When you have a name like Bauer and you play hockey, good things are going to be expected of you and that is what the Wichita Thunder got out of their rookie forward on Sunday evening. Lane Bauer scored 2 goals and added an assist and Steven Iacobellis added 2 goals of his own in the 6-4 victory over the Allen Americans. The win moved the Thunder to 11-2-1, tops in the Mountain Division, and the third most points in the ECHL (23).
It looked like Allen would get on the board at the 10:15 mark. With the puck to the right of Joel Rumpel, the pass came to Bryan Moore who was standing alone to the netminder’s left. Moore fired a shot into the empty net but Rumpel dove to his right, coming from out of nowhere to make an unbelievable save to keep the puck out of the net to keep the score tied.
At the 15:40 mark, the Wichita Thunder took the lead. Evan Polei passed the puck to Steven Iacobellis who carried the puck along the boards into the American end. He attempted to pass the puck to the center, but it hit off an Allen player and went into the net for his first goal of the year.
A little over four minutes into the second period, Greg Chase passed the puck to Lane Bauer in front of the net. Bauer buried it over the shoulder of Americans goalie Stephon Williams to make it 2-0.
The two-goal lead did not last long. Just thirteen seconds after the goal, Iacobellis took a penalty. On the power-play, Allen won the ensuing draw. David Makowski got the puck and scored two seconds later to make it 2-1. It was Makowski’s third goal of the season.
Two minutes later the game was tied. Zach Hall carried the puck toward the net on a 2-on-1 break. He held onto it until the last possible second, then fired it across to Colby McAuley who tipped the puck in for his first goal of the year.
The Thunder seemed like they were back on their heels, but that changed when they retook the lead at the 7:54 point of the period. Guillaume Lepine had the puck to the right of the goalkeeper. He fired a pass across the ice to a waiting Lane, who blasted a one-timer in for his second goal of the game and fifth of the season.
At the 11:55 mark, it looked like Allen tied the score. While killing off a penalty, they were able to gain control the puck and went the other way on a 2-on-1 break. The pass came to the front of the net, where it was kicked in for the goal. The referee waved it off.
That proved to be critical as Wichita added a power-play goal 33 seconds later. Etienne Boutet passed the puck from the boards across to Mark MacMillan, who blasted a one-timer in for his eighth goal of the year.
Less than a minute later, Wichita would be back on the board again, and the evening would be over for Williams. Chad Butcher gained control of the puck as he was heading behind the goal and made a nice backhand pass out in front to Chase who buried it up top for his fifth goal of the year. That made it 5-2.
At the 17:31 mark of the period, Boutet took a penalty and the Americans capitalized 10 seconds later. The puck came back to Joel Chouinard at the point, who fired a slapshot that Peter MacArthur tipped into the goal for his fourth goal of the season.
The Thunder responded right away. Boutet passed the puck from the corner out in front of the net to Iacobellis, who fought off a defender before putting the puck in the net for his second goal of the game. That extended the lead back to three.
In the first 14 minutes of the third, neither team was able to get the puck past either Jeremy Brodeur, who took over for Williams, or Rumpel. However, while on the power-play, Allen would cut the deficit to two just 17 seconds after the power-play got underway. Casey Pierro-Zabotel passed to Chouinard, who blasted the puck over the shoulder of Rumpel for his third goal of the season. That came with just 5:43 left in the game.
At 17:08, it looked like Wichita would extend their lead back to three. Butcher carried the puck in on a 2-on-0 break with Chase. He passed the puck to Chase who tipped the puck in near the post, but Brodeur made an incredible pad save to somehow keep the puck out of the net.
The Americans pulled their goalie with 2:11 left in the game, but they would not be able to get another goal by Rumpel. Wichita would be the victors, 6-4, giving the team their first win against Allen at home this season.
Lane Bauer finished with 2 goals and an assist for the Wichita Thunder. That snapped a five game goal scoring drought. Steven Iacobellis had 2 goals and Greg Chase had a goal and 2 assists. Chad Butcher and Guillaume Lepine also each had 2 assists and Mark MacMillan had a goal and an assist. Bryan Moore had 2 assists for Allen. Peter MacArthur, David Makowski, and Joel Chouinard each had a goal and an assist.
The next game for the Thunder is on Wednesday evening when they travel to Kansas City to take on the Mavericks. Game time is 7:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier