WICHITA, KS – The Wichita Thunder entered Wednesday night’s contest with the Kansas City Mavericks looking to finish the four-game homestand undefeated.
“It wasn’t a Picasso on our effort tonight,” Thunder head coach Malcolm Cameron said. “I thought we were flat energy wise and good teams find a way to win when they don’t have their grade-A game like tonight.”
The Mavericks came out and scored just 53 seconds into the contest when Dan Correale potted the rebound past Joel Rumpel to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead. For Correale, it was his first goal in seven games.
After another slow start offensively, Wichita got a majority of the high-quality scoring chances after the first media timeout in the period.
The Thunder offense would continue clicking early in the second, when Travis Brown wired a shot past Tyler Parsons for his fifth goal of the season just 39 seconds into the frame to even the game at 1. For the remainder of the period, the teams would trade chances, with the Mavericks once again using their forecheck to frustrate the Thunder and get the higher-quality chances on Rumpel during the period.
The goaltending stalemate would continue into the final period, but 5:23 into the frame, Chad Butcher scored his first goal as a pro to give Wichita a 2-1 lead. Five minutes later, Matt DeBlouw cap off the scoring, adding his sixth of the year and fourth in last three games, as the Thunder extended their lead to 3-1.
“He was playing great at the start of the season, it was the middle part, between the beginning and where we are at now where he fell off a little bit,” Cameron said of DeBlouw’s benching for two games. “He’s a great kid, he works hard and his speed is undeniable. He keeps going hard like that, he’s going to get a ton of goals.”
Butcher and Brown both finished with a goal and assist each on the night, while Ewanyk finished with two assists. Joel Rumpel has won six straight games and allowed five goals in his last three games to improve to 9-1-0 on the season.
For perspective, win number 16 for Wichita came on February 22 last season, while points 33 & 34 came on March 4. The Thunder got both tonight.
The Thunder have won five straight home games and now have points in seven straight games. They hit the road for five straight beginning Saturday night in Indianapolis and Sunday afternoon against the Kalamazoo Wings.