Robinson's OT goal sends Wichita to CHL Final
Thunder closes out Brahmas with 3-2 win
For the first time since 1998, the Wichita Thunder are headed to the Central Hockey League Ray Miron President's Cup Final.
Matt Robinson’s unassisted goal off of his own rebound 4:44 into overtime gave Wichita a 3-2 win over the Texas Brahmas and a 4-2 series win, silencing the 2,003 fans at the NYTEX Sports Centre on Monday night.
Chris Chappell led the way for the Thunder with a goal and assist while Robinson and Chris Greene also added goals. Kevin Seibel, Kevin Young and Matt Summers all provided assists for Wichita.
Goaltender Adam Russo was solid in net, stopping 32 of 34 shots as the Brahmas out-paced the Thunder 34-28 in the shot department.
The Thunder’s three goals all came in different fashions, with one at even strength, one on the power play and one shorthanded. Wichita’s power play unit showed improvement, going 1-3 while scoring on the man advantage for the second-straight game. Prior to game five of the series the Thunder were 0-13 on the power play in the series. Texas struggled on the power play, coming up short on four attempts, including a man advantage situation that stretched from the final seconds of regulation and into the overtime period.
The first period saw neither team score as Texas jumped out to an 11-8 shot advantage over Wichita.
The Thunder jumped on the board first on Chappell’s power play goal 2:43 into the second period after Texas defenseman Erik Spady was assessed seven penalty minutes and a game misconduct for instigating a fight. With the penalty time carrying over into the middle frame, Chappell snapped a wrist shot from the slot, beating Brahmas goalie Brad Fogal to make it 1-0.
Texas wasted little time, though, as Adam Hogg put the puck past Russo just under two minutes later to tie.
Greene added a shorthanded goal late in the period to give Wichita a 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission. With four minutes left in the period, Greene took a pass from Chappell near the redline then moved around a defender and placed a shot over Fogal for the goal.
Brendon Hodge evened things up 5:40 into the third period, taking a pass from Brett Findlay and scoring on Russo to make it 2-2. After killing off a hooking penalty assessed to Jarred Mohr with two-seconds remaining in regulation, Robinson became the hero with his second post-season goal. Robinson made a play at the blue line, keeping the puck in the attacking zone, then jumped on his own rebound in the slot and knocked home the game winner for the Thunder.
Brad Fogal stopped 25 of 28 shots faced and takes the loss.
The Brahmas were assessed 29 minutes on 5 infractions and went 0 for 4 on the power play.
Referee: Boone Bruggman
Linesman 1: John Grandt
Linesman 2: Cory Piche
1st Star: Matt Robinson (WIC)
2nd Star: Chris Chappell (WIC)
3rd Star: Brad Fogal
You can view Pointstreak's Box Score here and their GameLive broadcast here.
Special thanks to Pro Hockey News' John Hall for the game write-up.
Photo Credit: Robert Keith