Dwight Mullins has taken an expansion team from its infancy to the League Championship in the team's first season in the D/FW Suburb of Allen. Prior to joining the Allen Americans, Mullins in his first full season with the franchise to a 2nd place finish in the Southern Conference.
His coaching style has allowed the Americans to have a strong balance of offense which has been led by the top players of Nino Musitelli, Bruce Graham and Justin Bowers who have scored double digit goals in the playoffs. A strong defense like Jordie Benn & Ryan Fairbarn have lead a rock-hard defense that gave up the 2nd fewest goals of the 10 playoff teams this season with 183.
After winning 2 7 Game Matchups against the Odessa Jackalopes & Laredo Bucks in the Conference Semifinals & Finals. The first 2 games ended up very well in the Final against the Rapid City Rush with a 4-1 win in Game 1 and a 5-4 OTL in Game 2. This will be a huge week for their CHL Championship Hopes as they will play their 3 Home Games this week on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday Night as they look to defend home ice and take giant steps towards winning the CHL Presidents Cup Championship.
Here's the Q&A with Allen Americans Head Coach Dwight Mullins that the League did earlier this week.
1. What has been the biggest key to your playoff run so far?
Our players have done a great job in focusing on the game at hand and we haven't gotten too high or too low through the playoffs.
2. Did you expect a rookie in goal to be as steady and calm as he appeared?
Chris has had great success in the playoffs the past few years, That, combined with a strong regular season has him feeling very confident. He has definitely met our expectations and is a major player in our playoff success.
3. What has the addition of Mike Salekin as a playoff performer meant to your team?
Mike is like Gum on the bottom of your shoe! He's going to make you know he's there every step! He is an unbelievable competitor and a warrior every night.
4. The line of Bruce Graham, Justin Bowers and Nino Musitelli has been nearly unstoppable, how has your plan on using them translated to actually using them in games?
They have definitely led the way offensively, the big plus is they have competed and performed even when they not together.
5. Who or what is your toughest matchup for your team when it comes down to taking on the Rapid City Rush?
Very well balanced, well coaches team, they transition quickly through the neutral zone and can generate some quality scoring off it.
6. When did you feel that you had something special in Allen and a team that could be playing in the Final?
Well it's been a special year, starting with the day we drove to Allen and saw the facility and area, It was very exciting and we couldn't wait to get started. The Finals! wow, we have had such a great battle to get here. We believe in ourselves more and more as we work through each series, and honestly, like I started before we haven't through past tomorrow.
7. With such a young team, what has the veteran presence of Erik Adams meant to your team?
Eric is a solid character guy and has really been a big asset on and off the ice. He comes from a great tradition of winning from the Eagles and that has helped in our program.
8. How important was taking Game 1 in the Finals?
Winning any games in the playoffs is important, Rapid City does a great job in supporting their team and makes it challenge to win there.
9. Any fear of losing momentum with the OT Loss in Game 2?
No, none, we are focused on Game 3 and putting fourth the effort to win their game.
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