|Asuchak tips in shot from the point for power play goal - photo by SceneByKimberly.com|
With storms brewing outside the Allen Event Center the Allen Americans were having a stormy night inside the AEC as they had to over come 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to the Brampton Beast. The game wasn't decided until Jamie Schaafsma scored an empty net goal with eighteen seconds remaining in the game to secure a 5-3 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series. After the Beast took a 2-0 lead when Jason Pitton scored against his brother for the second time this season, Spencer Asuchak scored a power play goal for Allen to cut the score to 2-1. Thirty four seconds later former Allen Americans player Scott Howes stole a breakout pass at the blue line, skated around the defense and buried the puck in the net to give Brampton a 3-1 lead. Howes goal at 12:46 of the first period was the last goal Bramptom would score. Darryl Bootland scored the first of four straight goals by Allen at the end of the first period, Brian McMillin tied the game 3-3 in the second period, Greger Hanson scored the game winner early in the third period and Schaafsma finished off the scoring with the empty net goal. The teams now have a week break before resuming action in Brampton next Thursday. Allen will leave Monday evening on the 24 hour bus drive to Brampton where the next three games (if necessary) will be played. The games will be Thursday, Friday & Sunday (April 10, 11, & 13).
COACHES POST GAME COMMENTS:
- It was a tale of two cities the last two nights and the best thing about tonight is it was early when we got down 3-1 so there was lots of time to come back. On Brampton's first goal the forwards we were late in coverage helping out the defense, gave the Beast too much time and didn't pressure the puck and they found a one timer in the slot. The second Brampton goal was a rebound and the third goal was a turnover at the top of the circle and the last guy you want to turn the puck over to is Scott Howes who walked in and scored.
- I really liked the way the guys hung together and came back against a goalie that played very well. We had numerous chances in close. There were a couple of times where one more pass would have resulted in an open net goal but we didn't make the pass.
- Alex Lavoie will return to Oklahoma City tomorrow (Friday) and play for them this weekend as they play the team they are battling for the last playoff spot (Charlotte Checkers). He will play for Oklahoma City on Saturday and Sunday. Not sure what will happen after this weekend. It might depend on how the weekend games turnout.
- It is so nice to be up 2-0 in the series, especially when you remember last year every time we left town the series were 1-1. We will have to play well in Brampton but we are a good road team and we will have three lines that can score. Balanced scoring is a key on the road and I will be able to juggle the lines so all three are capable of scoring.
- Trevor Henrikx will start practicing with the team tomorrow (Friday). How that goes will dictate when he returns to the line up but he should play at some point in Brampton. Since we don't have ice time on Saturday we will practice tomorrow and take Saturday off.
- Both teams were 1-4 on the power play. On the Brampton power play goal they scored right off the faceoff on a set play. We got our center tossed out so they had their number one center against our winger who doesn't take faceoffs. They won the draw right to the point for a shot and then scored on the rebound.
- Allen has been dominating teams over the last four games averaging 47 shots while only allowing 27 shots on goal. They have outscored their opponents 20-9.
- As a testament to the scoring depth of the Americans, after just two playoff games nine different players have scored goals.
- Leading Allen scorer after two games is defenseman Tyler Ludwig with five points (2 goals 3 assists).
- Attendance for the game was 3765 which was pretty good considering it was a midweek game with a 6:05 pm start, there were severe storms predicted, the Frisco Roughriders had their home opener (it was postponed) and it was testing week for many of the school kids.
- The other three playoff series kickoff tonight so the Americans can sit back and watch what may be some surprises. The CHL has never had so many teams in the bottom of the seeding playing so well entering the playoffs. Here is some information posted by the CHL:
Arizona (8) vs Missouri (1) - Missouri won the season series winning all four games against the Sundogs outscoring Arizona 14-5. The teams combined for 272 penalty minutes in the four regular season games.
-Mavs forward Andrew Courtney won the Easton Player of the Month for March thanks to 12 goals and 10 assists during the month. Courtney has scored eight goals over his last five games and has points in 15 straight games.
-The series pits two of the top goalies in the league with 35 win Shane Owen of Missouri going against 29 win Andrew Engelage of Arizona. The pair rank second and third in the CHL in GAA with Owen at 2.58 and Engelage at 2.46.
-Arizona’s Shawn Limpright and Brandon Coccimiglio each have seven goals over their last 10 games.
Tulsa (7) vs Denver (2) - Tulsa has scored just nine goals in the six games in the season series versus the Cutthroats being shut out twice. Blair Macaulay and Michel Beausoleil each have two goals against the Cutthroats.
-Denver defenseman Steve Kaunisto has two goals and two assists in the series against the Oilers with both goals serving as the game winner.
-The Fish will be playing their seventh and eighth straight road games as they finished the season with six consecutive away from home (went 3-2-1). The series starts in Tulsa due to building availability issues at the BOK Center later in the series.
-Tulsa forward Todd Robinson scored a remarkable 74 points (17-57=74) in 48 games and enters the post-season with five consecutive multiple-point games. Last season with Allen, Robinson won the Cup leading the league in playoff scoring with 22 points in 19 games.
Quad City (5) vs Rapid City(4) -The Rush are 7-1 all-time in Game 1’s in their playoff history but have been dismissed in the Opening Round during the last two post-seasons. Last year, the Rush won the first two games of their series against the Missouri Mavericks but then dropped four straight to lose the series four games to two.
-The Mallards are looking for their first CHL playoff series win as they have dropped both series’ they have been in including last season against the Fort Worth Brahmas (four games to one).
-The Rush have several former Mallards players including Bobby Preece, Ryan Palmer, Eric Giosa, Jared Brown and Anthony Perdicaro.
-Rapid City’s Jared Brown scored goals in each of his team’s last six games.
|Courtesy CHL Memes|
DID YOU KNOW: Prior to the current series with Brampton the Allen Americans have only had one time where they took a 2-0 lead in a playoff series. In 2011 Allen took a 2-0 lead against Rio Grande Valley in the first round of the playoffs and ended up sweeping the series 3-0 as it was a best of five.