Mann Sinks Steelheads in Thunder Victory
WICHITA, KS – Strauss Mann continued the impressive start to his professional career, stopping 41 shots on Friday to lead the Wichita Thunder to a 4-1 victory over the Idaho Steelheads. Wichita scored twice on the power-play, giving them at least two power-play goals in six straight games. Jay Dickman scored twice to lead the Thunder. The victory snapped the 12-game winning streak of the Steelheads.
Wichita jumped on top 10:13 into the contest when Brayden Watts netted his ECHL-leading 19th goal of the season. With the Thunder on the power-play, Michal Stinil passed the puck to Watts at the right face-off circle, who blasted a one-timer past Idaho netminder Adam Scheel to make it 1-0. Quinn Preston also recorded an assist on the play, extending his point streak to 14 straight games.
The Thunder extended the lead to two when Dickman scored on the power-play just before the three-minute mark of the second period. Watts moved the puck down low to Dickman who was along the goal line. He moved his way toward the net before coming out in front and beating Scheel with his eighth goal of the year.
The Thunder were being outshot 30-21 through the first two periods, but Mann had shut Idaho down. The Steelheads were finally able to capitalize with 58 seconds left in the second when Justin Misiak netted his fourth goal of the year. Misiak began moving across the slot before taking a shot that beat Mann to the far post to make it 2-1.
Idaho was back in the contest, but Wichita put this game away with two third period goals. The first came at 15:46 when Stinil netted his 16th goal of the year. Dylan MacPherson made a great pass out of his own end right onto the stick of Stinil, sending him in on a breakaway. Stinil sped in on Scheel, beating him between the legs to make it 3-1.
With about three minutes left in the contest, the Steelheads pulled their netminder looking to get back in the game. However, Dickman sealed the victory with an empty net tally, his second goal of the game, making it 4-1.
Watts finished with four points on the evening, extending his point streak to 11 straight games and he has at least two points in five straight contests and seven of the last eight. Mann finished with 41 saves, moving his record to 5-1-1 while lowering his goals-against average to 2.54. It is the third time this season that he has had at least 41 saves in a game.
These teams will close out their three-game series on Saturday. The puck drops at 7:05.