T.J. Fox’s game-winning goal gave the Brahmas a 5-4 win Wednesday night and a 2-1 lead in the opening-round, best-of-seven series versus Allen.
The Americans got out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period behind goals from Jarret Lukin and Bruce Graham. But just 39 seconds after Graham’s score, Brendon Hodge netted his second goal in as many games, cutting the deficit in half as the two teams head into the first intermission.
At the 8:23 mark of the second period, Ross Rouleau scored his first career postseason goal, evening the score at two. Two minutes later and with the Brahmas shorthanded, Greg Eskedjian fed T.J. Fox behind the defense for a breakaway score. The Brahmas outshot the Americans 13-5 in the middle frame.
Jim Burichin gave the Brahmas a two-goal lead 2:01 into the third period when he beat Allen netminder Rejean Beauchemin on an unassisted score. Two quick goals from Jason Deitsch and Brett Clouthier – 8:55 and 9:16 of the third period – brought the Americans even. But as he did in Game 2, T.J. Fox netted the game-winner late in the third period as he shot a wrister past replacement goaltender Marco Cousineau with only 7:16 remaining in regulation.
Mark Guggenberger made three saves on five shots before being replaced by Brad Fogal at the 9:23 mark of the first period. Fogal stopped 19 of 21 shots to earn his first win as a Brahma and first ever postseason victory.
Beauchemin made 18 of 22 saves in 42:01 in net for Allen. Cousineau replaced him early in the third period, and stopped nine of 10 Brahmas’ shots.
With the victory, the Brahmas take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and maintain home-ice advantage. Texas and Allen meet again for Game 4 of the series Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the NYTEX Sports Centre.
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