The Allen Americans closed out their pre-Christmas schedule this evening with a 7-3 victory over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in front of 4,333 at the Allen Event Center in Allen, TX. The victory improves the Americans record to 16-5-5 (37 points) on the season.
Nick Layton gave the Americans a 1-0 lead 11:04 into the opening frame when his wrister beat Rio Grande Valley netminder John Murray. Jim McKenzie and Mike Berube were credited with the assists on the play.
Killer Bees forward Aaron Lee would knot the score at 1 with 3:22 remaining in the period but the Americans would answer just 1:29 later when Brian McMillin picked up the loose puck in the crease and slid it across the vacated goal line. The goal was McMillin’s sixth of the season.
Rejean Beauchemin finished the first period with 10 saves on 11 shots while Murray stopped 5 of 7.
The Americans added to their lead 9:56 into the second period when Keith Johnson re-directed Tyler Ludwig’s shot from the point on the powerplay into the back of the net. The goal was Johnson’s ninth of the season.
Rio Grande Valley’s David Marshall cut Allen’s lead to 3-2 at the 14:58 mark of the frame but the Americans would respond once again when Lachlan MacIntosh buried the rebound from Bruce Graham’s shot past new Killer Bees goaltender Wylie Rogers. The goal was MacIntosh’s second of the year.
Through forty minutes of play, the American trailed the Killer Bees in shots 19-17.
Bruce Graham scored on a breakaway 3:55 into the third period to extend the Americans lead to 5-2. Keith Johnson and Dominic D’Amour were credited with the assists on Graham’s fourteenth goal of the season.
Former Americans forward Jason Dixon cut Allen’s lead to 5-3 with 7:22 remaining in regulation but goals from Colton Yellow Horn and Jim McKenzie at 18:17 and 19:37, respectively, would give Allen a 7-3 advantage and end any hopes of a Killer Bees comeback.
Rejean Beauchemin finished the night with 29 saves on 32 shots to improve to 3-2-3 this season.
The lines for tonight were:
The box score can be found here.
– The Killer Bees outshot the Americans 32-24.
– Bruce Graham led all skaters with 3 points (1g, 2a) on the night.
– The Americans win mixed with the Wichita Thunder’s loss to Quad City means that Dwight Mullins will once again be behind the bench for the CHL All-Star Team next month in Arizona.
– Allen had 12 skaters who registered at least a point tonight.
– Defenseman Trevor Ludwig was re-assigned to the Americans by the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) prior to tonight’t game.
– Bruce Graham extended his point streak to 9 games in the win. Graham has registered 13 points (3g, 10a) during the streak and now ranks second in the CHL in scoring with 35 points.
– Bruce Graham (1), Keith Johnson (2) and Rejean Beauchemin (3) were named the game’s three stars.
The Americans will now take a couple of days off before returning to action on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM in Tulsa against the Oilers. The Americans will then return to Allen for a pair of games at the Allen Event Center next weekend against the Laredo Bucks.