Thunder Defense Stands Tall in Game One
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Thunder beat the Missouri Mavericks 2-1 in Game One of the Opening Round at the INTRUST Bank Arena on Wednesday night.
Wichita leads the best-of-five series 1-0.
Matt Robinson's power play goal 54 seconds into the second period broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the final margin of the game. Marc-Antoine Gelinas and the Thunder defense shut down Missouri over the final 39-plus minutes, limiting them to 14 shots. Wichita prevented the Mavericks from taking any shots with an extra attacker during the game's final minute to close out the win. The Thunder survived a minor scare late in the third when Nick Sirota's shot from the point bounced off the left post and then back to the point. The goal light briefly came on, but the officials quickly waved the goal off, and later affirmed their call after a discussion with the goal judge.
Troy Schwab delivered the first goal of the playoffs at 12:57 in the first period. Schwab carried the puck from behind the net and into the right circle before turning and shooting over the left shoulder of Mavericks' goaltender Rob Nolan. Missouri tied the game at 16:14 when Brandon Coccimiglio scored on a high shot from the slot.
Robinson helped Wichita re-gain the lead at 0:54 in the second. After several shots from varying directions, Robinson connected from the bottom of the right circle, shooting past Nolan's left. Just beyond the 5:00 mark in the second, Gelinas denied Sirota with a backdoor save to his left on a clear two-on-one rush.
Gelinas earned a win in his professional postseason debut, saving 23 of 24. Nolan was 22 of 24 in the loss. Wichita went 1 for 4 on the power play while going a perfect 4 for 4 in penalty kill chances.
The series shifts to Missouri for Games Two and Three on Friday and Saturday. Opening faceoff is 7:05 p.m. for both contests. All the action can be heard locally on Sports Radio 1550 KKLE as well as Oldies 95.3 KWME, and worldwide at www.kleyam.com Game Four (if necessary) is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5th at the INTRUST Bank Arena. For tickets, call the INTRUST Bank Arena box office at (316) 755-SEAT or visit the Thunder's official website at www.wichitathunder.com.
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