Kent Patterson has only been with the Wichita Thunder for a few days, but he sure knows how to make a good first impression. The new Thunder goalie blanked the Allen Americans, the highest scoring team in the ECHL, in his debut with the team, as Wichita snapped a six-game losing streak to the Americans, winning 4-0. Vincent Arseneau had a huge night in the victory as well, scoring a goal and adding 2-assists.
The Allen Americans took control of the game early, maintaining control of the puck in the Wichita end for much of the first few minutes of the period, however, a goal by Vincent Arseneau, his 10th of the season, turned the tide of the game. Alexis Vanier passed the puck to Arseneau, who carried it into the Allen end. Arseneau crossed the blueline and fired a slap shot that beat Jamie Murray through the legs to give the Wichita Thunder the early 1-0 lead.
From there, the Thunder controlled the play, allowing the Americans just four shots on net in the first period, and only two over the last 17-minutes of the period. Meanwhile, Wichita took 16-shots on Murray.
With 1:41 left in the first, the Americans would take a penalty, putting the Thunder on the power-play. The visitors would be unable to capitalize and 19-seconds remained on the man advantage when the second period began. Three seconds after that penalty ended, Ian Lowe made outlet pass up to Arseneau. He carried the puck into the Allen end and passed to Gerrad Grant, who made a great move to his backhand to fake out Murray, sliding the puck under the goalie’s pads and into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
At the 3:41 mark of the second the Thunder would score again. Wichita was relentless on the forecheck, keeping the puck in the Allen end. Arseneau and Louick Marcotte would get good shots on Murray that he saved, but Macoy Erkamps blasted a shot past the Allen goalie for his second goal of the season. That made the score 3-0.
With about nine-minutes gone in the second period, the Allen Americans would gain control of the tempo, but Kent Patterson was brilliant in keeping the puck out of the net. In the first 29-minutes, the home team had just five shots on net, but in the span of five minutes they would take nine-shots.
At the 11-minute mark Josh Brittain took a shot that Patterson saved, but the puck dropped and the Thunder goalie could not locate it. It would roll to the side of the net, but Patterson would recover to gain control.
A little over a minute later Eric Roy would receive a pass at the side of the net, but Patterson would spread eagle to absolutely stone Roy. The Americans continued to press the attack but could not get the puck past the Thunder goalie.
The Thunder would eventually gain control of the tempo and add to their lead with five minutes left in the period. David Friedmann gained control of the puck and fired a shot as he was moving toward the slot, beating Murray for his first goal since joining Wichita.
Kent Patterson saved all 25-shots he faced in his debut for the team. Vincent Arseneau finished with a goal and 2-assists. Three other Wichita Thunder players had goals and five others added assists.
After the game, Thunder Head Coach Malcolm Cameron had nothing but for his team played in front of his goalkeeper. “He played simple and made the saves we ask him to make. He really controlled the rebounds and our defense did a much job tonight in front of him in terms of battling, getting sticks in front, blocking the net, so I was very pleased with that. That has to be a trend going forward from here.
That trend will hopefully continue tomorrow night as these two teams will go at it again tomorrow night, but will travel north to Wichita to play. Game time is 4:00.