Dickman Scores Twice to Lead Thunder Past Cyclones
WICHITA, KS – Jay Dickman scored twice, including delivering the game-winner as the Wichita Thunder earned their first victory of the season, defeating the Cincinnati Cyclones, 5-4. Beck Warm earned the victory, stopping 35 shots and Brayden Watts had three assists.
Cincinnati jumped out in front 4:44 into the contest when Justin Vaive netted his first tally of the season. Zack Andrusiak received a pass in the high slot, curling toward the blueline before turning and firing a shot on net. Vaive tipped the puck toward the bottom corner past Warm to give the Cyclones a 1-0 lead.
Wichita responded with three unanswered goals, starting at 12:48 when Ryan Finnegan scored his second goal of the season. It was a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that set up the tally. Ethan Roswell led the rush into the Cincinnati zone, passing the puck to Watts, who immediately tipped it back to Finnegan at the far post. He tucked a backhander past Cincinnati netminder Taylan Boyko to knot the score at one.
With a little under two minutes left in the first period, Wichita took the lead. Aaron Miller intercepted a clearing attempt inside the Cyclones zone, then found Michal Stinil who had just crossed the blueline. Stinil lifted a wrist shot that beat Boyko to the blocker side for his first goal of the year.
Wichita held onto the one goal advantage through much of the second period, and were able to extend it to two when Miller netted his first tally of the season 13:35 into the frame. With the Thunder on the power-play, Lleyton Moore passed the puck to Peter Bates, who fed it across the slot to Miller. Miller lifted a wrist shot that beat the Cincinnati netminder over the right shoulder to make it 3-1.
Cincinnati was down, but responded with a goal in the final minute of the second period, then added one in the first minute of the third, both shorthanded tallies. Both came off the stick of Patrick Polino. The first came with 50 seconds left in the second when Jalen Smereck took a shot that Warm saved, but Polino was able to put in the rebound.
Just 27 seconds into the third Polino took a pass in the neutral zone along the boards, sped inside the Wichita and then fired a bad angle shot that beat Warm over the right shoulder to knot the game at three.
The Thunder retook the lead at 7:35 when Dickman scored his first goal of the game. Once again, Wichita was on the power-play when Dickman took a feed from Watts and buried a shot for his first goal of the year.
The Cyclones tied the score a little over five minutes later on the first goal of the season by Andrusiak, but Wichita would not be denied. With just under five minutes left in the contest and the Thunder on the power-play, Dickman took a feed from Watts at the side of the net. Instead of passing, he decided to quickly turn, blasting the puck through the legs of the Cincinnati netminder with the game-winner.
Wichita went 3-8 on the power-play while Cincinnati was 0-5. Moore finished with two assists and Miller had a goal and an assist. Smereck had three assists for Cincinnati.
The Wichita Thunder (1-3-0) welcome the Iowa Heartlanders (0-1-1) for the first of two games starting on Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
by Robert Pannier