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Nolan, Mavs Force Game Five on Thunder

April 5, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Wichita Thunder News Release

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Thunder lost 2-1 to the Missouri Mavericks in Game Four of the Opening Round at the INTRUST Bank Arena on Tuesday night. The series is now tied 2-2 heading back to Missouri for a decisive Game Five on Wednesday night.

Mavericks' goaltender Rob Nolan stopped 38 of 39, while the Mavericks weathered three Thunder power plays in the third to help Missouri even the series.

The teams battled to a scoreless tie after the first period. Rob Nolan made two key saves to keep Wichita off the board, stopping Daniel Tetrault on a centering pass from Brent Cullaton, and later denying Cullaton from point blank range on a pass from Jesse Bennefield.

With the game still scoreless midway through the second, the teams combined for three goals separated by 1:04 that ultimately led to the Mavericks taking a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. At 8:43, Toby Lafrance scored to the short side of the net from the right half boards, giving the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. Nick Sirota followed at 9:38, tapping in a shot just around the left skate of Marc-Antoine Gelinas to make it 2-0. Just nine seconds after Sirota's goal, Jesse Bennefield took Cullaton's pass from behind the net and shot past Nolan from the bottom of the right circle to cut Missouri's lead in half.

Nolan's final key save came in the third when he stopped a close range shot by A.J. Gale during a Thunder power play.

Gelinas took the loss, saving 28 of 30. Wichita was 0 for 7 on the power play, including two extended five-on-three chances. Missouri was 0 for 6.

Game Five is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night. All the action can be heard live on Sports Radio 1550 KKLE and Oldies 93.5 KWME as well as worldwide at Call the Thunder office for more information about the 2011 playoffs at (316) 264-GOAL or by visiting the Thunder's official website at

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