WICHITA, Kan. (June 9) – Wichita scored three power play goals on Wednesday night and held off a late Fort Wayne rally to claim a 5-2 win at the Wichita Ice Center.
With the win, the Thunder evened up their first round series against the Komets.
Anthony Beauregard and Jeremy McKenna led the way with a goal and an assist while Matteo Gennaro, Noel Hoefenmayer and Spencer Dorowicz each found the back of the net. Evan Buitenhuis earned the victory with 29 saves.
Beauregard connected on his first of the postseason at 9:19 of the first. He found a gap in the right circle and rifled a shot past Dylan Ferguson to make it 1-0. Justin Vaive tied the game at one at 11:25 with a beautiful power play goal and his first of the playoffs.
In the second, Hoefenmayer buried a one-timer on the man advantage at 8:29 to make it a 2-1 contest. McKenna scored a highlight reel marker at 10:33 to make it 3-1. He took a pass near his own blue line, skated around a Komets defender and roofed a shot to the short side of Ferguson on the power play. A.J. Jenks cut the lead to 3-2 with a shorthanded goal at 12:42.
Wichita pulled away with two goals in the third period. Gennaro put home a rebound on the power play at 14:45 to make it 4-2. Both teams had two-man advantages down the stretch and the Komets had one with just over two minutes remaining. Dorowicz stole a loose puck in his own zone and found an empty net with Ferguson at the Komets bench and the Thunder claimed the victory.
Wichita went 3-for-8 on the power play. Fort Wayne was 1-for-7.
Hoefenmayer leads the Thunder with three points during the first two games of the playoffs (1g, 2a). Each player that found the scoresheet in the game recorded their first of this year's postseason.
The series now shifts to Indiana with Game 3 taking place on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum starting at 7 p.m. CST.
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