Outstanding goaltending from Aaron Dell spurred the charge for Allen as he denied all 25 pucks sent his way by Denver, while his team snuck 4 of 22 shots past Kent Patterson in the Denver net.
Allen got on the board first on their second power play of the night when Jarret Lukin redirected a point shot from Mike Montgomery, Justin Kirsch was credited with the secondary assist at 10:06 of the opening frame.
The Americans extended their lead to 2-0 on a nifty goal by Bryce Aneloski who took the puck in from the left circle and beat Kent Patterson in the Denver net, off the post and low to the glove side. Assists on the Aneloski goal went to Brian McMillin and Tyler Ludwig at the 15:36 mark.
The period was a strong one for Allen, taking the 2-0 lead into the intermission and leading Denver in shots on net 10-7 but also having the better scoring chances through the opening 20 minutes of play.
Denver put on a great display of forechecking in the second period, keeping the lion’s share of the play in the Allen zone and outshooting the Americans 12-8 in the period but Denver was unable to solve Aaron Dell who made several strong saves to keep Denver off the board.
The Cutthroats continued to bring the heavy pressure on the third period but the Allen defense and Aaron Dell kept them at bay until just past the midway point when Allen gained a little breathing room.
Darryl Bootland charged hard to the net, taking a backhand shot and following up his own rebound to slip it past a stunned Kent Patterson to give the Americans the 3-0 lead at 10:27, assisted by Jarret Lukin and Jamie Schaafsma.
Jim McKenzie cemented the victory for Allen, netting his 1st goal of the playoffs on the empty net to give the Americans a commanding 4-0 lead with 1:03 remaining in regulation. Kale Kerbashian and Trevor Ludwig earned the assists on the McKenzie open net goal.
With the victory, Allen takes a 3-1 lead, and head home to play game five of this best-of-seven series Saturday night at the Allen Event Center, with a scheduled start of 7:05 CST.
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