Power-Play Goals Aid Riley Gill, Americans in 6-1 Victory
A week ago Riley Gill blanked the Wichita Thunder (11-9-0-1), withstanding 45-shots in a 3-0 victory. Friday night, he would lead the Allen Americans (14-13-1-0) to a 6-1 win over the Thunder, this time aided by three power-play goals for his 12th win of the season.
Allen would get on the board in the first period, scoring their first goal of the night with the man advantage. Bryan Moore’s second goal of the season put Allen up 1-0, as Chris Driedger, making his first start for Wichita, saved all but one of the 12 shots he faced in the period.
In the second, the Americans extended their lead just 1:21 into the frame. Gary Steffes led a 2-on-1 break into the Wichita end, but decided to keep the puck. He fired a shot that beat the Thunder goalie for his sixth goal on the year.
It had been a penalty filled game in the first period, but in the second a series of fights led to eight players receiving fighting majors in the 16th minute of the frame. That eventually put the Thunder on the power-play and they would take advantage. Jamie Doornbosch fired a shot that beat Gill for his second goal since joining Wichita. That made it 2-1.
The Thunder had been heavily outshot in the second (18-9), but they were right back in the contest. However, in the third period the roof would cave in on the team.
The Americans controlled play from the opening faceoff of the period, recording the first eight shots of the frame. At the 3:18 mark Dyson Stevenson passed across to Zach Hall in the right face-off circle, who beat Driedger for his first goal of the season.
Just after the 10 minute mark in the period things would go quite right for Allen. At the 10:35 mark, Stevenson scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 4-1.
A little less than four minutes later the Americans scored the first of two power-play goals in the span of 52-seconds. David Makowski recorded his first goal of the season on a beautiful set up by Chad Costello. It was Costello’s 26th assist on the year. At the 15:10 point, Jake Marchment scored a power-play goal, his seventh tally of the season to make it 6-1. The Thunder entered with the second best penalty-killing unit in the ECHL, but they allowed three goals on eight chances in the game.
Gill Riley stopped 31 of 32 shots. Dyson Stevenson and David Makowski each had a goal and 2-assists. Jake Marchment had a goal and an assist for the Americans.
Both of these teams are off tomorrow, but they will play each other on Sunday in Wichita. Game time is 4:05.
By Robert Pannier