Bates, Gorsuch Lead Thunder to 3-2 Victory
WICHITA, KS – Peter Bates scored a goal and added an assist and Trevor Gorsuch made 30 saves as the Wichita Thunder defeated the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday evening, 3-2. The victory gave Wichita a split of the two-game set.
Bates scored the only goal of the first period, putting Wichita on top with just 45 seconds left in the frame. The Thunder were on the power-play when Michal Stinil passed the puck to Bates in the slot. He lifted a wrist shot by Komets netminder Tyler Parks for his 23rd goal of the year.
Fort Wayne was able to tie the score 3:17 into the second. Jack Gorniak gained control of the loose puck near the end boards, moved in front, then lifted a backhander by Gorsuch for his sixth goal of the year.
The Thunder responded five minutes later when Mitchell Russell scored his second goal of the season to put Wichita on top for good. Bates had the puck near the half boards, drawing Parks his direction. He waited for Russell to get free in front of the crease, making a perfect pass that his teammate redirected past the Fort Wayne netminder to make it 2-1.
With a little under two minutes left in the second, Jason Pineo scored his eighth goal of the season to extend the advantage to two. Dillon Boucher was attempting to connect with Pineo near the front of the net. The pass was deflected by Connor Corcoran, but right to Pineo, who blasted in the puck to make it 3-1.
Corcoran got a little redemption in the third when he scored on the power-play a little over five minutes into the frame. Jack Dugan moved the puck to Corcoran at the left face-off circle. He lifted a wrist shot that beat Gorsuch over the shoulder to make it 3-2.
Fort Wayne put on a feverish display in the third, outshooting Wichita 21-5. However, Gorsuch was spectacular, stopping 30 shots overall to earn his third victory of the year.
They Wichita Thunder (14-24-7) head to the road on Wednesday to take on the Allen Americans (20-24-3). The puck drops at 7:10.
by Robert Pannier