Wichita, KS (Dec. 13th) - Struggling to find the back of the net, the Thunder offense (10-10-1-3) erupted on Saturday night blowing past Rapid City (7-13-0-2) by the final score of 5-0 at INTRUST Bank Arena on Teddy Bear Toss Night. Wichita had five different players light the lamp including Eric Meland who had three points. Wichita pulls even in the season-series 2-2-0-0 with Rapid City and will see the Rush a week from Sunday.
The story of the first period was the Thunder power play. Rapid City took four minor penalties and paid for it. At 15:03, Mike Wilson whistled a shot past Danny Battochio from the deep slot and made it 1-0. His tally brought the waterfall of teddy bears down onto the ice. After the stuffed animals were cleaned up and play resumed, Wichita took advantage of another Rapid City penalty. At 17:10, Eric Meland pounced on a rebound during a scramble in front of the Rush crease and he poked it in before a whistle came from the official. The Thunder took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Thunder offense kept rolling in the second, scoring two goals in less than a five minute span. At 14:35, Todd Hosmer recorded his six of the season with assists to Gibbons and Meland to increase the lead to 3-0. Erick Lizon added his fifth of the year at 19:05 as he scored with his back facing the net and put it behind him past Battochio for the 5-0 lead.
The night was over for Battochio, as Etienne Marcoux made an appearance in the final frame for the Rush in net. He wouldn't fair much better, giving up a goal at 14:40 to Kyle Gibbons that finished the scoring at 5-0.
Wichita scored first for the first time in the last eight games. The Thunder hit the 40-shot plateau for the third time in the last six contests. Wichita enjoyed a season-high nine power play opportunties. Meland reccorded his first of the season and had two helpers on the night. Hosmer had a goal and an assist while being named the number 3 star of the night. Danick Gauthier added to his totals, recording two assists. Ian Lowe recorded an assist, extending his scoring streak to three games with four points in that span (2g, 2a). Boron earns his second shutout of the season and 14th of his career, stopping all 25 shots he faced. Battochio suffers his ninth loss of the year, stopping 21 of 25 shots in 40 minutes.
Wichita went 2-for-9 on the power play. Rapid City was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Wichita heads out of town for the next two games, starting on Wednesday night at the BOK Center against the Tulsa Oilers.
Individual tickets are on sale now. Don't delay! Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com. Stay up-to-date on all the news during the season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.
About the ECHL
The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 541 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 29 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.