Dickman Dominates as Thunder Down Americans
WICHITA, KS – Very rarely, does it seem, that fans pay much attention to who the No. 1 star of a game is, but Jay Dickman made his presence known on Wednesday, leading the Wichita Thunder to a 5-2 victory over the Allen Americans. The veteran’s tenacity and skill lead to a goal and an assist, but it was his vision that made him the top player on the ice on Wednesday, as the forward made a number of great plays during penalty kills and in the offensive zone, helping lead Wichita to their fifth straight victory, including their fourth straight scoring at least five goals.
After a scoreless first people, the Thunder used a double-minor by Lord Anthony Grissom to score two power-play goals in the span of 1:03 to take a 2-0 lead. The first came at 10:26, when Michal Stinil had the puck at the left faceoff circle. He drew Allen netminder Luke Peressini his direction before making a perfect pass to the opposite post, where Dickman redirected the puck in for his fifth goal of the year. It was the third straight game that Dickman found the back of the net.
At 11:29, Billy Constantinou extended the lead to two. Dickman made a great play at the blueline to keep a clearing attempt inside the Americans zone, then found Constantinou moving down the slot. The defenseman fired a wrist shot that beat Peressini over the glove for his first goal of the season. It was the sixth power-play goal by the Thunder in their last two games.
The Americans did not record a shot through the first 14 minutes of the second period and had just seven shots 34 minutes in the contest, but their first shot of the frame cut the deficit in half. Hank Crone moved the puck to the point to Zachary Massicotte, who fired a laser over the blocker of Evan Buitenhuis for his third goal of the season.
Just 41 seconds later, Timur Ibragimov restored the two-goal advantage for Wichita. Kenny Hausinger fed the puck to Ibragimov as he was flying through the neutral zone. The forward entered the Allen end, moving off the boards as he split two defensemen, then sped across the slot, chopping a wrist shot over the blocker of Peressini for his fifth goal of the year.
In the third, the Americans came alive, pressuring the Thunder in their own zone, creating a number of great scoring chances. However, Buitenhuis was spectacular, making three great saves in the first 10 minutes of the frame to keep his team on top by two.
At 10:07, Quinn Preston rewarded his netminder, extending the lead to three. Brayden Watts passed the puck to Preston in the slot, who fired a shot just under the cross bar and in for his 10th goal of the year.
The Americans responded 50 seconds later. Mikael Robidoux took a shot that Buitenhuis made a great save on, but the rebound fell right in front of him and Grissom was able to knock it in for his second of the season.
Allen continued to pressure, but Watts sealed the victory with a little over two minutes left in the game. Dillon Hamaliuk made a beautiful cross ice pass to Watts as he was heading to the back door. The forward tipped the puck in for his team leading 17th goal of the season to make it 5-2.
Watts also finished with a goal and an assist, giving him points in seven straight games. Dickman has points in five straight contests and has scored a goal and recorded an assist in three straight games. Preston had a goal and two assists and Hamaliuk and Stinil each had two assists. Buitenhuis stopped 23 shots and has won his last five games.
The Wichita Thunder (17-9-2) head to Texas on Friday to begin a two-game set with the Allen Americans (8-16-1). The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier