Thunder Fall Short, Fort Wayne Takes the Series in OT, 3-2
On June 14th, it was winner take all to determine who would end up facing the Allen Americans for the Western Conference Finals. Unfortunately, the Wichita Thunder came out short. It was a hard fought contest, but Fort Wayne took a heartbreaking Game 5 win in overtime, 4-3.
In period number one, it was rather quiet. Oliver Cooper opened up the scoring for the Komets, at 2:12. Assists went to Alan Lyszczarczyk and Matt Murphy. Those would be the only events knotted on the scoresheet for the first.
Heading into the middle frame, Mathieu Brodeur ripped a shot from the point that went through quite a bit of traffic making it a 2-1 game, where Anthony Petruzzelli and Nick Boka picked up the assists. Not even a minute later, Matteo Gennaro continued his offensive success by scoring a goal to tie it at 2. Then in the last minute, Anthony Nellis found the back of the net where Matthew Boudens and Olivier Galipeau picked up assists. After that goal was scored, Mathieu Gagnon and Boudens got into it and each picked up matching roughing minors. Fort Wayne went 0-1 on the powerplay that period but managed to skate off the ice with the 3-2 lead.
Wichita came into the 3rd period putting up a hard fight. Jay Dickman scored the lone goal, finding his own rebound at 9:53 in the final 20. Picking up assists were Alex Peters and Noel Hoefenmayer. Fort Wayne had thought they scored shortly after but that goal was waived off. Gagnon was sent to the box at the very end for cross-checking, which carried over into OT.
Bonus hockey! It’s fun to watch until your team is playing, especially when your team’s season is on the line. Wichita came out successful on the penalty kill, but it was Boudens getting the last laugh, off an assist from Blake Siebenaler, as he was just able to squeak the puck under the glove of Evan Buitenhuis, who had a phenomenal performance in net for the Wichita Thunder.
Regardless of the outcome of this series, both teams played phenomenal. Despite Wichita’s injury-tainted roster, they played until the final buzzer. You can’t go without giving credit to Fort Wayne either, especially netminder Dylan Ferguson who had an amazing series.
Fort Wayne and Allen will now square off to decide who will head to the Kelly Cup Finals on the Western Conference side.
by Gabe Daniel