Bates Nets Hat Trick to Lead Thunder Past Americans, 4-3
ALLEN, TX – Peter Bates netted his second career professional hat trick to lead the Wichita Thunder to a 4-3 victory over the Allen Americans. Jay Dickman scored the other goal and added an assist and Lleyton Moore had two assists for the Thunder.
The Thunder looked like they were going to blow out the Americans on their own home ice, netting the first three goals of the contest. Bates scored twice in the first period, helping to stake his team to a two-goal advantage coming out of the first frame.
The first came 6:05 into the contest when Moore fed the puck to Bates near the crease. He beat Mark Sinclair with a shot to the glove side for his 10th goal of the year. A little over five minutes later, Bates added his second goal of the night, this time scoring on the power-play. Once again it was Moore setting up the tally, as he fed a diagonal pass through the slot to the right face-off circle, where Bates blasted a one-timer by Sinclair to extend the lead to two.
Dickman made it a three-goal advantage 2:54 into the second period. Jake Wahlin made a beautiful pass through a net of players into the slot area, right onto the stick of Dickman. He then charged toward the right post, stuffing the puck past the Allen netminder for his 11th goal of the year.
The Americans were down and were in danger of being blown out, however, Allen responded with three unanswered goals of their own. The first came 1:21 after the Dickman tally when William Provost scored his second goal of the year. His shot beat Georgi Romanov to make it 3-1.
With 3:52 left in the second, Eric Williams got on the board, cutting the deficit to one. He entered the Wichita zone on a rush, opting to take the shot, beating Romanov with his first goal of the year.
The Americans kept pouring in on, tying the score with 52 seconds left in the second frame. This time it was Brandon Puricelli with the goal, scoring on a backhander on the power-play to knot the game at three.
It was a shocking turnaround for Allen, but Wichita came out in the third period unfazed. The two teams battled back and forth, as each team had 13 shots on net, but Bates delivered the game-winner with 4:03 left in the contest when he finished off the hat trick. The Thunder were on a 5-0n-3 advantage when Aaron Miller took a shot that Sinclair saved, but Bates pounced on the rebound, putting it home with the game-winner.
Romanov finished with 31 saves to earn his second victory in as many starts. Bates now has points in five consecutive games, scoring four goals and adding six assists in the span.
The Wichita Thunder (8-11-2) return home to take on the Rapid City Rush (6-10-1) on Sunday. The puck drops at 4:05.
by Robert Pannier