As if the rivalry needed any steam, the Missouri Mavericks and Wichita Thunder faced off in an epic playoff matchup that needed an extra session to determine the winner. Wichita scored the game winner 5:47 into the first overtime period and now lead the series, 2-1.
Wichita struck first in the opening period, getting a goal from Matt Robinson with less than two minutes to play in the period. Aaron Davis was given an assist on the goal. With less than a minute remaining in the period, Wichita goaltender Marc-Antoine Gelinas was called for interference after colliding with Brandon Coccimiglio behind the net after the Mavs dumped the puck in. The Mavericks capitalized on the opportunity, scoring a power play goal with 13 seconds left in the period from Ray DiLauro. Simon Watson and Ryan Jardine were credited with assists on the play. At the end of one period of play, Wichita held a slim advantage in shots, outshooting the Mavericks 7-6.
Wichita took control of the second period with Robinson’s second goal of the game three minutes into the frame. Assists went to Davis and A.J. Gale. The Thunder added to their lead 10 minutes later on a goal from Troy Schwab. Jesse Bennefield and Brent Cullaton assisted on the goal. Nick Sirota cut into the Wichita lead with less than four minutes to go in the period. Sirota collected a loose puck in the slot and from his knees, put it in the back of the net to cut the Wichita lead to one goal. At the end of the second period, Wichita had outshot the Mavericks 24-13.
Ryan Jardine wasted little time in getting the Mavericks back into the game in the third period, tying the game just three minutes into the third period at 3-3. Ray DiLauro got his second assist of the game on the Jardine tally. Shawn Fensel gave the Mavs a late lead with three minutes to go in regulation on a power play goal. Nick Sirota tallied an assist on the goal. Wichita tied the game with 58 seconds left in regulation on a goal from Bennefield. Schwab and Cullaton got the assists.
With the score tied after 60 minutes of regulation play, the game headed to overtime. Ryan Jardine was whistled for tripping at the 4:51 mark of the first extra session and Wichita went on the power play. The Thunder capitalized with a goal from Daniel Tetrault 5:47 into overtime. Assists went to Kory Scoran and Davis.
With Wichita holding a 2-1 series lead, the Mavs are now just one loss away from elimination. Wichita outshot the Mavericks 41-23. The Mavericks finished the night two-for-six on the power play and two-for-four on the penalty kill.
The series now shifts to Wichita, where the Thunder host the Mavericks at the Intrust Bank Arena. If necessary, the Mavericks will host the Thunder at the IEC on Wednesday at 7:05pm in the fifth and deciding game of the series.