Wichita, KS (April 23rd) - Joey Ratelle scored with three minutes left in the third period to spoil Wichita's comeback attempt and helped Colorado win on Monday night by the final of 5-3 at INTRUST Bank Arena. With the victory, the Eagles claim the Mountain Division Semifinals in six games, winning the series four games to two.
Mark MacMillan and Evan Polei led the way offensively with two points.
The Thunder continued to find the back of the net first when Mark MacMillan gave Wichita a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the game. He caught a pass across the deep slot and wired a wrist shot past Lukas Hafner for his third of the postseason. Colorado tied it quickly when J.C. Beaudin beat Shane Starrett from the left face-off dot with a wrist shot at 7:52.
In the second, Colorado took a 2-1 advantage at 6:58 when Jake Marto scored on the power play with a wrist shot off the rush past Starrett's glove. Chad Butcher tied the game at 8:13 as he re-directed a pass across the crease from Polei to make it 2-2. Michael Joly re-gained the lead for the Eagles at 18:05. He carried the puck across the zone, dipped in behind the Wichita net and wrapped it past Starrett for a 3-2 advantage.
Polei tied the contest at 12:24 of the third period. He crashed the net and put home a rebound to make it 3-3. Ratelle scored the game-winner at 16:23 as he found a loose puck that got through a Thunder defender during an odd-man rush and made it 4-3. Wichita pulled Starrett with just over a minute remaining, but Matt Garbowsky found an open net and closed the scoring at 5-3.
Wichita scored first for the third game in a row and netted the first tally in five of the six contests during the series. MacMillan finished his postseason run with goals in three-straight. Polei had a goal and an assist and also finished with goals in three-straight. Butcher netted his first career playoff goal.
Wichita went 1-for-4 on the power play. Colorado was 1-for-2 on the man advantage.
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