Thunder Collapse in Third as Mavericks Win, 4-1
INDEPENDENCE, MO – The Kansas City Mavericks found themselves trailing by one after one period, but responded with four unanswered goals, including three in the third period to earn a 4-1 victory. Peter Bates scored the lone goal for Wichita. Nate Knoepke and Jacob Hayhurst each had two assists for the Mavericks and Dillon Kelley made 25 saves.
The game looked like it would head to the first intermission scoreless, but Bates put Wichita on top with one second left in the frame. Mitchell Russell was able to gain control of the puck in the corner, passing it in front to Bates who redirected it past Kelley for his 22nd goal of the year.
At the midway mark of second, the Mavericks tied the score. A bad turnover gave Nolan Walker the puck insider the Thunder end. He passed it to Kyle Jackson, who fed the puck back to Walker. Walker beat Beck Warm to the far post with his 20th of the year.
Kansas City had been outshot through the first two periods, 20-17, but came alive in the third, outshooting the Thunder, 12-6 while scoring three goals. The first came at 5:44 when Max Andreev scored his 10th goal of the season to put the Mavericks on top. Knoepke took a shot that Warm saved, but Andreev put in the rebound to make it 2-1.
A little over three minutes later, the Mavericks extended their lead to two. Cole Coskey had control of the puck along the left half-boards. The Thunder defenseman fell down, allowing Coskey to come off the boards and beat Warm with a rising shot for his 17th of the year.
At 9:25, Jackson made it a three-goal lead. Hayhurst passed the puck to Jackson in the high slot, who blasted a shot by Warm for his ninth of the year.
The Wichita Thunder close out their welcome series when they welcome the Mavericks back to Wichita on Sunday. The puck drops at 4:05.
By Robert Pannier