Resop Blanks Thunder for First ECHL Shutout, 6-0
WICHITA, KS – It may have only been his second career ECHL start, but Kansas City Mavericks netminder Kevin Resop looked like a seasoned pro, stopping 35 shots to lead the Mavericks to a 6-0 victory over the Wichita Thunder. Jacob Hayhurst had a hat trick for K.C. Trevor Gorsuch gave up six goals but made several highlight reel saves to keep this game close.
The Mavericks got on the board at 14:21 when Patrick Curry stole the puck inside the Wichita zone. He found Hayhurst at the near post, who simply redirected the puck past Gorsuch for his 11th goal of the season. As it had been the previous night, the backdoor goal became the theme of the game.
That was the case against at the 17-minute mark. A beautiful tic-tac-toe play began with Curry passing the puck from along the left half-boards to Cade Borchardt on the other side of the slot. He tapped it back to Nolan Walker at the opposite post for his 16th goal of the year, sending the Mavericks to the first intermission up by two.
In the second, Kansas City pushed the lead to three, but it could have easily been a nine-goal advantage had it not been for Gorsuch. He made four spectacular saves in the first few minutes of the period, including diving across the crease to deny Hayhurst on what looked like an easy tip in.
Hayhurst had been stoned then, but got back on the board at 12:24 with his second goal of the night. Max Andreev set up the goal, moving behind the net to the opposite side. He then made a beautiful spin move, clearing room to make a pass across to the opposite side of the net where Hayhurst tipped the puck past the Wichita netminder.
The Mavericks had a commanding lead, but put this game away in the third, scoring three times, including two in the span of 12 seconds. The first came at 1:53 when Bobby Hampton netted his fourth goal of the year. Cole Coskey had the puck at the near post, making a no-look, through the legs pass to the opposite post where Hampton tipped it in.
Seconds later, Hayhurst finished off the hat trick. The Thunder defenseman had the puck inside his own zone, but fell down, sending Hayhurst in on a breakaway. He lifted a wrist shot that Gorsuch got a piece of, but the puck trickled off his glove and slid past the goal line.
Coskey finished off the scoring with just over six minutes left in the game. Casey Carreau cleared the puck out of the Kansas City zone, down along the boards and into the Thunder zone. Coskey outraced the Wichita defenseman for the puck, then sped away from the boards, across the slot before tucking the puck inside the far post for his 14th of the year.
Gorsuch finished with 36 saves. It was the seventh straight game where he has faced at least 30 shots. Carreau and Curry each had two assists for the Mavericks.
These two teams will square off again on New Year’s Eve, this time in Independence. The puck drops at 7:00.
By Robert Pannier