Wichita, KS – A warm Sunday afternoon in Kansas was the setting for a pivotal game four of the Central Hockey League finals between the Allen Americans and Wichita Thunder. The Thunder defeated Allen 5-2, to take the two games to one series lead in the best-of-seven series Saturday night, continuing the trend of each game in this series being decided by a three goal margin.
The Americans were without forward Darryl Bootland who was suspended one game for a high stick penalty assessed during Saturday night’s game when he made contact with Les Reaney.
Wichita again opened the scoring when Matt Summers knocked a backhand shot in at 11:41, assisted by Chad Painchaud and Les Reaney. Wichita doubled the Americans in shots on net by the end of the first period, 12-6 and maintained the 1-0 by the first intermission.
The Wichita Thunder continued to play tight defense in the second period, as they have throughout their playoff run, severely limiting shots getting through to their netminder.
On just their third shot of the period, Allen was able to knot the score 1-1 when Jason Deitsch netted his 4th goal of the playoffs, assisted by Brian McMillin and Jamie Schaafsma at 11:38.
The Americans picked up their attack and closed the gap to almost tie the Thunder in shots on net for the period, trailing them by a pair at the end of the frame at 14-12. Through two periods, Wichita continued to lead in shots at 26-18 but the score remained tied at the second intermission.
Allen got their first lead of the game when Brian McMillin scored his 11th goal of the post season at 2:46 of the third period, assisted by Jason Deitsch and Jamie Schaafsma on their 19th shot of the night.
McMillin’s goal now puts him in sole possession of 1st place in scoring throughout the playoffs, at 20 points with 11 goals and 9 assists. He is trailed by teammate Todd Robinson at 18 points with 4 goals and 14 assists.
That lead is all that Allen would need as they staved off the Wichita pressure for the remaining seventeen minutes of the game, where Wichita once again out shot Allen 10-6 for a three period total of 36-24.
The series now returns to Texas where the two clubs will face off at the Allen Event Center for game five in the best-of-seven Central Hockey League President’s Cup Finals, with the series tied 2-2. The puck drop is scheduled for Tuesday night at 7:05 pm CST at the AEC.
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