Michael Garteig Silences Thunder; Alaska Aces Win, 5-0
Following the Wichita Thunder’s 5-1 victory Friday night, Head Coach Malcolm Cameron expressed his concerns that the Alaska Aces would come out for Saturday’s game on fire, looking to take control of the game early. That is exactly what they did, peppering Drew Owsley for 22-shots in the first period and netting an early goal in a 5-0 win over the Thunder. Michael Garteig was absolutely brilliant in the game, stopping 36-shots to move to 6-1 and Tim Wallace had a goal and 2-assists for the Aces in the victory.
The Alaska Aces took control of the play right from the start. They forced the play in the Thunder end and looked like they were going to get a goal at the 5:15 mark when the puck took a weird bounce in front of the net and right onto the stick of Garet Hunt. He blasted a quick shot from right on the doorstep, but Owsley made a great save to keep the game scoreless.
A little over a minute later, Alaska would take the lead. Peter Sivak took a shot that the Wichita goalie saved, but the rebound bounced right to Stephen Perfetto at the side of the net. He tucked it into the net for his seventh goal of the season, and it was 1-0 Aces.
The score could have gotten much worse, but Owsley was brilliant all period long. He made a great play on Daniel Moynihan at the 8:14 mark on a wraparound attempt, and then stopped a flurry of shots one after another with a little over six minutes left in the period. With a little under three minutes left in the period he stopped two point blank shots right in front of the net when an Aces forward was left on the door step unguarded.
The Alaska Aces had dominated the first period but only held onto a one-goal lead. However, the roof would cave in on the Thunder in the second.
At the 5:17 mark, Owsley went behind the net to play the puck and shuttled it along the boards, but it went right to Tim Coffman, who made a fantastic tic-tac-toe pass to Justin Breton and onto the stick of Moynihan, who directed the puck into the net for his second goal of the season.
Just 37-seconds later the Aces were back on the scoreboard and would chase Owsley. Perfetto passed ahead to Tim Wallace who split two defenders and then swept in front of the net where he scored under the pads of the Thunder goalie.
Coach Cameron decided to change his goalie, but the results did not change. At the 15:25 mark Alaska was back on the board. A misplay by the Wichita defender gave Hunt control of the puck behind the Thunder net. He passed out quickly to Tommy Olczyk who put it home to move the score to 4-0.
Just 36-seconds later, the Aces would close out the scoring. Wallace passed to Moynihan in the slot. He fired a shot that Greenham could not corral and it was 5-0.
The Wichita Thunder had been outshot through the first two periods 34-19, but they came alive in the third. A rejuvenated team put 17-shots on net, but Garteig was brilliant. He would stop all 36-shots he faced in recording his first shutout of the season.
Besides the three points by Wallace, Coffman added 3-assists. Moynihan scored 2-goals for the Aces, and Sivak had 2-assists. Perfetto had a goal and an assist.
These two teams will finish out their three-game series tomorrow night. The puck drops at 4:05.
By Robert Pannier