The Wichita Thunder continued the hottest start in franchise history, moving to 10-1-0 in the 4-2 victory over the Kansas City Mavericks. Mark MacMillan helped lead the way to victory, scoring a goal and adding 2 assists, and Travis Brown added 2 assists of his own. Joel Rumpel saved 26 shots for his fourth win of the season.
A night after the Mavericks dominated the shots on goal yet came out of the first period trailing 2-0, the team dominated once again, outshooting Wichita 14-3, yet the game was tied after the first period. The Thunder took the lead at the 5:40 mark when Mark MacMillan fed the puck in the crease to Greg Chase, who put it home for his fourth goal of the season. It was also the seventh point for Chase in his five games with Wichita.
With a 1:31 left in the period, the Kansas City Mavericks tied the score. Matt Robertson scored his sixth goal of the season to tie the game, capping off a stretch where the Mavericks outshot Wichita 12-1.
In the second period, Wichita took the lead for good. With the Thunder on the power-play, MacMillan passed the puck to Jeremy Beaudry who blasted the one-timer in for his third goal of the season. It was the team’s fifth power-play goal in the last two games.
It would stay that way until the 17 minute mark when Travis Ewanyk would make it a two goal lead for Wichita. Travis Brown passed the puck to Ewanyk, who made an unbelievable play before putting the puck in the net to make it 3-1. That was the forward’s fifth goal of the season.
With 1:22 left in the period, it would be Robertson with the late goal again. This time he beat Rumpel for his seventh goal of the season to make it 3-2.
Each team had their chances in the third period. The first came when Kansas City looked like they had tied the score, but the net had come off of its pegs, and the goal was waved off. The Thunder had a golden opportunity when Ewanyk and Istvan Sofron entered a 2-on-1 break, but Sofron was not able to gain control of the puck and the play fell apart.
It looked like the Mavericks would tie the score at the 13:53 mark when Rocco Carzo had the puck right in front of the net. He made a point-blank shot, but Joel Rumpel made a brilliant save to keep the puck of the net.
With three seconds left in the game, MacMillan added an empty-net goal. It was his seventh goal of the season.
Mark MacMillan finished with a goal and 2 assists. Travis Brown had 2 assists and Travis Ewanyk had a goal and an assist. Joel Rumpel made 26 saves to move to 4-1-0 on the season. Matt Robertson had 2 goals for Kansas City and Jared VanWormer added 2 assists.
The Wichita Thunder are off until Wednesday when they will take on the Kansas City Mavericks at home. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier