The Scoop: Fort Wayne jumped out to a first period lead yesterday and despite Wichita fighting back to tie the game, ended up with the 5-3 victory and a 1-0 series lead in the quest for Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup.
A win by Fort Wayne on Sunday would mean that winning just two of the upcoming three games in Fort Wayne starting Thursday, and they would win their fourth title in the last five years (2008, 2009 and 2010 IHL Champs).
Team Close-Ups: Komets: Fort Wayne figured to be a tired bunch after playing games on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday of this past week to win the Turner Conference but it didn’t show, at times, on Saturday as they had a lot of jump and the top line of Colin Chaulk, Chris Auger and Mike Vaskivuo outworked their Wichita opposition. The Komets top line earned two goals and five assists last night (Auger scored both).
When the Komets looked like they had run out of gas, goaltender Nick Bouhcher would carry the load. In the game, he stopped 30 of 33 shots including all 13 he faced in the third period.
Thunder: Wichita lost at home for the first time in the playoffs (6-1) but have some positives to take forward as the series moves on. Thomas Beauregard looked unstoppable at times (scored two second period goals) and the Thunder largely carried the physical play. More traffic around Boucher making him uncomfortable and the Thunder’s style of play could wear down the Komets.
Wichita has got to find a way to get their power play going. Last night, they missed on seven chances and are just 3 for 49 in the playoffs so far.
Who’s Hot: Boucher has stopped 96 of the last 104 shots he has faced (.923 save percentage) and seemingly gets stronger and stronger as each game passes.
Bobby Chaumont, Fort Wayne’s leading scorer during the regular season, has lit the lamp in three straight games.
Alex Bourret ended a three-game point drought with a pair of helpers in Game 1. He has five goals and nine assists in the playoffs so far and could be a significant boost the Thunder’s offense.