Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chappell's OT goal lifts Thunder to 2-1 win

Wichita pushes Texas to brink of elimination

Wichita’s Chris Chappell scored 1:59 into overtime to lift the Thunder over the Texas Brahmas 2-1 in front of a crowd of 4,010 at Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday night.

The win gives Wichita a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Central Hockey League Berry Conference Final as the Thunder moved the Brahmas closer towards the brink of elimination.

Thunder goaltender Adam Russo turned away 20 shots, including 11 of 12 he faced in the third period while Wichita out-shot Texas 26-21 on the night. Both squads were one-for-four on the power play as each team had a regulation marker while on the man advantage. Wichita’s power play goal marked the team’s first in the series and just their second this post-season.

One night after two Thunder players were ejected from Game Four, the two teams combined for just 16 penalty minutes on eight penalties.

The limited power play chances proved to be key in the battle. With T.J. Fox in the box serving a tripping penalty mid-way through the opening period, Wichita’s Daniel Tetrault scored on the man advantage, giving the Thunder a 1-0 lead.Thomas Beauregard, extending his point streak to 10 games, jumped on a loose puck at 12:11 and sent it to Tetrault who beat Texas goalie Brad Fogal for the score. The goal marked the first time in ten post-season games that Wichita opened the scoring.

The Brahmas held a 7-6 shot advantage in the first period, but could not convert on three power play chances as the Thunder took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the first intermission.

The score remained the same going into the second intermission after neither team could put the puck in the net during the second period. Wichita out-shot Texas 9-2 in the middle frame, but could not solve Fogal despite two power play opportunities.

As the clock wound down in the third, Texas would finally answer when Brett Findlay found the net at 12:54 while on the power play. With Wichita’s Dustin Donaghy serving a two-minute minor for tripping, Andrew Lackner fired a shot from near the left circle that bounced off of a diving Russo and directly to the stick of Findlay. Findlay then tapped the puck into the open net, giving the Brahmas their first third-period goal in the series and tying the game 1-1.

Two-minutes into the extra-period, Chappell picked up a rebound just inside the left circle and lifted the game-winner over Fogal’s right shoulder, prompting a loud roar from the crowd and a wild celebration with his teammates.

Brad Fogal stopped 24 of 26 shots faced and takes the loss.

The Brahmas were assessed 8 minutes on 4 infractions and went 1 for 4 on the power play.

Referee: Peter Tarnaris

Linesman 1: Kyle DeMaggio
Linesman 2: Shawn Morgan

1st Star: Chris Chappell (WIC)
2nd Star: Adam Russo (WIC)
3rd Star: Daniel Tetrault (WIC)

You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here.

The series shifts back to the NYTEX Sports Centre for Game Six on Monday with the opening face off set for 7:00 pm CST.

Special thanks to Pro Hockey News' John Hall for the game write-up.

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