The Wichita Thunder dominated much of Wednesday night’s contest against the Cincinnati Cyclones, but three-goals in the span of less than four minutes put Cincinnati on top and they would win 4-3. Jordan Sims netted two third period goals to erase the deficit and put his team in front, thus giving Wichita their eighth loss in a row.
The first period would end with the Wichita Thunder on top, despite the fact that the Cyclones had dominated much of the frame. Cincinnati outshot Wichita 12-5, but it would be a Matt DeBlouw’s goal that would send the two teams to the first intermission with the Thunder leading 1-0.
At the 16:19 mark, Jamie Doornbosch made a great pass out of his own end to DeBlouw who was racing down the center of the ice toward the Cincinnati end. That allowed the forward to corral the puck at the blueline and split the defense. He moved in on goal and then went to his backhand at the last second, getting the puck up over the pad of Mark Visentin. Visentin got a piece of the puck but he could not stop it from going in and it was 1-0 Wichita.
It would stay that way into the second period when the Cyclones would tie the score. For much of the period the Thunder controlled the play, evening the shots at 13 a little over halfway into the period. However, at 12:57, Cincinnati entered the Thunder end on a 2-1 break. Alexis Vanier laid out perfectly to block Brandon McNally’s pass, but the puck bounced right back to him and he then passed it across the crease to Peter LeBlanc who tipped it in for his eighth goal of the year.
The Wichita Thunder would retake the lead at the 6:01 mark of the third period. Nick Trecapelli attempted to clear the puck of his own end, but the Cyclones defenseman had himself in position to knock the puck down. However, he misplayed it and it went passed him and onto the stick of Gabriel Gagne. The Thunder forward moved down the right boards on a breakaway and fired a shot over Visentin’s shoulder for his fourth goal of the year.
The lead would only last about five minutes, when Cincinnati would tie it again. Colin Mulvey received a pass from Eric Knodel in the neutral zone and entered into the Wichita end on a 2-on-1 break. The Thunder were in a line change, setting up the break. Mulvey passed across the crease to an open Jordan Sims, who redirected the puck in for the goal to tie the score at two.
A little less than two minutes later they would take the lead. While the Cyclones were on the power-play, Shane Walsh took a shot from the point. The puck was stopped and bounced down to the ice about 10 feet from the goal. Several players whacked at the bouncing puck but no one was able to clear it. Eventually, Sims was able to hit the bouncing puck past Drew Owsley and into the net to give Cincinnati their first lead.
At the 14:27 mark, Cincinnati extended their lead. Dominic Zombo moved into the Thunder end and made a great pass to Mulvey out in front who wristed in the shot for his third goal of the season.
In the span of less than four minutes the Cincinnati Cyclones went from trailing by one to leading by two, and they were in complete control of the game. However, the Thunder were not going down without a fight. With 69-seconds left in the contest, Vincent Dunn gained control of the puck behind the Cincinnati net and passed out in front to Gagne who wristed the puck in for his second goal of the game. That would make it a one-goal game, but Wichita would get no closer, falling 4-3 for their eighth straight loss.
Gagne scored 2-goals for the Thunder in his first game since returning from Binghamton. Jordan Sims scored 2-goals for Cincinnati and Shane Walsh and Jaynen Rissling added 2-assists each. Colin Mulvey added a goal and an assist.
The Wichita Thunder are off on Thursday, then head to Missouri to take on the Mavericks Friday night. Opening faceoff is 7:35.
By Robert Pannier