They say that you never have a second chance to make a first impression, but newly acquired forward Johnny Daniels didn’t need to a second chance after his three point night in his debut helped power the Wichita Thunder to the 5-1 victory over Kansas City Mavericks. Ralph Cuddemi and Lane Bauer each had 3 points as well, and Joel Rumpel made 25 saves in the victory.
After losing five of their last six games, the Thunder were looking to get off to a fast start and that is exactly what they did, netting three first period goals to take command of the game from the start. At the 5:07 mark in the first, Chad Butcher gave his team a lead when he beat Kansas City goaltender Mason MacDonald with his second goal of the season.
Almost exactly six minutes later, Johnny Daniels put in his first goal in a Wichita Thunder uniform. Lane Bauer fired a shot from the boards that was saved by MacDonald. The puck bounced to the other side of the net where Daniels poked the puck in with one hand to make it 2-0.
With 4:32 left in the first, Daniels added his second goal of the game. Etienne Boutet and Mark MacMillan made a series of passes that finally reached the stick of Daniels, who put it in for his second goal of the season. That extended the lead to three.
In the second, the lead became four. Lane Bauer’s shot was saved, but the puck was loose in the crease. Dyson Stevenson moved across the net and was able to tap the puck in, scoring his seventh goal of the season.
Joel Rumpel had dominated Kansas City through the first two periods, thanks to some outstanding defense. The Thunder defense allowed just three shots on net in the first period, and Rumpel put on a show in the second, making 11 saves.
At 11:23 of the third, the Mavericks finally got on the board while killing off a penalty. Dan Correale outraced the Wichita defenseman for the puck, and then put a shot on net that beat Rumpel over the glove side. That made it 4-1.
The Thunder responded a little over two minutes later. Ralph Cuddemi fired a shot that was saved, but he picked up his own rebound and beat MacDonald with a wrist shot for his eighth goal of the season. That made it 5-1 which would be the final.
Johnny Daniels finished with 2 goals and an assist for the Wichita Thunder. Ralph Cuddemi had a goal and 2 assists and Lane Bauer had 3 assists. Joel Rumpel won his 10th game of the season stopped 25 shots.
These two teams go at it again tomorrow night. The puck drops at 7:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier