Miller OT Tally Completes Comeback Victory for Idaho
WICHITA, KS – Jade Miller scored the game-winner 5:05 into overtime to give the Idaho Steelheads a 3-2 come from behind victory over the Wichita Thunder on Saturday. Wichita held a 2-0 lead 35 minutes into the contest, but the Steelheads rallied for three unanswered goals to earn the victory. Michal Stinil and Kenny Hausinger scored for Wichita.
Both teams had their chances early but Rémi Poirier and Evan Buitenhuis were sensational, keeping the game scoreless through the first 15 minutes. The Thunder were able to break through at 15:21 when Stinil delivered his 17th goal of the season. Brayden Watts took a shot that Poirier saved, but Stinil battled through a defender, collecting the rebound before putting it past the Idaho netminder to give Wichita a 1-0 lead.
The one goal advantage held to 14:48 of the second when Hausinger extended the lead to two. Timur Ibragimov passed the puck to Hausinger, who moved just outside the right face-off circle before lifting a wrist shot that beat Poirier over the blocker to make it 2-0, the second time in as many nights that the Thunder took a two-goal lead over the Steelheads.
However, Idaho showed why they are the top team in the ECHL, battling back to tie the score. The first goal came 1:22 after Hausinger’s tally. Justin Misiak moved the puck back to the point to Ryan Dmowski, who fired a wrist shot that deflected off a Thunder player and in for his 16th goal of the year.
Idaho put the pressure on Wichita in the final frame, outshooting the Thunder 11-6. Wichita was trying to preserve the one goal edge, but Casey Johnson tied the score with his first goal of the year at 13:34. Dmowski made a cross ice pass through the slot to Johnson, who fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Buitenhuis to make it 2-2.
That sent the contest overtime where both defenses shut down opportunities, allowing just three total shots through the first five minutes. It looked like this game may be headed to a shootout, but Miller delivered his 10th goal of the season at the 5:05 mark. The Idaho forward took a shot that was knocked down in front, but he retrieved his own rebound, putting it past Buitenhuis to give the Steelheads a 3-2 victory.
Wichita went 0-4 on the power-play, breaking a string of eight straight games with at least one power-play goal. Buitenhuis finished with 32 saves. Poirier had 26 saves for the Steelheads and Dmowski and Misiak each had two points.
Following the loss, the Wichita Thunder (19-11-3) boarded a bus to head for the BOK Center where they will take on the Tulsa Oilers (10-12-6) on Sunday afternoon. The puck drops at 4:05.
by Robert Pannier