Will Allen Lift the President’s Cup or Will Wichita Force Game 7?
Photo courtesy Chip Crail at www.chlphotos.com
Series So Far: Game one of the series was carried by the Thunder 4-1. Todd Griffith and Les Reaney led the way with two points each on the night.
Game two of the series seen the Americans bounce back, winning 5-2. A 4-minute spurt with goals by Kale Kerbashian, Brian McMillin and Todd Robinson keyed the Americans to the win. The third period was marred by six fights, a coach flex-off and 136 minutes in penalties.
Game three featured much less pugilism, but still intense hockey. Greger Hanson and RG Flath each had three points and Torrie Jung made 19 saves, as the Thunder won 5-2 to gain a 2-1 series advantage.
Game four was a very evenly matched game, both goaltenders put on a great performance. Early in the third frame, Brian McMillan passed the puck to the front of the crease which deflected into the net, to put Allen up for good.
Game five was dominated by Allen. The second period Allen smothered the Wichita defense, leading to four goals and the Americans never looking back. Jim McKenzie scored two goals including a power play goal to lead the Americans to a 5-1 game five win in Allen.
Leading Scorers: Wichita is led by R.G Flath who has five points (3G 2A) and has five players with three points or more each. Allen is being led by Todd Robinson who has seven points (2G, 5A) in the series. The more impressive stat, is that Allen has seven players with four or more points in the series.
Goaltending: Aaron Dell has played all but 2:25 seconds of the finals. In five games played, Dell has three games with only one goal allowed. The two games he has lost, he allowed four goals. Torrie Jung, who has started every game this post season for Wichita, is at risk to be replaced by Kevin Regan. Jung has allowed six goals in his last two games including four goals given up in game five. The encouraging stat for Wichita is that Jung has only given up more than two goals twice in the five games.
Special Teams: The Allen power play finally broke through in game five going 2-4 on the man advantage. Wichita had mild success going 1-5 but if the Thunder hope to keep their championship aspirations alive they need to be more efficient on the power play.
How Allen wins game 6: In game 5 Allen smothered Wichita in the second period, only allowing seven Wichita shots in the second while piling on twelve of their own, four of which translated into goals. They have to have the mentality that this is game seven, because for Wichita, this is it. If Allen plays with desperation they can over take Wichita once again and skate the cup in Wichita.
How Wichita wins game 6: For Wichita they have to know this is it. Sixty minutes of hockey left before they either play a game seven, or set a tee time in a local course in Wichita. The team has shown they have the talent, offensive power, and defensive mindset to beat any team in the league. Execution has been their biggest downfall. Wichita stands sixty minutes away from advancing to the biggest game of their careers, or sixty minutes away watching the Allen Americans skate the Presidents Cup on the Thunder home ice. Simply put, do or die.
X-Factors: Wichita’s Neil Trimm and Matt Robinson have been absent from the finals. The pair, who combined for 47 goals in the regular season, have zero goals in the finals. Trimm led the team in goals scored during the regular season, while Robinson tied for the team lead in game winning goals. These two have to start chipping in if Wichita hopes to have a game seven. For Allen it has to be Aaron Dell. Dell has to continue to keep his game at a high level, and stop Wichita’s high powered offense. The Central Hockey League’s most outstanding goaltender has to prove why he received that award for the regular season.
What do you think the key factors in game six will be? Who will win game six? Will Allen lift the cup or will Wichita force game 7? Let us know your thoughts!!