DENVER, Colo. – Game three of the best-of-seven series between the Allen Americans and Denver Cutthroats was a matinee affair this Easter Sunday. Allen continued their winning ways in the Denver Coliseum, riding a pair of goals by an injured Brian McMillin, who suffered some lost teeth in game two Friday evening and taking the series lead 2-1.
The Americans opened up a two goal lead at the midway point of the opening frame with back to back goals by Brian McMillin. The first was a wrist shot that beat Kieran Millan through the pads at 9:46, assisted by Tyler Ludwig and Kale Kerbashian.
The second McMillin goal came on the power play when Todd Robinson spied McMillin all alone off the left post of the Denver net. Robinson threaded a gorgeous pass through a narrow lane, right onto the tape of McMillin’s blade where he jammed it into the Denver net. The secondary assist on the McMillin marker went to Tyler Ludwig for his second assist of the night at 11:34 of the first period.
Allen held the 2-0 lead at the first intermission and also led in shots by a count of 12-10.
Denver cut into the Americans lead at 7:32 of the second period when AJ Gale powered past the Americans defense to go in alone on Aaron Dell, beating him with a nice wrister to the glove side, unassisted.
The Cutthroats got a spark from the Gale marker, putting Allen on the ropes for a short stint before Allen regrouped and increased their pressure in the Denver Zone. Late in the period that pressure paid off when Allen drew a late penalty and went on the power play, scoring less than a minute later with the man advantage. Kale Kerbashian extended the Americans lead to 3-1 at 19:32, with the lone assist going to Todd Robinson for his second of the night.
Allen regained the two goal lead by the second intermission and continued to lead in shots, with 13-9 in the second for a two period total of 25-19.
The game had some drama and potential controversy in the final minute of play, when Denver pressed a full on assault to mount a comeback with the extra attacker. With heavy traffic in front of the Americans net, Troy Schwab put the puck past Aaron Dell with just 43 seconds remaining in regulation, assists going to Ben Wilson and AJ Gale.
The controversy centered around the timekeepers clock not counting down when the puck was dropped at the 19:17 mark, and it never started for the entire length of the play that led up to the Denver goal. Watching the live replay, it was apparent that 11 seconds had passed before the goal was scored but any possibility of controversy was averted when Denver failed to find the evener as time expired in regulation.
Denver put up their best numbers of the game in the third period, outshooting Allen 14-5 in the frame and moving ahead of the Americans in the three period total at 33-30 but failing to do more than cut the lead to 3-2.
With the victory, Allen takes a 2-1 lead, and game four of this best-of-seven series is set for Monday night with a scheduled start of 7:05 MST.
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