BRAMPTON, Ontario. – Friday night was the scene of game four in the best-of-seven series between the Allen Americans and Brampton Beast with Allen leading 3-0. The Americans defeated the Beast on Thursday night by a score of 4-1 to give them a commanding lead in the series and were looking to complete the sweep on Friday night and be the first team in the CHL to advance to the semi-final round.
The Americans held off an early push by Brampton, who came out playing, as expected, with the frantic urgency of a team facing elimination. However, the Americans defense, led by Bryan Pitton in net weathered the storm.
Allen was able to quell the frenzied Beast when Anthony Maiani lit the lamp at 15:05 to notch his second goal of the post-season and put his league leading seventh point in the books, with the assist going to Greger Hanson. Allen continued to get chances in the Beast zone but they were kept out of the net by some great saves by Brampton’s Kristofer Westblom. At the first intermission, Allen held the lead in shots at 15-13 and on the scoreboard 1-0.
Brampton came out strong again in the second period and quickly brought the game level when Michael MacIsaac fired a shot past Pitton just 35-seconds into the frame. Assisting on the MacIsaac goal was Thomas Stajan.
The Americans were unable to convert on a partial five-minute power play when Frank Littlejohn earned a major penalty and game misconduct on his slash to Ross Rouleau. Allen had one solid scoring opportunity that rang off the post, but otherwise the power play seemed sloppy and the Americans seemed out of sorts after the fracas from a few minutes earlier that cost the Beast their forward.
The Beast kept working hard to extend their season and had their first glimpse of hope when they earned their first lead in three games and some momentum on Matt Caruana’s power play goal, assisted by Steve Makway and Tylor Michel at 16:04.
That momentum was short live, however, as the Americans answered back to knot the score 2-2 on Hanson’s third goal of the post-season at 18:25 with Bruce Graham and Jonathan Lessard contributing the helpers. The score remained unchanged through the balance of the frame with Allen holding a slight edge in shots again at 16-15 and the two period total of 31-28.
Once again the Beast got the early jump on Allen and re-took the lead on a goal by Tylor Michel at the 4:40 mark of the third period, with assists from Steve Ward and Andrew Fournier. Brampton kept their foot on the gas all period and didn’t let up, capping the scoring and winning the game 4-2 on Caruana’s empty-net goal at 18:25 to extend their season at least one more game. Brampton handily out-shot Allen in the third period by a count of 12-4 and held the three period shot total at 39-30.
The series continues on Sunday with the Americans leading the best-of-seven playoff round 3-1, the puck drop is scheduled for 4:05PM EST.
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