Jason Mals - WICHITA THUNDER

Thunder staves off elimination with shutout of Colorado

Wichita trails playoff series 3-1

April 21, 2018 - 4:26 pm
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Shane Starrett stopped all 29 shots and six different players lit the lamp to help Wichita stay alive in the Mountain Division Semifinals with a 6-0 win against Colorado at the Budweiser Event Center Friday night. 

Dyson Stevenson led the way offensively with three points while Mark MacMillan and Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin each had two. 

Starrett notched his first professional playoff shutout with the win to help force a Game 5 tonight in Loveland. 

Ryan Van Stralen got things started at 7:08 of the first period with his first pro playoff goal. Wichita created a turnover at the Eagles line and Stevenson made a nifty pass to Van Stralen, who buried a one-timer past Joe Cannata. At 18:14, Evan Polei made it 2-0 with his first pro playoff tally. Steven Iacobellis curled just inside the Colorado line, fired it across the zone and Polei found the net. 

In the second, Stevenson tipped home a shot from Samuel Thibault at 2:40 to increase the lead to 3-0. MacMillan made it 4-0 at 6:34 when he fired a shot from the right face-off circle that appeared to be going to Polei. Instead, the puck went through Cannata's five-hole for his first of the postseason. Cannata would be lifted and Lukas Hafner would 

Etienne Boutet got into the act early in the third to make it 5-0. He came out of the penalty box, caught a lead pass from Brayden Low and beat Hafner for his first of the playoffs at 3:03. Late in the third, Travis Brown closed the scoring as he caught a pass from MacMillan across the slot and put it past Hafner for the sixth marker of the night. 

Wichita snaps Colorado's 11-game postseason winning streak and beats the Eagles for the first time in the last seven meetings dating back to the regular season. The Thunder earn their second postseason shutout against Colorado all-time and the first since the 2004-05 playoffs. It was also the most goals Wichita has scored against the Eagles during a playoff series. 

Stevenson collected his sixth-career playoff goal and added two helpers. Crevier-Morin had two assists and MacMillan had a goal an assist. 

Wichita went 1-for-3 on the power play. Colorado was 0-for-4 on the man advantage. 

Game 5 is tonight at the Budweiser Events Center as the Thunder remains in Loveland to take on Colorado at 8:05 p.m. CST.

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