Idaho Dominate Second Period, Draw First Blood with Thunder
BOISE, ID – The Wichita Thunder were hoping to take a bite into the 10 point lead the Idaho Steelheads held in the Mountain Division entering Wednesday’s action, but three second period goals and four unanswered tallies proved to be too much as the Thunder fell in Boise, 4-1. Four different players scored for Idaho and Patrick Kudla and Ryan Dmowski each had two points. Brayden Watts had the lone goal for Wichita.
Wichita took the lead 7:36 into the contest when Watts netted his 22nd goal of the season. With the Steelheads on the power-play, Watts intercepted a pass at his own blueline, then fed the puck to Timur Ibragimov, who fed it back to Watts, springing him on a breakaway. The Thunder forward moved in on Remi Porter, beating him with a wrist shot to make it 1-0.
The Thunder outshot Idaho 11-7 in the first and had the better of the play through the first 20 minutes, but the Steelheads dominated the second period, scoring three goals while holding the Thunder to just four shots.
The first goal came at 1:49, tying the score at one. Jack Becker passed the puck to Janis Svanenberg, who was moving away from the net, but opted to take a wrist shot, finding the upper corner for his 10th tally of the year.
At 3:17, Justin Misiak gave his team the lead. Kudla took the puck behind the net, waited for a moment, then fed the puck in front to Misiak, who buried the one-timer for his sixth goal of the season.
At 13:51, Dmowski scored a power-play goal to extend the lead to two. Dawson Barteaux found Dmowski at the right faceoff circle, who blasted a one-timer just inside the far post and the Steelheads were rolling.
Idaho continued to shutdown the Thunder, holding them to four shots in the third as well. They extended their lead to three at 10:42 when Justin Ducharme netted his fourth goal of the season. Wade Murphy made a great cross ice pass to A.J. White, sending him in on a partial breakaway. However, as he approached the net, he lost the puck. White remained calm, regaining control, then spun toward the boards before passing the puck to Ducharme in the slot, who lifted a wrist shot past Strauss Mann to make it 4-1.
Idaho outshot Wichita 27-19 and the Thunder went 0-4 on the power-play.
The victory extended the Steelheads lead over the Thunder to 12. These two teams will go at it again on Friday. The puck drops at 8:10 Wichita time.
By Robert Pannier