Sakellaropoulos, Ginn Duel to Shootout in 1-0 Mavericks Win
It was one for the ages. Wichita Thunder netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos and Kansas City Mavericks goalie Matt Ginn matched each other save for save Sunday evening – 78 in all to be exact. That led to a 0-0 tie through an overtime session, forcing a shootout where the Mavericks won it on an Adam Brady tally in Round 3. That snapped the Thunder’s four game winning streak but extended their point streak to five.
Surprisingly for a scoreless affair, the contest began at a frenetic pace, as both teams had several good scoring opportunities through the first. Wichita outshot Kansas City 16-13 in the first and had their first scoring opportunity eight seconds into the game when Anthony Beauregard received a pass just outside the Kansas City blueline that sent him in on a breakaway but Ginn stoned him with a pad save.
Just past the six-minute mark Adam Graves made a perfect pass through the neutral zone to Beau Starrett, freeing him on a breakaway. Starrett tried to go to his backhand, but Ginn was able to slide over to make a nice pad save.
The play earned Starrett a penalty shot. He moved in looking like he would go to his forehand, which got Ginn to shift to his right, before coming back to his backhand as he looked to tuck the puck in the corner of the net, but the Kansas City goaltender flashed out his leg to kick aside the attempt.
Sakellaropoulos made a number of great saves as well. He was not as busy as Ginn stopping 19 shots through the first two periods, while the Mavericks netminder had to make 29 stops, but the third period was all Kansas City and Sakellaropoulos was the only reason the game remained scoreless.
Wichita was outshot 17-4 in the third. The Thunder netminder came up with a number of big saves, including in the closing minutes of the period when Nick Pastujov fired a shot that Sakellaropoulos saved, but the rebound went right to Bryan Lemos on the other side of the net. He fired a one-timer but Sakellaropoulos quickly scurried over to stop the shot.
Each team had their opportunities in the overtime session, but neither could capitalize. That sent the game to a shootout. In Round 1, Brodie Reid got Sakellaropoulos down on the ice before putting one under the crossbar. Peter Crinella tied the score in Round 2 with a wrist shot just over the blocker of Ginn. In Round 3, Brady beat Sakellaropoulos with a wrist shot, but Ginn denied Patrik Parkkonen with a glove save.
Sakellaropoulos finished with 41 saves while Ginn had 37. The overtime loss dropped Wichita to 20-6-4. Kansas City moved to 13-12-4.
By Robert Pannier