Lammon, Americans Rally to Down Thunder, 4-3
The Wichita Thunder looked like they were on their way to their fifth straight road victory on Wednesday evening, leading the Allen American 3-2 heading into the third period. However, Josh Lammon’s second goal of the game tied the score and Corey Mackin won it with a little less than 10 minutes left in the contest to give Allen the 4-3 victory. The victory moved the Americans (13-4-0) seven points ahead of Wichita (9-4-1) in the Western Conference standings.
The Americans dominated the action through the first 10 minutes, making Thunder netminder Evan Weninger the star of the show early. Weninger made 13 saves through the first 10-plus minutes as Allen was relentless. Their tenacity led to a golden opportunity at 8:20 when Matt Register fired a shot from the point that the Thunder goalie kicked aside. Allen regained control of the puck, as Dyson Stevenson fired a shot on net that Weninger was able to somehow see through a screen, knocking it aside to Jesse Mychan. He gained control, then fired a wrist shot what Weninger gloved to earn a stoppage.
Wichita was being badly outplayed early on, but they would get the first goal. Just before the 11-minute mark, John Albert passed the puck to Gorie Green, who redirected the puck on Justin Kapelmaster. The Americans netminder made the save, but Green recovered his own rebound, putting it in for his fifth goal of the year.
The Americans responded right away, tying the score just 23 seconds later. Macklin passed the puck to Mychan who fired a one timer by Weninger for his ninth goal of the year.
The score was tied at one coming out of the first intermission, but Wichita changed that when Stefan Fournier scored his seventh goal of the year 3:48 into the second. Anthony Beauregard made a perfect pass to Fournier at the left face-off circle, who blasted the one timer by Kapelmaster to make it 2-1 Wichita lead.
A little over three minutes later, Allen used the power play to tie the score once again. The Americans were doing a great job moving the puck in the Wichita end. Samuel Laberge fed the puck to Lammon, who beat the Thunder goalie over the shoulder for his fifth goal of the season.
With a little less than five minutes left in the period, the Thunder retook the lead. Dean Stewart fired a shot that Albert tipped past Kapelmaster for his first goal of the year.
Wichita had a 3-2 heading into the third, but Allen completely dominated the period, outshooting the Thunder, 15-6. That led to two goals and the lead. The first came when Lammon lit the lamp for the second time in the game. Register passed the puck to Laberge near the faceoff circle who then fed it to Lammon. He corralled the puck on his stick before beating Weninger over the shoulder.
At the 10:36 mark, Allen was on the power-play and used a perfect tic-tac-toe setup from Mychan to Conner Bleackley to Macklin. He beat the Thunder netminder to the far post for his eighth goal of the year. That made it 4-3, which would be the final.
Green and Albert both had a goal and an assist for Wichita. Stewart had two assists. Bleackley and Laberge each had a pair of assists for Allen. Kapelmaster stopped 27 of 30 shots to earn the victory. Weninger stopped 32 shots for Wichita.
These two teams will meet again in Allen on Friday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier