ALLEN, Texas – The Allen Americans bounced back from a disappointing defeat the night before to down the Wichita Thunder 3-2 on Saturday night at the Allen Event Center. “It was one of those games where I thought we all played really well,” Americans assistant coach Richard Matvichuk said. “It was a gut-check for us knowing we were going in for a first place battle. We obviously have had some injuries as of late. Scott Howes is out, (Brett) Skinner’s out, we probably lost (Brian) McMillin for a little bit. Our team just played hard. Today is a character win; these are ones that you build the team around. Our guys got in trouble this morning from the coaches and they had their own team meeting. I thought they responded real well from last night’s game.” The Americans were looking to begin the game much like they did in the third period one night earlier – taking the game to the opponent. They did just that. Allen jumped out to a quick lead just 2:41 into the contest on a goal by Trevor Ludwig, a shot from the point that found the back of the net. The lone assist went to Adam Pineault. Then Anthony Maiani found the back of the net just 1:12 later to give Allen a 2-0 lead. It was Maiani’s seventh goal of the season, with Darryl Bootland earning the assist. Wichita battled back, like a team battling for first place should, scoring two goals to tie things at 2-2 midway through the game. But Allen answered with another strong third period. Bootland’s wrister found its way past goalie Torrie Jung 5:43 into the third to give the Americans the lead for good. “I think we knew last night we should have played a complete game and we didn’t,” Matvichuk said. “We all felt like Denver was holding on for dear life at the end and we couldn’t close the deal. But we have to figure out a way to piece 60 minutes together. We came close to that tonight and obviously it paid off for us.” The following images were recorded at the Allen Event Center on Saturday evening.
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