WICHITA, Kan. – Brian McMillin and Jason Deitsch posted two points each while Aaron Dell stopped 35 Wichita Thunder shots as the visiting Allen Americans posted a 2-1 come from behind win over the Wichita Thunder at Intrust Bank Arena before a crowd of 4,883 on Sunday afternoon.
McMillin’s playoff leading 11th goal 2:46 into the third period put the Americans over the mark, and Dell carried them the rest of the way, despite a close call on a late shot from Gregor Hanson that caught the crossbar and nearly tied the game.
For the third time in the series, Wichita got on the board first. Just three seconds after Allen’s Anthony Maiani returned to the ice from serving two minutes for interference, Matt Summers found the back of the net. With Maiani streaking back into the play, Chad Painchaud put a puck on net that bounced off of Dell and straight to Summers, who then backhanded the puck above Dell into the open net.
The Thunder controlled the opening period, outshooting the Americans 12-6, including three shots while Maiani was in the box. Kevin Young nearly scored midway through the period, stealing the puck at the blue line before skating in to the right circle and firing a shot above Dell’s head and off the crossbar. Allen nearly tied with 4:47 left in the period, but Jung made a spectacular glove save on a high shot from Kale Kerbashian to keep it 1-0.
Allen would tie it up 11:38 into the middle frame when a shot from Deitsch bounced off of Wichita defenseman Andrew Martens’ skate and into the net to the left of Jung. The Thunder once again held the lead in shots, 14-12, but Dell came up big for the Americans in net, closing the door each time. The goal seemed to take the wind out of Wichita’s sail as the momentum tilted further into Allen’s favor as the two squads took a 1-1 tie into the second intermission.
The Americans took advantage of the momentum change, taking their first lead in five periods of play on Brian McMillin’s playoff leading eleventh goal. With Young playing tight defense, Deitsch was somehow able to place the puck neatly behind the defender where only McMillin could get it. McMillin then slung the puck towards the net and it slid in past Jung’s left side for the go ahead marker.
Wichita had several good chances to tie the game, but Dell closed the door. Matt Robinson seemed to have him beat with 3:34 remaining but Dell mad a fantastic kick save with his right leg to maintain the lead. The Thunder pulled Jung for an extra attacker with 1:23 remaining, but could not get the tying goal.
The series now returns to the Allen Event Center for game five on Tuesday night, with game six scheduled for Friday, May 10 in Wichita. Game seven, if necessary, will be held in Allen on Saturday, May 11.
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