Wichita 4, Idaho
scored three goals to lead the Wichita Jr. Thunder to a 4-3 win over the Idaho
Jr. Steelheads in the 2017 Thorne Cup championship game.
It is the first
ever Western States Hockey League championship for Wichita – and interrupted
Idaho’s attempt at a three-peat.
Karlsson scored the only goal of the first period, but the Jr. Thunder scored
three unanswered goals in the second to take a 3-1 lead. Cicmanec’s first two goals were sandwiched
around a tally by veteran blue liner Alex Smith.
Lance Herning got
the Jr. Steelheads within a goal at 6:28 of the third period, but Wichita’s
Erik Spath made some key saves to protect the Jr. Thunder lead.
goal came with 8:42 left on the clock and gave Wichita some breathing room that
they would end up needing.
Kikuchi scored with just over six minutes left in the game to get the Jr.
Steelheads back within a goal but Spath, who made 14 of his 35 saves in the
final frame, would not allow another puck to get past him and the Jr. Thunder
had a historic victory for their franchise.
made 25 saves for Idaho – 12 of them in the second period.
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