Garret Cockerill Blasts Wings to Overtime Victory, 3-2
The Kalamazoo Wings used the power-play to jump out to a 2-0 lead, only to see the Wichita Thunder battle back to tie the score. However, the Wings would deny Wichita the comeback victory, getting an overtime goal from Garret Cockerill to win it 3-2, giving Kalamazoo a sweep of the two game series in Wichita. Josh Pitts scored both power-play goals for the Wings.
After netting three power-play goals Saturday night, the Wings would get on the board first using the man advantage. With five minutes left in the first, Eric Kattelus passed the puck to Josh Pitt at the point, who fired a knuckleball that beat Wichita netminder Shane Starrett for his 11th goal of the season.
After dominating much of the first period, outshooting the Thunder 13-5, the Kalamazoo Wings would extend their lead to two thanks to another power-play goal. A little less than four minutes into the period, Pitt gained control of the puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot that found the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Following the goal, the Thunder began to press and were controlling the play. That paid off at 9:30 in the second. With the faceoff to the right of Wings goalie Joel Martin, Lane Bauer won the draw back to Kevin Dufour, who fired a wrist shot that beat Martin for his eighth goal of the year. That extended his point streak to seven straight games.
Less than a minute later, Wichita tied the score. Evan Polei gained control of the puck and skated down the high slot. He passed the puck to Dyson Stevenson, who swooped in front of the net, putting the puck under the pads of Martin for his ninth goal of the year.
With three seconds left in the game, Jeremy Beaudry almost won it for the Thunder. He received a pass and blasted a slap shot from the blue line that trickled through Martin, but skirted just to the side of the net to send the game to overtime.
The game went to overtime where the Wings would win it. After Kalamazoo was able to kill off a penalty, Kyle Bushee passed the puck to Garret Cockerill, who carried the puck into the Thunder end and blasted a slap shot that beat Starrett with the game winner. It was Cockerill’s first goal of the season.
Josh Pitt finished with 2 power-play goals for the Kalamazoo Wings. Joel Martin made 30 saves in the victory. Shane Starrett stopped 26 in the loss.
The Wichita Thunder will next play the Oilers in Tulsa on Wednesday night. Faceoff is set for 7:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier