Third Period Rally Leads to Demise of Thunder; Mavericks Win, 4-2
The Wichita Thunder have been struggling to keep the puck out of their net and the return of Scott Greenham looked to help in that area. However, another Achilles heel of the team, giving up late leads, came back to haunt the team as the Missouri Mavericks scored three third period goals to down the Thunder, 4-2.
This was a contest that the Wichita Thunder did not trail in until the final 2:40 of the contest. After a scoreless first period, the second period would be a wild affair that would see 39 total shots on net, but only two goals scored.
The Thunder would get on the board at the 12:52 mark when Vincent Dunn recorded his second goal of the season. While on the power-play, Macoy Erkamps fired a shot that Eamon McAdam saved but Dunn corralled the rebound and fired it home to make it 1-0.
With just 10-seconds left in the second period the Mavericks would tie the score. Andrew Courtney put in his sixth goal of the season on a shot that beat Greenham and the two teams were tied heading into the break despite the fact that the Thunder outshot Missouri 24-15 in the period.
In the third, Wichita retook the lead. Zach O’Brien gained control of the puck and moved quickly around the Mavericks defender through the slot area. He then made a nice move to his backhand and just beat McAdam for his fourth goal of the season.
The lead lasted just 90-seconds. Eric Scheid’s shot was saved, but Carter Verhaeghe put the rebound back in for his 12th goal of the year.
The game would stay tied until the 17:20 mark when the Mavericks would take their first lead of the game. Jesse Graham received a pass at the point and fired a shot by the Wichita Goalie to make it 3-2 Mavericks. That was Graham’s third goal of the year.
With a little over a minute left in the game, the Thunder pulled their goalie, but the Mavericks would capitalize almost right away. Dan Correale was able to steal the puck and fired a shot into the empty net for his eighth of the season. That would make the score 4-2 which would be the final.
Eamon McAdam was brilliant in net for the Missouri Mavericks, saving 37 of the 39 shots he faced. Kyle Schempp recorded 2-assists and Andrew Courtney added a goal and an assist for the winners.
These two teams will meet again Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier