It was the season finale of both the Wichita Thunder and the Allen Americans Sunday night, the only game in the ECHL. The Americans jumped out to the early two-goal lead, only to the see Wichita battle back to tie the score, before two third period goals would give the Americans the 4-2 victory. That win gave Allen their 49th win of the season and dropped the Thunder to 21-44-6-1.
At the 3:31 mark, Allen would take the lead. Tyler Barnes took the puck behind the net and was able to get a wraparound goal past Drew Owsley to make it 1-0. That was Barnes’ 11th goal of the year.
Six minutes later the Americans added to their lead. Michael Brodzinski took a shot that ricocheted off the post and to the other side of the goal. Josh Brittain blasted the one timer before Owsley could recover for his 11th goal of the year and it was 2-0.
The Thunder had outshot Allen 14-10 in the first, but were trailing by two. They would outshoot the Americans 18-10 in the second and tie the score.
Zach O’Brien got the Thunder on the board at the 11:55 mark. Matt DeBlouw took a shot in the slot that trickled through the pads of Jamie Murray. O’Brien corralled the puck and tucked the loose puck into the net for his ninth goal of the year.
A little less than six minutes later, Blake Tatchell tied the score. DeBlouw passed to Tatchell as he streaked toward the goal, but he could not tip it in. However, he regained control of the puck and positioned himself right along the goal line. Tatchell fired the puck on net from a really terrible angle and found a seam under the cross bar for his 13th goal of the year.
In the third, the Allen Americans totally dominated this contest. They outshot Wichita 21-8 and scored two goals. Just 1:55 into the period Spencer Asuchak gave Allen back the lead. Greger Hanson had control of the puck and was moving behind the Thunder net when he made a backward pass out in front to Asuchak who fired a one-timer just under the cross bar for his 26th goal of the year.
At the 17:36 mark they would seal the victory. With the puck loose in front of the Thunder goal, Gary Steffes gained control and put a backhander over Owsley’s shoulder for his 21st of the year. That made it 4-2, which would be the final.
Matt DeBlouw had 2-assists for the Wichita Thunder. Michael Brodzinski had 2-assists for the Allen Americans. Both Josh Brittain and Gary Steffes had a goal and an assist.
That was the season finale for the Wichita Thunder. Allen begins their race for the Kelly Cup on Wednesday night.
By Robert Pannier