Beauregard, Wichita Rally in Second to Down Kansas City, 3-2
The Wichita Thunder found themselves trailing 2-0 entering the second period, but three unanswered goals helped the team to rally for a 3-2 victory. Anthony Beauregard led the way for Wichita, scoring a goal and adding two assists in the second period. Jay Dickman added two assists. Evan Buitenhuis stopped 27 of 29 shots for his first victory in a Thunder uniform.
A night after downing the Thunder, 6-4, the Mavericks came out gunning, outshooting Wichita 13-6 in the first period. That helped to give the team a 2-0 lead heading to the first intermission.
The first goal for Kansas City came at 4:32. Zach Osburn moved in on Buitenhuis, drawing the goaltender to the left post before firing a pass across the slot to Bryan Lemos, who blasted a one-timer past the Wichita netminder for his fifth goal of the year.
A little over 10 minutes later Kansas City was back on the board. Rob Bordson fired a shot that bounced off the end boards and right out to Darik Angeli at the opposite side post. He knocked the puck in for his ninth tally of the season.
Kansas City had dominated the first 20 minutes of the game, but Wichita completely controlled the second, outshooting Kansas City 10-7.
Beauregard cut the deficit to one with a goal 2:59 into the period. The Thunder forward entered the Kansas City zone on a 2-on-1 break. It looked as though Matt Greenfield was sure Beauregard was going to pass the puck but he didn’t, taking a wrist shot that beat the Kansas City netminder glove side for his 15th goal of the year.
A little less than nine minutes later, Wichita tied the score. Dickman entered the Mavericks zone along the boards, dropping the puck back to Beauregard who quickly sped down the boards around the net, coming out to the other side. He dished the puck out in front, where Charlie Combs moved in, blasting in the shot for his first goal of the season. That tied the score at two.
At 17:33, the Thunder took the lead. Beauregard had the puck behind the net once again, this time looking for Austin McIlmurray out in front. However, the pass did not connect, but Mathieu Gagnon was able to scoop up the puck, firing a wrist shot that beat Greenfield to the far post for his third goal of the year.
Wichita looked to preserve that one-goal lead in the third, as Kansas City put the pressure on. That enabled the Mavericks to outshoot Wichita 9-3, but Buitenhuis made several key saves. It was an impressive performance by the Wichita goaltender, who was called into emergency service Friday evening when Evan Weninger went down during warm-ups. Buitenhuis finished with 27 saves, including stopping the final 20 shots he faced.
These teams will complete their weekend series in Kansas City on Thursday. The puck drops at 4:05.
By Robert Pannier