|Garrett Klotz scores 16 seconds in to the game - photo by Ali Chaudri|
The Allen Americans kicked off the 2014 playoffs in style last night as they out shot, out hit, out played and out scored the Brampton Beast 7-2 before 3949 enthusiastic fans at the Allen Event Center (AEC). Garrett Klotz scored sixteen seconds into the game and Darryl Bootland tallied at the 1:34 mark for a 2-0 lead and Allen never looked back. Bootland and Tyler Ludwig each scored two goals, Daniel Tetrault had a goal and Anthony Maiani had a goal and three assists for the Americans. The Beast don't have long to think about the loss as game two is tonight (Thursday) with an earlier than normal 6:05 pm puck drop.
COACHES POST GAME COMMENTS:
I had the chance to spend a few minutes with the coaches after the game and get their thoughts:
- We did a good job of playing our style of hockey by getting pucks and bodies to the net. We work on that everyday in practice and it is great to see it executed in the game. When you do that and out shoot a team 46-29 like we did tonight you will be successful.
- You can't give up two goals like we did on a breakaway and an odd man rush as you take away all of the momentum you gain by getting ahead 2-0. The defensmen and the forwards need to make better decisions in those situations. Brampton called a timeout after we got a 3-1 lead and during that time out we talked about playing smart, not gambling and making them have to work for everything. Right after the timeout we have the high forward go in deep and we got caught and it cost us.
- We expect Brampton to come after us harder tomorrow night. It is sometimes difficult after a game like tonight to have the guys ready and we better be ready from the first puck drop tomorrow.
- Cain Franson played well in his first professional game. He tried to do too much at times which often happens when amateurs pay their first professional game but we liked what we saw.
- The plan is for Alex Lavoie to be here tomorrow (Thursday) night and play for us and then we will see what happens after that. He may return to Oklahoma City for their games this weekend.
- Anthony Maiani is now playing like he did for us last year when he was on his "A" game. He is so good down low with the puck. He moves and moves and creates plays. I thought Maiani was the #1 star tonight.
- Trevor Hendrikx will make the trip to Brampton with the team and we would expect him to play at some point against the Beast but not sure when.
- Alex Lavoie scored in a shoot out for the Oklahoma City Barons last night as they defeated Hamilton 5-4. Alex is now two for three in shoot out opportunities in Oklahoma City. The Barons are fighting for a playoff spot as they now trail Charlotte by two points for the final playoff spot with seven games remaining. The two teams play each other twice this weekend in Oklahoma City. Lavoie will fly to Dallas for the game tonight.
- With Alex Lavoie in the lineup tonight you can expect the healthy scratch will be Cain Franson.
- Allen won the special teams battle in the game as they typically do when they win. The Americans held Brampton scoreless in three opportunities and were two for four on the power play with both goals coming from Tyler Ludwig.
- The Americans did a good job of keeping Scott Howes off the scoreboard. Ross Rouleau and Mike Berube were the defensive pair that had that assignment most of the night. Allen fans know what a prolific scorer Howes can be so keeping him in check will be a key in the series.
- What typically happens after a team wins a lopsided game like the 7-2 victory last night is the next game will be difficult for the winning team. You can expect the game tonight to be much closer, more aggressive and more chippy. Special teams will again be a key factor.
- While the coaches had Anthony Maiani as the #1 star of the game the stars as picked by the press were #1 Tyler Ludwig, #2 Bryan Pitton, & #3 Darryl Bootland.
- The Brampton communications folks must have wanted a catchy headline on the 7-2 loss with a western flavor, but they really had to stretch to make it work, "Beast are Longhorned by Texans in Game 1"
- Forgot to mention yesterday when talking about former Allen players around the league and their playoff status that Ben Power did not make the playoff roster for the Rapid City Rush.
|Courtesy CHL Memes|
DID YOU KNOW: The final attendance figures for the regular season showed a slight improvement for the Americans and the CHL. The CHL average increased by 21 per game (3727 this year compared to 3706 last year) and the Allen Americans average increased by 59 per game (4216 this year compared to 4157 last year).