebounds and the defense was able to clear the puck when there was a rebound.

- The team responded well to playing without Bootland (suspension) and Ludwig (injury). Tommy Daniels mentioned on the radio broadcast that even though Trevor was not feeling well he was on the bus as the team headed for the arena for the game. Despite a serious injury and being in pain Trevor was thinking about the team. He tweeted earlier in the day, "Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers from everyone. I'll be fine. Injuries are part of the game. Time to cheer the boys on." I know everyone hopes for a speedy recovery for Trevor.

Thoughts, Stats & Comments:

- Getting shots on the goal continues to be an issue as at one point shots on goal were 22-6 in favor of the Thunder. When Deitsch scored Allen's first goal to tie the game in the second period it seemed to give the Americans an emotional lift. Jason had this to say about the goal,
"We needed to find something to get us going. We had an offensive-zone faceoff and had a good play. I just went to the net hard, and I got a bounce — I threw it off their defenseman and it went in.
"That was a big goal for us to tie it 1-1. It did lift us and got us playing with a little bit of momentum, and we started playing more in their zone."

- With the edge Wichita had last night in shots on goal (36-24) they added to their lead in the series having out shot Allen by a total of 141-81 in the four games. As caoch Martinson continues to say if Allen is to win this series they are going to have to get more pucks and men to the net.

-  I know the book answer is you can play with anyone but Deitsch, McMillin, & Schaafsma do play well together at both ends of the rink.

- Call me biased but Brian McMillin continues to lead this team through the playoffs. How is this for playoff stats:
Goals (11) - 1st in the CHL
Points (20) - 1st in the CHL
+/- (+10) -    2nd in the CHL behind Tyler Ludwig's +13
Game Winning Goals (3) - 1st in the CHL
Add to this his play on special teams, the fact that he has 10 penalty minutes all year (74 games) and you have quite a year. Congrats Brian!!

- If either one of these team can get some power play production it could win them the championship. The struggles continued for both teams last night. Allen was 0-6 last night making them 2-24 in the series for an 8.3% conversion rate. Wichita is not much better going 0-4 last night making them 2-23 in the series for 8.7% conversion rate. As a frame of reference the lowest power play percentage any team had in the regular season was Arizona at 13.86% while Bloomington lead the league at 22.70%. I know both teams have excellent penalty kill units but the team that can find a solution on the power play will win this series.

- Is it just me or does it seem that the losing team always blames the loss on the referees or a least part of the reason for the loss. I had a chance to talk to Bryan Lewis recently who I remember very well from his NHL referee days when I was growing up a Minnesota North Stars fan. For those of you not familiar with the name here is his bio:

Bryan Lewis


Bryan was named the Referee-in-Chief of the CHL in June of 2011 and comes to the CHL after spending the previous five years with the ECHL as the Director of Officiating and as an officiating supervisor. A longtime executive in the National Hockey League (NHL), the current Georgetown, Ontario resident served as the NHL’s Director of Officiating from 1989-2000 and before that was a league referee.
His on-ice accolades include working 1,023 NHL regular season games, 30 Stanley Cup playoff games, nine Stanley Cup Finals games and one NHL All-Star Game (1983 in Los Angeles).
Bryan was kind enough to share with me how the CHL recruits, trains, develops on ice officials. It was educational for me and I came away from our conversation with an understanding that the CHL works very hard and is definitely under appreciated in this area. The proof of the success of their program are the many former CHL officials now working in the AHL and the NHL.

- An interesting quote I saw in Jeffrey Lutz's Wichita Eagle article: "They played an unbelievable road game," Thunder forward RG Flath said. "They kind of lulled us to sleep, and actually both their goals were lucky bounces off guys. They stole one from us."

Read more here:

- I would like to close today with the hope that we can sellout the AEC for game five tomorrow night. We have been so fortunate to have the type of franchise we have in the Allen Americans. Four years of outstanding hockey. Let's all work together to fill up the AEC. The fan club at Heritage Ranch is sure doing their part. In addition to our 48 season ticket holders I am about to head to the AEC to buy tickets for 33 other fan club members in the lower level  as well as a suite for 20 others which puts us at 100 attending tomorrow night. Dread The Red!!

Read more here:

1 comment:

  1. Wow - 100 of you! That is great! Another interesting post. I'm one who gets frustrated with the refs sometimes! I so look forward to your posts and it has definitely added to my enjoyment of this hockey season. So thank you!

    I'll be cheering loudly tomorrow night!