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Wintoneak's Hat Trick Powers Mavs Past Bees
Rookie scores three in 12th professional game
Independence, Missouri – The Missouri Mavericks faced the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees Friday night at Independence Events Center. 5,800 fans packed Independence Events Center for the Mavericks’ third sellout of the season and 19th in team history. Bill Vandermeer made his return to the Mavs lineup after suffering a devastating foot injury in the offseason. Vandermeer’s return to the lineup was overshadowed as rookie forward Walker Wintoneak recorded a hat trick in just his 12th professional game as the Mavericks went on to defeat the Killer Bees, 5-4.
The outlook was bleak out of the gate for the Mavericks as the Bees scored two goals within one minute and ten seconds of eachother. Nick Sucharski, who was added to the Rio Grande Valley roster just hours before the game, scored the opening goal on a redirected shot from Jake Obermeyer. Obermeyer and Zak McClellan were credited with assists on the goal. Just over a minute later, the Bees capitalized on a two man advantage, when a Darcy Campbell slap shot found the back of the net. Tomas Klempa got an assist on the goal. Klempa and McClellan each recorded their 10th assist of the season on both Rio Grande Valley goals. The Mavericks responded late in the period as rookie forward Walker Wintoneak continued his impressive first month as a pro, burying a rebound from Ryan Jardine for his third goal of the season, kicking off his historic night. Jardine and rookie defenseman Mike Wakita assisted on the goal. The Mavericks outshot the Bees 14-7 in the period, but the Bees held the 2-1 advantage heading into the first intermisson.
The Mavericks were quick to knot the score up as the second period got underway. Mike Berry nailed home another rebound goal for the Mavericks as Mike Wakita recorded his second assist of the game. Toby Lafrance was credited with an assist on the goal, his team leading eighth of the season. The Bees got right back in it just 38 seconds later as Darcy Campbell ripped home a wrist shot from the slot for his second goal of the game. Aaron Lewicki was given the assist on the goal. Wintoneak found his way on to the scoresheet again when he tipped in a shot from the point by Berry. The goal was Wintoneak’s second on his way to the hat trick. Berry and Olivier Filion were given assists on the goal. Walker Wintoneak kept his special night going, when he put home a pass from Jardine for his third goal of the game and the hats went flying. Nick Sirota was credited with an assist. Wintoneak’s hat trick was the first for the Mavericks this season. The Bees were determined to ensure that Wintoneak did not steal the spotlight, as they tied the game up with just over a minute left in the period, when Ryan McLeod banged home a pass from Campbell on yet another Rio Grande Valley five-on-three advantage. Aaron Lee was given an assist on the goal as well. Both goaltenders got their fair share of work in the period as well, as the Bees racked up 15 shots to the Mavs’ 14 in the period.
For a game that featured a combined 9 goals by both teams, the first half of the third period went without much incident until the 9:48 mark, when Carlyle Lewis buried a Derek Pallardy rebound to put the Mavericks’ up 5-4. Lewis’ tally would prove to be the difference as the Mavericks held on to defeat the Killer Bees, 5-4.
The Mavericks finished one-for-five on the power play tonight and goaltender Gerry Festa stopped 23 of 27 shots. The Killer Bees went two-for-six with man advantages and Bees netminder Dan Rosen stopped 38 of the Mavericks 43 shots on goal.
The Mavericks wrap up their four games in five night stretch tomorrow night as they finish their two game set with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Start time for tomorrow night’s game is 7:05pm at Independence Events Center. Tickets for all remaining regular season home games are on sale now starting at just $14 per game. Mini-plans, season tickets and group tickets are also available by calling (816) 252-7825.