Mitch Maloney Helps Americans Batter Thunder, 8-3
The Wichita Thunder had given away a three goal lead on Saturday, extending their losing streak, so they were looking for a quick start to get out of the rut. However, three minutes into the contest, they found themselves trailing the Allen Americans 3-0, as Allen would go onto to win 8-3. Mitch Maloney continued to be a nemesis for his former team, scoring two goals and Dante Salituro and Braylon Shmyr each had a goal and an assist for the Americans.
The Allen Americans would get an early power-play when the Thunder took a foolish delay of game penalty just six seconds into the contest. That came back to haunt Wichita as the Americans would score a goal with the man advantage for the third straight game against the Thunder. At the 1:49 mark, Joel Chouinard passed the puck to Dante Salituro at the face-off circle. He fired a wrist shot that beat Stuart Skinner to the glove side to make it 2-0.
Just 20 seconds later, the Americans would make it a two goal lead. Josh Atkinson shot the puck into the corner in the Thunder end and Jacob Doty was able to beat the Wichita defenseman to the puck. He passed it to Mitch Maloney who fired a quick wrist shot in for his fifth goal of the year. That was the third straight game Maloney has scored a goal against his former team.
The onslaught continued as the Allen Americans would add to their lead at the 3:39 mark. A bad turnover in the Thunder end gave the Americans the puck deep in Wichita’s end. Braylon Shmyr blasted a shot along the ice that found the far corner of the net for his ninth goal of the year. That would end the night for Skinner.
With 5:54 left in the first and just as the Americans power-play was ending, Salituro had control of the puck behind the Wichita net. He passed the puck in front of the net to Riley Bourbonnais who was streaking down the slot. Bourbonnais directed the puck past Matt Hewitt for his eighth goal of the year.
A minute later Allen would extend their lead to five. Another bad turnover gave the Americans the puck right outside the Thunder end. Doty stole the puck, giving it to Maloney after he entered the Wichita zone. Hewitt saved Maloney’s initial shot, but the Americans forward recovered his own rebound, wristing it in for his second goal of the game.
The Americans had five goals in the first period on just seven shots, and the second would not start out any better for the Thunder. Less than a minute into the second, Allen was on the power-play. The Thunder defender passed the puck right to David Makowski along the boards who skated across the slot, firing a wrist shot by Skinner for his seventh goal of the season.
Seven minutes into the second period, Salituro would complete the hat trick with the Americans third power-play goal of the game. The initial shot by Salituro was saved by Skinner, but Chase Lang batted in the rebound for his third goal of the game. That would draw the hook for Skinner once again.
At 9:27, the Americans would add their fourth power-play goal of the game. Chouinard passed the puck back to Zach Pochiro, who blasted a slapshot over Hewitt’s shoulder to make it 8-0. That was the eighth goal for Allen on just 18 shots.
After Allen had scored 12 straight goals dating to Saturday night’s contest, the Wichita Thunder would finally get on the board. At the 12:48 mark, Jakob Stukel passed the puck ahead to Jesse Gabriel as he moved past the defender, cruising down the slot. Gabriel put the puck over the glove hand of C.J. Motte for his eighth goal this year.
At the eight minute mark of the third, the Thunder would get back on the board. Mark MacMillan carried the puck down the left boards into the Allen end. He blasted a slapshot that beat the Americans goaltender over the glove hand for his 11th goal of the year. Stukel had an assist on the play, his second of the game.
Wichita was not done however, with 3:33 left in the game, Stukel would gain control of the puck in the Allen end, making a nice move in the corner to evade a defender before swooping in front of the net. His shot was saved by Kyle Hayton, but Dominic Zombo batted the rebound in for his first goal of the year. That gave Stukel a three assist night.
Mitch Maloney had two goals in the contest, giving him four against his former team this weekend. Jacob Doty, Joel Chouinard, and Josh Atkinson each had two assists for the Americans.
The Wichita Thunder will look to snap their eight game losing streak (0-6-2) on Friday when they welcome the Kansas City Mavericks to town. The opening faceoff is set for 7:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier