Brahmas Head Coach Dan Wildfong felt his team outplayed the Thunder but that Wichita took care of business when they needed to and Fort Worth didn’t. Wildfong also was not pleased with the Brahmas’ lack of presence in front of the net.
“We’ve got to put more traffic in front of (Wichita goalie Torrie Jung),” Wildfong said. “We can’t be a one and done kind of team. We’re shooting the puck and there’s no rebounds.”
The Brahmas were able to avoid a start like they had in both game ones and two in Wichita. They showed speed, put puck on net early and had the Thunder on their heels for a while.
Fort Worth outshot the Thunder 12-7 through the first. Jung looked solid all period but wasn’t overly tested. He showed good rebound control and the only chink in his armor that showed came on the Brahmas’ best chance when Adam Hogg fired a backhanded shot that slid across the crease behind Jung. Unfortunately for Fort Worth there was no one to tap it in.
Wichita started the second period with 1:43 left on a power play and it didn’t take long for them to break the scoreless tie. Just 18 seconds into the second Matt Robinson beat Fort Worth’s Brad Fogal with a wrister from the slot.
The Brahmas has a few solid chances to tie the game up including an end-to-end rush by Ross Rouleau after Rouleau rubbed a defenseman off the puck behind the Brahmas’ blue line. Despite the strong chances, Jung remained perfect for the night through 40 minutes.
As the period progressed the Thunder cut into the Brahmas lead in the shot count and it finished 24-21 in favor of Fort Worth.
The third period continued down a consistent story line from earlier in the game: missed chances. Whether it be passes rolling off the toes of sticks, not being able to settle bouncing puck in front of open net, or shooting straight into Jung’s gut when he could have been easily beaten up high; the Brahmas just couldn’t cash in. Wichita took care of their chances when they got them though.
The Thunder took a 2-0 lead with 6:41 left in regulation when Les Reaney slid the puck through Fogal’s five hole.
Fogal headed to the bench in favor of the extra attacker with 2:52 in the third period but it just didn’t work out for the Brahmas. Matt Summers picked off a pass and skated into the Thunder’s offensive zone before firing the puck around Ricky Helmbrecht and into the empty net with 2:18 left.
The Brahmas will take on the Wichita Thunder again on Saturday at 7:30 CT in the NYTEX Sports Centre. Everything will be on the line for Fort Worth as a loss means elimination.
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