Saturday night, the Wichita Thunder finally snapped a six-game losing streak to the Allen Americans, dominating the contest 4-0 in Kent Patterson’s first game for the Thunder between the pipes. Sunday afternoon, Wichita got another monkey off of their backs, beating the Americans in back-to-back games for the first time in nearly two years, as Jamie Doornbosch led an early onslaught and the Thunder won 5-1.
The Wichita Thunder jumped out to a huge four-goal lead in the first period, putting this game virtually out of reach. It started at the 4:12 mark when Ryan Rupert carried the puck toward the corner in the Allen end, then passed to Zach O’Brien at the left face-off circle. O’Brien fired a wrist shot that beat Jamie Murray for his second goal since joining the Thunder and it was quickly, 1-0.
A little over three minutes later Wichita would increase their led to two. James Melindy passed to Matt DeBlouw at the Thunder blue line and DeBlouw blew past the Americans defender, moving in with Vincent Arseneau on a 2-on-0 break. At the last moment, DeBlouw opted to shoot and beat Murray over the shoulder with a wrist shot for his eighth goal of the season.
Six-minutes later, the Thunder would find themselves on a four-minute power-play as Spencer Asuchak took a cross-checking penalty and then tried to draw a penalty by provoking Landon Oslanski into a fight. Oslanski kept cool however, and Asuchak drew two additional minutes for roughing. The Thunder would make Allen pay.
Just 29-seconds into the power-play opportunity, it looked like Allen would clear the puck out of the zone, but Jamie Doornbosch made a great stop to keep the puck in the Americans’ end in what Head Coach Malcolm Cameron called a “great hockey IQ play.” He then passed the puck to Ryan Rupert at the right face-off circle, who fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Murray for the power-play goal. It was Rupert’s fourth goal of the season.
With Wichita still on the power-play, O’Brien passed across to Doornbosch at the point. He fired a blast that beat Murray for the second power-play goal of the game for the Thunder. The defenseman’s sixth goal of the season made it 4-0.
The Thunder outshot Allen 23-14 in the first period, and they would outshoot the Americans in the second period as well, but it would be the visitors that would get the lone goal in the second. That came at 11:22 of the period, when Joel Chouinard took the puck behind the Wichita net, then skated to the side and fired a shot that somehow found its way into the short side of the net. It was his sixth goal of the season.
In the third the Wichita Thunder extended their lead back to four. Arseneau gained control of the puck along the right boards and fired a slap shot that beat Murray. That was Arseneau’s 11th goal of the game and chased Murray from the contest.
That score made it 5-1, and that is how the game ended. The Thunder outshot Allen 43-29 in the contest, and beat the Americans in back-to-back games for the first time since March 16-17 of 2015.
Five players on the Thunder had 2-points in the game. Four of those players had a goal and an assist, including Jamie Doornbosch, Zach O’Brien, Matt DeBlouw, and Ryan Ruppert. Macoy Erkamps added 2-assists. Kent Patterson was brilliant for the second night in a row, stopping all but one of the 29-shots he faced.
The Wichita Thunder will head to the road this week, traveling to Utah for a Wednesday night contest. Game time is 7:00 Utah time.
By Robert Pannier