A night after losing to the Wichita Thunder 3-0, the Allen Americans would jump out to a three goal lead and looked like they were in complete command. However, goals by Mark MacMillan and Chad Butcher made this a one goal game, yet, the Americans would hang on for the 5-2 victory. Jeremy Brodeur made 27 saves for the victory, and Dalton Thrower had a goal and 2 assists for Allen. The Americans added two empty net goals to seal the win.
The Thunder had peppered Brodeur for 20 first period shots on Friday, but it was the Americans who would take command of this game, shooting 14 shots on Nick Ellis, who was making his first start for Wichita.
At the 15:45 mark in the first, Dalton Thrower gave the Americans the lead. Casey Pierro-Zabotel passed the puck back to Thrower near the top of the slot. He moved down toward the goal, moving to his right and then firing a wrist shot that went five hole on Ellis and into the net for his second goal of the season.
A little over three minutes later, Allen extended the lead to two. Joel Chouinard fired a shot on net that was saved by Ellis, but the Thunder defender could not clear out Spencer Asuchak. He put the rebound in to the side of the Wichita goalie for his sixth goal of the year to make it 2-0.
In the second, a bad break for the Thunder extended the lead to three. With Allen on the power-play, Chouinard was looking to pass the puck across the crease, when the puck hit off a Wichita defenseman and ricocheted into the net for his seventh goal of the year.
The Wichita Thunder were being dominated in this contest, but a power-play goal with 55 seconds left in the second period brought renewed hope. Kyle Platzer fired a shot toward the net as Mark MacMillan was moving across the crease area. He tipped the puck up and past Brodeur for his 15th goal of the season to make it a two goal game.
In the third, Chad Butcher would make this a one goal contest. Butcher beat Brodeur with a quick shot for his fifth goal of the season and the Americans were back on their heels.
There was still 15 minutes left in the contest, and the Thunder kept the pressure on. With a little over a minute left in the game, Head Coach Malcolm Cameron pulled Ellis looking for the equalizer. However, with the net empty, the Americans would cement the victory with two empty-net goals.
The first came with 48 seconds left in the game, when Wichita looked like they had been able to keep control of the puck in the Allen end, but Zach Pochiro was able to steal the puck and fire a shot from his own blue line that found the back of the net for his eighth goal of the year. Just 26 seconds later, Alex Guptill fired in his 14th goal of the season into the empty net to make it 5-2. That would be the final.
Dalton Thrower led the Allen Americans with a goal and 2 assists. Zach Pochiro and Joel Chouinard each had a goal and an assist for Allen. Jeremy Brodeur made 27 saves.
The Wichita Thunder are off until Wednesday, when they will travel to Tulsa to take on the Oilers. Game time is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier