The Kansas City Mavericks had been winless in their first three contests of the season against Wichita this season, but that streak came to an abrupt end on Wednesday night. Tyler Parsons only allowed one goal, saving 38 shots to lead the Mavericks to the 2-1 victory over the Wichita Thunder. Darren Nowick gave his team the victory with an unassisted goal in overtime.
It would not take long for the Mavericks to take the lead in this game. At the 3:17 mark, Jordan Kwas gained control of the puck in the Wichita end and passed to Mike McMurtry who was moving down the slot. McMurtry used the Thunder defenseman to shield Wichita goalie Shane Starrett, firing a wrist shot in for his fourth goal of the season.
The Thunder had a golden opportunity to tie the score with about four minutes left in the first. While on the power-play, Travis Brown fired a shot that he only got a partial piece of. The puck was saved by Tyler Parsons, but came right to the side of the net where Istvan Sofron stood. Sofron tried to put the puck up and into the net, but he could not get it over the pad of Parsons.
Wichita dominated the first period, outshooting Kansas City 18-3, but it looked like the Mavericks would get on the board again early in the second period. At the 2:15 mark, a bad giveaway gave Jared VanWormer the puck right in front of the Wichita net. He carried the puck across the crease looking to tuck the puck into the net on the far post, however it was knocked off his stick, but right to Darren Nowick who fired a shot on net, but Starrett made a nice pad save to keep the puck out of the net.
Two minutes later it would be VanWormer with a chance again. He was standing alone in front of the Wichita net when the puck was passed off the boards right to him. He went to the backhand looking to put the puck in, but Starrett made a great kick save to keep it out of the net.
Nine minutes into the frame, it looked like McMurtry would get his second goal of the game. Another bad giveaway gave the Kansas City forward the puck in the slot. He fired a wrist shot, but the Thunder goalie made the save again.
That proved to be huge. A little over a minute later, Sofron got the puck in the slot as he was moving away from the net. He made a nifty backhand pass to Zach O’Brien who was standing alone on the other side of the net. O’Brien fired a one-timer that found the back of the net, his fifth goal of the season.
With 2:47 left in the period it looked like Kansas City would retake the lead. McMurtry entered the Thunder end on a 2 on 1 break, passing to Nowick at the last moment, but his redirection could not get passed Starrett, who spread eagle to make an amazing save.
With 43 seconds left in the game it looked like it was all over. The Thunder were killing off a Mavericks power-play when Travis Ewanyk picked the pocket of the Kansas City defenseman and started a 2 on 1 break. He entered the Mavericks zone and held on to the puck until the last second before passing to O’Brien. The puck hit off of O’Brien’s skate and rolled across the crease, but did not cross the line before Parsons was able to pounce on it.
Wichita had dominated the shots 39-24, but the game ended 1-1 in regulation, sending it to overtime. It would not take long for Kansas City to win. Just 19 seconds into the extra frame, Darren Nowick carried the puck into the Thunder end and fired a shot that beat Starrett for his fourth goal of the season.
Tyler Parsons saved 38 of 39 shots for Kansas City. Shane Starrett saved 23 shots.
The Wichita Thunder return to the ice on Saturday when they welcome the Allen Americans. The puck drops at 7:05.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier