Thursday night’s game was about defense.
Last night’s game was about offense. The Reign’s was on and firing on all four cylinders. The Americans was not, and it frustrated them. The frustration came out in a series of penalties that let the Reign control the momentum & the majority of the play.
The first period started out as they all have in this series. Allen controlled the play, getting a lot of quality chances. Unfortunately for the Americans, Cannata was once again up to the task. Midway through the period, Allen took their first of many penalties and the Reign were able to push the play a bit. Despite not scoring the Reign were back in the game. Then Rutherford scored with only 30 seconds left in the period. Killer.
The second period opened with a goal from Tristan King just over one minute in. Twenty seconds later, Matt White put the Reign up 3-0 and Riley Gill’s night was over. Joel Rumpel took over the crease and was greeted with a parade of Americans to the penalty box. The Reign capitalized on the second power play as Garry Nunn put them up 4-0. Allen would not regain their composure or control of momentum through the rest of the period.
The Americans seemed to calm down & focus to start the third period. They kept pressure on and saw some more quality chances. A whistle five minutes into the period shattered that calm and put Allen on the penalty kill again for abusive language from the bench. They would proceed to take six more penalties, giving the Reign two 5 on 3 power plays in a row. The Reign scored on the first one, Rutherford picking up his second of the night.
While we give credit to the Reign for their offense clicking and really bringing it to the Americans, Allen also sabotaged their own efforts. Every time they would get something going, they would take a penalty and lose it.
We’re going to predict that Rumpel will get the start tonight as Gill has seemed vulnerable lately. Cannata will most likely be back in net, as he has the Americans number memorized.
The biggest question will be if the Americans can keep their cool this evening. The second biggest question is whether the Reign can maintain their focus & get that elusive fourth win. Otherwise, it’s back to Texas and home ice for Allen.