It took a little while to get it going, but the power-play for the Wichita Thunder is really starting to click. After failing to score with the man advantage through the first four games of the season, the Thunder scored four times on the power-play Friday night on their way to a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Mavericks. Jamie Doornbosch and Lane Bauer each had 3 assists in the game, helping Wichita to move to 9-1-0, the best record in the ECHL.
Despite being outshot in the first period 16-8, it would be the Thunder that would leave the frame on top. At the 9:31 mark and with delayed penalty against Kansas City being called, Jamie Doornbosch took a shot that hit off the boards and bounced out to Dyson Stevenson. Stevenson was wide open in front of the empty-net and he buried the puck for his second goal of the season.
It would not take long for the Wichita Thunder to extend their lead. Less than a minute later, with the team still on the power-play, Doornbosch fired a shot from the point that Mason McDonald saved, but the rebound came right to Mark MacMillan who put it in for his sixth goal of the year. That made it 2-0 Wichita.
In the second, Wichita would extend their lead to three just 1:44 into the period. Jeremy Beaudry made a brilliant pass to Greg Chase who wristed the puck into the net for his third goal since joining the Thunder.
The Mavericks responded less than a minute later to cut their deficit to two. Eric Freschi swooped in front of the net and beat Shane Starrett with the back-hand that made it 3-1. It was the first goal of the season for Freschi.
Five minutes later the game got a lot more exciting when Shawn Pauly scored his first goal of the season. That made it 3-2.
The Mavericks were dominating play, but two power-play goals virtually sealed the deal for Wichita. At the 11:59 mark, Beaudry passed the puck to Travis Brown who fired the one-timer from the right face-off circle, scoring his second goal of the season.
Three minutes later, the lead would be back to three. Doornbosch fired a shot that was saved, but the puck was loose in front of the Mavericks net. Istvan Sofron was able to corral the loose puck and put it in the net for his second goal of the year to make it 5-2.
That would be the score heading into the third. Kansas City continued to pepper Starrett in the period. He had saved 28 shots through the first two periods and would save 13 more in the third as neither team was able to find the back of the net. That is until Travis Ewaynk scored with eight seconds left in the game to make it 6-2. That was the fourth goal of the season for Ewanyk.
The Thunder finished 4 for 5 on the power-play. Jamie Doornbosch and Lane Bauer each had 3 assists for Wichita. Mark MacMillan and Greg Chase had a goal and an assist apiece, and Jeremy Beaudry had 2 assists. Shane Starrett saved 41 shots moving to 6-0-0 on the season. Shawn Pauly had a goal and an assist for Kansas City.
The Wichita Thunder remain in Kansas City to take on the Mavericks Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier