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March 19 2015 Central Division

For the second straight night the Wichita Thunder defeated the Allen Americans and Grant Rollheiser, with his 34 saves, earned his seventh professional career shutout. This is the first shutout for the Americans all season. With Wichita’s win and Tulsa’s win over Quad City, both teams move up to tie for 3rd place, with Tulsa claiming the tiebreaker.

The Allen Americans are still looking for a win (or overtime or shootout loss since they just need one point) to clinch their guaranteed playoff spot. So far March has not been kind to the Americans  – Allen’s March record is 3-4-1-0 and since Friday, March 13th they have lost three games in regulation and one in overtime.

Wichita came out strong in the 1st period and at 1:02 Justin Bernhardt scored off a rebound to put Wichita up 1-0. Allen struggled early in the period however gradually they began to pressure the Thunder and create more offense. Shots on goal for the 1st were 10-9 for Allen.

At 1:37 into the 2nd period the Thunder’s Nikita Kashirsky scored from between the circles on a rebound to add to Wichita’s lead at 2-0. Less than two minutes later at 3:07 Danick Gauthier scored off a Justin Bernhard feed, to tally his 27th goal of this season. Wichita played very well defensively as Allan created some great chances however Rollheiser’s saves and Wichita’s good defensive coverage kept Allen off the scoresheet.

At less than half-way through the 2nd following an Allen icing, Allen’s coach Steve Martinson attempted to swap his goaltenders, sending out Riley Gill to replace J.P. Anderson, (to give his exhausted players a much-needed break) but Referee Peter MacDougall sent Gill back to the bench and play continued, as it should have. (You can’t blame Martinson for trying to give his boys a break, and he did that by just trying that stunt since it did delay the game for a short time.)

At 17:30 in the 2nd Justin Bernhardt capped the Thunder’s night with a rebound to give Wichita a 4-0 lead which held the remainder of the game. Shots on goal for the 2nd were 14-14.

Allen swapped out goaltenders to start the 3rd replacing J.P. Anderson with Riley Gill.  The Americans’ frustrations were clearly evident as Allen headed to a powerplay from a highsticking penalty and Allen’s coach Martinson was tossed from the game for arguing the call on the ice, seeking a 4-minute penalty rather than a 2-minute, and continuing to “talk” to the officials. Martinson received an Unsportsmanlike conduct – Disputing decision – minor (39.2) and Game misconduct – Unsportsmanlike Conduct (75.5). In the end the coach’s penalties nullified his team’s powerplay and it ended up a 4-on-4.

Later at 13:52 Allen’s Spencer Asuchak was given a Game misconduct for Physical Abuse of Officials – Category III (40.4) — and if you are wondering what this entails, here are the Rules:

40.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III – Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.

Neither team capitalized on their powerplay opportunities last night, Wichita 0/3 and Allen 0/2.

Total shots on goal for the game 34-33 for Allen and score: 4-0 Wichita Thunder.

Period Team Time Goals
1st WIC 1:02 J. Bernhardt (assist D. Gauthier)
2nd WIC 1:37 N. Kashirsky (assists M. Wilson, I. Lowe)
2nd WIC 3:07 D. Gauthier (assists J. Bernhardt, K. Tulupov)
2nd WIC 17:30 J. Bernhardt (assists D. Gauthier, R. Flath)

Three Stars of the Game:
1. WIC – J. Bernhardt
2. WIC – G. Rollheiser
3. WIC – D. Gauthier

Milestones: Coach Kevin McClelland reached his 331st professional win as a Head Coach with tonight’s win.

Wichita finally heads home for their first home game in two weeks as they face the Allen Americans once again at 7:05 p.m. Be there!