WICHITA, Kan. – Matt Robinson has scored some big goals in his career and added to his resume on Thursday night, scoring the game-winning-goal in overtime to help Wichita beat the Arizona Sundogs 4-3 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Robinson, who had six of his 12 goals go for game-winners during the regular season, scored his 16th post-season goal while Greger Hanson and Matt Summers each had two points in the win.
Wichita takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series against Arizona with Game 2 coming on Saturday night.
Matt Summers started the scoring just over five minutes in as he found a loose puck in the slot and put a backhand past Adam Russo. Wichita had several chances including a shorthanded breakaway chance from Chad Painchaud that Russo was able to get a piece of.
Wichita began the second period with two men in the penalty box after Hanson and Flath were whistled for late first-period minors. Wichita was able to extend the lead to 2-0 when Hanson’s penalty expired, caught a pass from Martens on a three-on-two and put it through the legs of Russo.
Mario Larocque got Arizona on the board at 3:31 with a one-timer from the slot. At 8:40,
Les Reaney tallied his first goal since New Years Eve after stopping in the left circle with a toe-drag move and wristing one past Russo’s blocker to give the Thunder a two-goal advantage, up 3-1.
Arizona weathered the storm at the start of the third and got back into the game with a Chad Nehring strike at 4:33 after skating past a Thunder defender and beating Torrie Jung to the glove side.
Late in the period, Arizona came out of a timeout and set up a play off a face-off. The puck was won back to Matt McCready who sent one on net that ricocheted off a player in front and tied the game at three.
Each team had a hard time finding much room at the start of overtime as both clubs were clogging the neutral zone. Arizona was trying to complete a line change and the Thunder made them pay. Summers caught a long outlet from Kevin Young, came in the zone on a two-on-one, fed it across to Matt Robinson and he buried the overtime winner past Russo with a forehand-to-backhand deke.
Robinson scored the overtime game-winner in Game 6 against Fort Worth to send the Thunder to the CHL Finals last season and scored his first goal of this year’s playoffs in dramatic fashion on Thursday night.
Hanson finished with a goal and an assist in first game back since late January. Young had two assists along with Summers who had a goal and an assist. Torrie Jung got the win, stopping 23 of 26 shots he faced. Each game this season between the two teams have been one-goal games.
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Text courtesy of the Wichita Thunder