After going five for five on their just completed road trip, the Allen Americans returned home to the friendly confines of the Allen Event Center tonight to take on the Wichita Thunder in front of a crowd of 4,126.
Allen, who previously defeated Wichita 5-3 on October 23, struck first 11:05 into the first period when Colton Yellow Horn’s shot from the point found it’s way past Marc-Antoine Gelinas to put the Americans on top 1-0. The goal was Yellow Horn’s sixth of the season. The Americans lead would be extended 2:17 later when Judd Blackwater found Bruce Graham alone in front of the net. Graham received the pass and quickly roofed a backhander over the netminder giving Allen an early two goal cushion.
Wichita’s Steve Kaunisto would cut into the Americans two goal lead when his shot through traffic beat Chris Whitley with 3:03 remaining in the frame, but Judd Blackwater would strike with a breakaway goal 1:22 later to restore the Americans two goal lead at 3-1. After twenty minutes of play, the Americans had outshot the Thunder 14-9.
Despite several prime scoring chances in the middle frame, neither team was able to find the back of the net as Whitley and Gelinas both stood tall.
The third period would remain scoreless until David Strathman deposited the puck into Wichita’s empty net with 1:12 remaining to give the Americans a 4-1 win and their franchise record seventh straight victory.
The Americans improved to 13-2-0 with the victory and remain atop the Central Hockey League with 26 points.
The lines for tonight were:
The box score can be found here.
Post Game Quotes
Coach Mullins on the seven game winning streak: “Well to be really honest with you, we haven’t really talked about it and I think that’s a credit to the leadership we have here from last year. I think one of our strengths last year was to be able to take each day at a time, especially when we seem to play in three in three night clusters right now. We just put our heads down and we play who were playing that day, we get through the cluster and luckily for us we’ve come out on the top end. These are very good points to secure and I give the team a lot of credit.”
Chris Whitley on the team’s performance in front of him tonight: “The guys are sacrificing really well right now. It’s one of those things where we’ve got a lot of good guys that are willing to sacrifice for this team and it shows when guys are just diving in front of pucks. It makes my job a lot easier because if their not getting in the way then more shots are coming at me. It’s great to see this this early and not just in playoff hockey.”
– The Americans outshot the Thunder 35-28.
– Chris Whitley stopped 27 of 28 shots on the night, including a 2nd period penalty shot by Andrew Martens. Whitley has won five consecutive starts.
– The Americans have scored a powerplay goal in seven straight contests.
– With his 3rd period goal, David Strathman extended his point streak to six games.
– Bruce Graham has registered 10 points in his last 7 games (3g, 7a).
The Americans will take on the Odessa Jackalopes tomorrow night at 7:00 at the Allen Event Center. Following the game, the Americans will travel to Arizona for three straight match-ups with the Sundogs, beginning on Wednesday night at 8:05. The teams will then take Thanksgiving off before facing off again on Friday and Saturday.