RG Flath scored in the fourth round of the shootout to help Wichita (4-11-4) skate past the Missouri Mavericks (12-3-1) on Saturday night by the final of 3-2 at the Independence Event Center. Jon Booras recorded his first multi-goal game of the season, recording both Thunder tallies in the opening frame. Wichita trails 2-1 in the Independence Cup Series and faces the Mavericks two more times next week.
All the scoring between the two teams took place in the first 20 minutes as Missouri got off to a quick start. Eric Castonguay took a feed from Rob Kleebaum on the right side of the ice, stepped inside of a defender and beat Taylor Nelson to make it 1-0 at 5:24. Kleebaum found the back of the net at 14:12 when he got past a man at the right circle and roofed it for the 2-0 lead. Wichita would answer with two goals from Booras in less than three minutes. His first came at 15:02 on a power play when he snuck away from a defender in the slot and put a wrist shot past Joe Howe. At 17:42, he tied the game at two with a terrific individual effort, carrying the puck from the Thunder line up the left wing and let sharp angle shot go that got up under the bar past Howe.
The second period was much like the first as both teams had several scoring chances with each team unloading eight shots on net. The Mavericks enjoyed the only true power play of the period when Matt Summers was sent off for slashing. The Thunder penalty killing unit held strong and was able to keep the game locked up at two. Late in the period, Booras may have saved a goal as he got back defensively and pulled down Mike Ramsay with four seconds remaining in the second. The penalty carried over into the third after John-Scott Dickson's chance at the buzzer was stopped by Nelson.
In the third, Wichita carried the play and at one point, out-shot the Mavericks 9-2. Matt Robinson, Summers and Jon Madden all had quality scoring chances, but were unable to put one past Howe. The game finished without a decision and headed into a five minute overtime.
Both teams had a one minute power play in the extra session, but couldn't find the back of the net. Ramsay cross checked Andrew Martens into the wall that sent him off one minute into the overtime. Missouri was able to kill the odd man chance and then got one back late in the period with 11 seconds left. Ian Lowe was called for slashing at 4:49, giving the Mavericks one last opportunity to end the game in the OT. Flath stood tall on the ensuing face-off and was able to clear it out of the zone at the horn.
At the start of the shootout, Summers and Vossen were denied by the respective goaltenders. Sebastien Thinel led off round two and scored under Nelson's glove coming across the crease area. Robinson tied it up with a wrist shot through the five-hole of Howe at the back half of round two. John-Scott Dickson came down and caught iron on his chance while Booras was stopped at the end of round three. Next up was Castonguay and his wrister was blocked away by Nelson. At the back half of round four, Flath came down the middle, saw Howe commit to the poke-check and he made him pay as he buried it into the wide-open net. Ramsay was then stopped to end the game and the Thunder pulled out a 3-2 shootout win.
Wichita hands the Mavericks its first blemish of the season in a game decided in overtime or a shootout as they drop to 2-1 in that category. The Thunder improve to 3-3-2 on the road and 2-1 in a shootout situation. Tonight's shootout was the first time since October 20th that a game ended up going to a shootout when the Thunder defeated Allen at the Allen Event Center. Booras extends his point-streak to four games and has five goals on the year. Martens collected an assist extending his point-streak to seven games (2g, 7a) and assist-streak to six games. Nelson, who has earned each Thunder victory this season, stopped 26 of 28 shots. Howe stopped 31 of 33 shots he faced in his first trip to the shootout on the year.
Wichita went 1-for-3 on the power play. Missouri was 0-for-4.
The Thunder return home to face Missouri in the middle half of three-straight games against the Mavericks on Thursday, December 5th at 7:05 p.m.
Individual game tickets are on sale now. Season tickets and mini plans are still available. Don’t delay, contact the Wichita Thunder Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at (316) 264-4625. Stay up-to-date on all the news this off-season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.