WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita Thunder dominated all phases of their game against the Kansas City Mavericks Friday.
The Thunder grabbed an early 3-0 lead while holding the Mavericks to just three shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes to take a 5-1 victory Friday night and clinch the Independence Cup series.
The Wichita win allowed the Thunder to clinch the Independence Cup for the first time since the 2014-15 season, ending the Mavericks’ streak of claiming the cup the past two seasons. The Thunder improved to 6-1 against the Mavericks this season.
The 18-7-2-0 Thunder dominated in the first period, as Chad Butcher scored five minutes into the game and Johnny Daniels added two goals.
The Thunder held the Mavericks to just 11 shots in the second period and used a Dyson Stevenson goal to take a 4-0 lead into the third period.
The Mavericks got on the board in the third, with Dan Correale scoring the team’s first shorthanded goal of the season with 8:37 remaining in the contest. Wichita answered moments later, as Ralph Cuddemi scored the final Thunder goal of the night.
The Mavericks and Thunder battle once again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Kansas City’s next home game is the team’s annual New Year’s Eve game, with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the Tulsa Oilers.
Mason McDonald stopped 26 of 31 shots on goal and Johnny Daniel, the No. 1 star of the game, stopped 25 of 26 attempts.