Ginn Masterful in Shutout of Thunder, 1-0
Matt Ginn continued his domination of the Wichita Thunder on Wednesday night, shutting out the team for the second straight time in a 1-0 Kansas City Mavericks victory. Ginn had been a part of a great 1-0 battle won by the Mavericks back on March 7 when he and Alex Sakellaropoulos each took a shutout through overtime, a contest that Kansas City won in shootout. Wednesday night he outdueled Evan Weninger, stopping 22 shots. Rob Bordson had the only goal of the game, scoring five minutes into the third period.
The first period was a defensive struggle as there were only seven shots through the first 11 minutes. That did not mean that there were not great opportunities. The Mavericks had two shots that rung off the post and the Thunder had a couple of opportunities of their own, but both Weninger and Ginn were dominant.
The pace in the second picked up slightly. After Wichita outshot Kansas City in the first, 7-6, the Mavericks began to step up their game, outshooting the Thunder 10-8 in the frame. They produced several great chances, including 10:50 when a perfect pass across the set-up Brodie Reid for the one-timer, but Weninger was able quickly slide over and make the save.
At 13:15, a pass from the corner came right to Brendan Robbins in front of the net. He quickly turned and fired a point-blank attempt that Weninger snuffed out.
It had been 112 minutes since a player had scored a goal in a game between these teams, but that run came to an end five minutes into the third. C.J. Eick knocked the puck ahead to Reid. Reid was moving across the blue line inside the Thunder zone, when he made a beautiful behind the back pass to Bordson. That gave the Mavericks forward a clear path to the net. He moved just inside the right faceoff circle before firing a wrist shot that beat Weninger over the shoulder.
Ginn made the one goal stand despite the best efforts of the Thunder. Just after the 10-minute mark, Stefan Fournier and Brayden Watts were trying to stuff the puck past the Kansas City netminder when it was loose in the crease, but Ginn saved both attempts before the puck was knocked behind the net.
Ginn finished with 22 saves for his second shutout of the season. It was the third 1-0 shutout by the Mavericks of the Thunder this season. Weninger finished with 24 saves.
The Thunder drop to 23-11-5 with the loss. Kansas City moves to 15-13-8, extending their consecutive point streak to six games (2-0-3-1). These two teams battle again on Friday. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier