The Wichita Thunder have not had much success in overtime against the Missouri Mavericks this season. In their three previous games that went to an extra frame, the Mavericks wound up with the two points, but that was not to be the case on this evening. Vincent Dunn came up with a huge goal following two amazing saves by Drew Owsley to give the Thunder the 2-1 victory in OT.
The only two goals in regulation would come in the first period. It looked like a terrible pattern was going to continue when the Wichita Thunder took a penalty just under three minutes into the contest. Lately, that has resulted in a quick power-play goal for the team’s opponent and them playing catchup all game, but that was not to be the case this night. A little over 40 seconds into the Mavericks power-play the Thunder’s Gerrad Grant gained control of the puck and fed Ian Lowe who beat Josh Robinson for his eighth goal of the season.
At the 14:07 mark, Conner Bleackley tied the score with his first goal of the season. Dane Fox added his 35th assist on the play.
The game could have easily seen four more goals scored in the first, but Robinson and Owsley were absolutely brilliant. The Missouri netminder stopped 13-shots while Owsley kept 15-shots out of the net. It was a wide open first period to say the least.
The second period became a bit more defensive as Missouri continued to dominate in the shots on goal, outshooting Wichita 10-9. However, both goalies kept the puck out of the net, setting up a very tense third period.
In the third, Missouri had their chances to take the lead, blasting 19-shots on the Thunder net. However, Owsley was unreal in some of the saves he made, including a brilliant save deploying the splits with about three minutes left in the game. The Mavericks would outshoot the Thunder 19-11 in the third frame but neither goalie would budge in terms of letting the go ahead goal across.
Into overtime the game went, where the Mavericks looked like they were going to get the victory a little over a minute and a half into the extra session. Two shots by the Mavericks looked like they were going in, but Owsley continued to be brilliant, stoning the opposition on both attempts.
After the second save, the puck went back the other way on the stick of Matt DeBlouw. He passed to Vincent Dunn who took a shot that Robinson saved, but Dunn followed up his own shot and scored his third goal of the year to give Wichita the victory.
Vincent Dunn ended a 16-game scoreless drought with the huge game-winner. Drew Owsley was the difference in the contest, saving 47-shots. Josh Robinson was nearly as brilliant for the Missouri Mavericks, saving 34 of 36 shots.
The Wichita Thunder have two days off before playing two games in Allen starting on Friday. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier