ALLEN, Texas – The Wichita Thunder’s perfect post-season run is over after a penalty-filled contest resulted in a 5-2 loss to the Allen Americans Thursday night before 5,333 fans at the Allen Event Center. The best-of-seven Central Hockey League Ray Miron President’s Cup Finals are now tied at one game each.
The Thunder had a strong offensive showing once again, as they out-shot the Americans 41-21 on the night. Unfortunately though, Wichita would not be able to regroup following three Allen goals in a four-minute span during the second period.
Allen got on the scoreboard first on a Chris Doyle one-timer that went over goalie Torrie Jung’s shoulder just 6:27 into the opening period. Doyle’s marker would be the only one of the first period, as the two squads went into the locker rooms with Allen on top 1-0.
The Thunder would even the score at the mid-way mark of the second on R.G. Flath’s sixth goal of the playoffs and second in two games. With Flath and Nathan Lutz on a two-on-one break, Flath collected the rebound and poked it into the net past Americans netminder Aaron Dell at 10:03 to make it 1-1. From there on, the ice would tilt in the home team’s favor.
Kale Kerbashian took a drop pass between the circles and lifted it high over Jung’s glove to give Allen a 2-1 lead at 13:06. Less than two minutes later, while shorthanded, the Americans increased their lead to two when Brian McMillin collected his own rebound and while sliding on a knee, sent the puck past Jung. Todd Robinson made it 4-1 at the 17:09 mark, taking a cross-ice pass from Kerbashian and beating Jung from the left circle.
The third period proved to be more of a wrestling match than a hockey game, as the two squads combined for a total of 136 penalty minutes, including 13 fighting majors.
Kerbashian added his second goal of the night, late in the third to make the score 5-1. With the puck to the right of the cage, Kerbashian lifted a backhander past Kevin Regan who was pulling relief duty for Jung in the third period. Lutz added a power play goal just over a minute later off of a rebound to make it 5-2.
He then promptly dropped his gloves and fought Allen’s Mike Berube, resulting in a fighting major, a cross checking minor and a match penalty for attempt to injure. His status is currently unknown for game three.
The series now shifts to the Intrust Bank Arena with game three scheduled for Saturday night. Game four will follow on Sunday.
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