WICHITA, Kan. (Dec. 8) - Wichita used a big second period to pull away from Kansas City on Sunday afternoon, winning 4-1 at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Thunder leads the Independence Cup Series 4-2-2-0 and took four out of six points on the weekend.
Stefan Fournier, Fabrizio Ricci, Billy Exell and Patrik Parkonnen found the net while Mitch Gillam was superb for the Thunder in the winning effort.
Early in the first, Kansas City worked its cycle down low and kept the puck in the offensive zone. The Thunder defense did a nice job of limiting opportunities and starting chances at the other end. Nick Schneider made some nice saves, including a post-to-post save on Cameron Hebig.
The Thunder struck three times in the second period to grab a 3-0 lead. Ricci scored at 2:06 as he spun around near the blueline and beat Schneider to make it 1-0. Fournier increased it to 2-0 after he caught a beautiful feed from Chris Crane and registered his 8th of the season. Exell made it 3-0 at 11:24 with his second of the year. Gillam made some nice saves on the other end, including one on Michael Parks with six minutes to go in the frame.
Kansas City got one back late in the third as Zach Osburn fired a shot off the right post and in to make it 3-1. The Mavericks pulled Schneider again on the next shift and Parkkonen unloaded a slapshot from his own zone into the empty cage to make it 4-1.
Wichita earned back-to-back wins for the first time since November 13. The Thunder also snapped a small skid against the Mavericks in the season-series, stopping a three-game slide. Crane and Starrett each added two assists. Ricci had a goal and an assist. Gillam stopped 27 of 28 shots he faced. Parkkonen and Fournier have goals in back-to-back games.
The Thunder hits the road for the next four starting on Tuesday night at Allen.
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