The Wichita Thunder jumped out to an early lead Friday night, only to see the Missouri Mavericks rally behind three third period goals in the 4-2 victory. Matt Finn led the way for the visitors with a goal and an assist, spoiling a night where Ryan Tesink had two assists. The victory was the second straight for Missouri.
The Wichita Thunder would look like they would jump out in front at 13:16 of the first period when Matt DeBlouw made a great move down the slot and put a back-hander and into the goal for the 1-0 lead. However, upon further review the referee determined that the puck did not cross the line completely and goal was waved off.
Three minutes later the Thunder would take the lead. Ian Lowe knocked the puck down near the left side of the goal and it came to Maxime St-Cyr, who put the puck in for his eighth goal of the season.
The lead would vaporize with just 52 seconds left in the first when Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel’s shot from the point was tipped in by Andrew Courtney for his ninth goal of the year. That sent the two teams to the locker room with the game tied at one.
In the second period, both Josh Robinson for Missouri and Drew Owsley for Wichita each made great saves to keep the game tied at one. The Thunder outshot Missouri 29-18 through the first two periods, but the third period would continue to be the Achilles heel for Wichita this season.
At the 7:01 mark of the final period, Justin Breton made a pass from near the boards to Conner Bleackley, who was streaking down the slot toward the goal. He tipped the puck past Owsley to give the Mavericks their first lead of the game.
Just 86 seconds later they would extend their lead to two. Matt Finn’s shot from the point was tipped by Rocco Carzo into the net for his 18th goal of the year and it was 3-1 Missouri.
A little over a minute later the Thunder would cut the deficit in half. With the Thunder on a delayed power-play, Ryan Tesink knocked the puck out to the slot area from behind the net. Jamie Doornbosch gained control and moved to his left before burying a wrist shot in the back of the net for his 10th goal of the year.
The Thunder were fired up, but four minutes later Missouri would extend their lead back to two. While on the power-play, Josh Robinson passed the puck to Matt Finn at the Wichita Thunder blueline. He split between three defenders and down the slot before beating Owsley to make it 4-2. That is how the game would end.
Matt Finn finished with a goal and an assist for the Missouri Mavericks. Josh Robinson saved 41 of the 43 shots he faced and had an assist. Drew Owsley made 29 saves for the Wichita Thunder. Ryan Tesink added 2-assists.
The Thunder travel to Missouri tomorrow night. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier