Andrew Courtney continued to manhandle the Allen Americans Monday night in Allen after scoring the tying goal in game 5 and then the overtime winner on Saturday night and then followed up with a hat trick, which accounted for half of Missouri’s goals as the Mavericks defeated the Americans, 6-2 and forcing a game 7 tomorrow night at the Allen Event Center.
Courtney opened up the scoring when he took the puck into the Allen zone and from the top of the left circle, wristed a high shot past Allen goaltender, Aaron Dell. At the 6:40 and 12:34 mark, Kenton Miller added two goals of his own to put the Mavs up 3-0 and thus, ending Dell’s night as Coach Martinson inserted Steve Silverthorn into net.
Allen appeared to stop the bleeding and potentially some of the momentum back when Anthony Maiani scored on the power play with 22 seconds left. Tyler Ludwig on the near point fed the puck toward the outside of the net and Maiani was left unattended and tipped in the puck as Mike Clemente was unable to get his right pad over. As backbreaking as the goal in the last minute is in a period, it was never truer when 19 seconds later, Missouri got their 3-goal lead back when Colt King played a 2-on-1 perfectly. Americans defender, Mike Berube sprawled out on the ice to take away the passing zone, but King waited and waited for a space to open up through Silverthorn and found Courtney on the other side of the crease who redirected the puck into the open net for his second of the evening.
After leading the first period in shots, 9-8, Allen looked to find something positive to build upon and the 2nd period started off very well, with the Americans getting substantial scoring chances against Clemente. The shot total escalated to 16-9 at the 14:01 mark when Courtney knocked in his 3rd goal of the night. Missouri would add one more in the last two minutes and in the 3rd, Darryl Bootland would add an empty net, power play goal.
The story of the night, however, was the lack of killer instinct from a team that was built on toughness. From the beginning, it was said if you were going to beat the Americans, you were going to pay the price. Not only was there no “price” to pay for the Mavs, but they were allowed to come into the AEC and absolutely dominate. From the start of the game, Allen played with a tepidness that could only be described as a team that knew they had a 7th game to fall back on and would just let the play come to them, as opposed to dictating play themselves.
Now, after the Mavs came back to win game 5 in dramatic fashion and then come into Allen and just completely manhandle the Americans in front of their home crowd, Missouri is in full possession of momentum. We’ve all heard the clichés: the backs are against the wall…do or die…win and you’re in. If Allen is going to find themselves in the CHL finals for the 2nd time in 4 years, they’re going to have to dig down deep to places some of them never knew existed. If Allen is going to host Wichita in the finals, they’re going to have to go back to basics and immediately. There are no days off to re-invent themselves, but they’ll have to find their true identity or there will be a lot of days off in the immediate future.