Independence, MO (Dec. 31st) - Wichita climbed back from a three-goal deficit to force overtime, but fell on Monday night to Kansas City by the final of 5-4 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Wichita scored a pair of goals just 15 seconds apart with under two minutes left to tie the game as Jeremy Beaudry and Mark MacMillan found the back of the net. Steven Iacobellis finished with three helpers on the night.
Kansas City jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals from Greg Betzold. His first came at 5:40 when a pass behind the Thunder net was intercepted. Mark Cooper found Betzold all alone at the right post to make it 1-0. His second came at when he created another turnover and fired a wrist shot from the right boards past Skinner. Wichita cut the lead to one at 15:50 when Keoni Texeira got to a rebound off a shot from PC Labrie and put home a backhand for his second goal of the season.
Mark Cooper increased the lead to 3-1 with a marker at the seven-minute mark of the second. He found a loose puck during a net-mouth scramble and buried it for his 10th of the year. Nate Widman made it 4-1 at 13:29 when he put back a rebound from the left boards and beat Skinner underneath the blocker for his second of the season.
Ralph Cuddemi sparked the comeback with a power play goal at 1:50 of the third. He fired a one-timer past Schneider from the left circle for his 16th of the season. Beaudry made it 4-3 at 18:59 when he walked the blue line and unloaded a shot through traffic for his fourth of the year. MacMillan tied the game at 19:14 with his 10th of the year as he received a beautiful pass from Iacobellis near the crease and one-timed in to make it 4-4.
In the overtime, Jakob Stukel and Texeira had two great chances, but were denied by Schneider. Rocco Carzo scored the game-winner at 3:03 as he put a shot on Ed Minney and it trickled through him over the goal line.
Cuddemi leads the league with 11 power play goals. Texeira added to his league-leading total with another assist on the man advantage (17). MacMillan finished with a goal and an assist.
The Thunder heads out to Salt Lake City on Wednesday for the start of a three-game series this week against the Utah Grizzlies starting at 8:05 p.m. CST.
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