ALLEN, TX – The Allen Americans secured their second berth in the Central Hockey League’s Ray Miron President’s Cup Finals on Tuesday night after an incredibly hard fought series against the Missouri Mavericks.
The Mavericks battled back from the brink of elimination twice, to force a dramatic game seven where they faced an Americans squad determined to not allow Missouri a Cinderella story comeback.
After a sound thrashing by the Mavericks in game six, by a score of 6-2, the Americans shucked their lethargic play of the night before and hit the ice as a team on fire. The Americans opened the scoring just 1:52 into play when the team’s leading scorer, Brian McMillin, netted his first goal of the game off assists from Jason Deitsch and Jamie Schaafsma.
The first period saw Allen outshooting Missouri for the majority of the period until a late period surge brought the shots level at 9-9 but Allen had the important 1-0 lead which they built on in a goal filled middle frame.
Allen extended their lead at 2:53 of the second period when Captain Jason Deitsch found the back of the net, assisted by Jamie Schaafsma and Mike Berube. Missouri answered back less than three minutes later to cut the Americans lead in half on a goal by Kellan Tochkin, assisted by Kenton Miller and J.P. Testwuide at the 5:37 mark.
Play settled down for the next ten minutes with both teams getting some chances at either end but Allen mainly dominating the play. Allen’s Kale Kerbashian again extended the Americans lead to two goals at 15:28, assisted by Corbin Baldwin and Jarret Lukin.
Once again Missouri cut the Allen lead to one on a goal by Dave Pszenyczny, assisted by Ryan Jardine and Kyle Hood at 18:00 but Allen answered back almost immediately. Todd Robinson lit the lamp just 40 seconds later to give Allen the 4-2 lead in his first of back-to-back goals, assisted by Tyler Ludwig and Trevor Hendrikx. With the 4-2 lead, Allen also held the edge in shots on goal 17-8 in the period and 26-17 over two periods of play.
The Americans then put the game out of reach of the Mavericks in the third period, started off by Todd Robinson on an incredible individual effort. Robinson stole the puck off a Missouri defenseman right in front of the net and deked Mike Clemente before slipping the puck through the five hole to give Allen the 5-2 lead at 5:28 of the third period.
Jim McKenzie scored for Allen to extend their lead to 6-2 at 11:48, with helpers from Tyler and Trevor Ludwig. With the game seemingly out of reach, Missouri pulled Clemente for the extra attacker with 5:28 remaining in regulation and it gave the Mavericks a brief glimmer of hope when Colt King scored at 15:28 with assists from Kellan Tochkin and Kyle Hood to bring Missouri to within three.
Missouri was unable to find another goal in the waning minutes and the game was cemented, as it began as Brian McMillin bookended the Americans victory with an empty net goal, unassisted with just 1:07 remaining in the game. The Mavericks had their best period of the game shot wise, throwing 15 shots at Aaron Dell while Allen managed 5, allowing Missouri to sneak past Allen in the shot count overall 32-31.
Now it’s on to the Finals, where in a fitting finale, we’ll see the Central Hockey League’s top two regular season seeds, the Allen Americans pitted against the Wichita Thunder. Wichita has had tremendous success in the post season, sweeping both of their opponents, the Arizona Sundogs and the Fort Worth Brahmas.
The Central Hockey League President’s Cup Finals begin next week, with game one of the best-of-seven series scheduled for Tuesday night at the Allen Event Center at 7:05PM. The full schedule is below.
2013 Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals Schedule
Allen Americans vs. Wichita Thunder
Game 1 – Tues., Apr. 30 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
Game 2 – Thur., May 2 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
Game 3 – Sat., May 4 – Allen at Wichita, 7:05 PM
Game 4 – Sun., May 5 – Allen at Wichita, 5:05 PM
*Game 5 – Tue., May 7 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
*Game 6 – Fri., May 10 – Allen at Wichita, 7:05 PM
*Game 7 – Sat., May 11 – Wichita at Allen, 7:05 PM
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter: @prohockeynews