Thunder takes series in OTBy MARK WRIGHT
Special to The Eagle
Wichita forward Matt Robinson knocked in a rebound 4:44 into overtime for a series-clinching 3-2 victory Monday night against the Brahmas in front of 2,003 at NYTEX Sports Centre.
Wichita wins the Berry Conference finals 4-2 and advances to the CHL Presidents Cup finals.
The Thunder will face the winner of the Turner Conference finals between Missouri and Fort Wayne. Missouri leads that series 3-2 heading into tonights Game 6.
Robinsons unassisted goal was his second of the playoffs. Texas goalie Brad Fogal saved 25 of 28 Thunder shots in a losing effort.
We end up getting a lucky bounce, which we really havent gotten all year, Thunder coach Kevin McClelland said. So it was nice to get.
The Brahmas, which began overtime on a power play after Wichita defenseman Jarred Mohr received a two-minute penalty with two seconds left in regulation, were 0-4 on the nightin power-play situations. But Texas had no shortage of chances, outshooting Wichita 34-28. for the game.
With 14:20 remaining in the third period, center Brendon Hodge beat Thunder goalie Adam Russo to tie the score 2-2.
Right winger Brett Findlay and defenseman Ross Rouleau assisted on the even-strength score, Hodges third goal of the playoffs. Russo led the Thunder with 32 saves.
I tip my hat to the Texas Brahmas, McClelland said. They had some injuries on the back end. They didnt make excuses. It was a hard-fought series.
Wichita struck twice in the second, including a short-handed goal by forward Chris Greene with a little more than three minutes remaining in the period. It was the third goal of the playoffs for Greene, who rifled the puck past Brahmas goalie Brad Fogal for a 2-1 Thunder lead.
Wichitas first goal came during a lengthy power play that began when defenseman Erik Spady received a seven-minute penalty two minutes for instigating and five for fighting with just under three minutes remaining in the first. The Thunder briefly had a two-man advantage because Spadys penalty occurred when Fox was serving the final 54 seconds of a two-minute interference penalty.
Texas right winger Adam Hogg evened the score at 1 with an even-strength goal 4:20 into the second. Left winger Chad Woollard and Fox assisted on the goal, Hoggs third of the postseason. The Brahmas equalizer came on the heels of a power-play goal by Thunder forward Chris Chappell, his fourth goal of the playoffs.
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