Wichita, KS (Nov. 11th) - On a night where our country honors those who have served and protected our nation, Wichita (5-7-0-0) came from behind to upend arch-rival, Tulsa, (4-5-0-1) by the final score of 2-1 in a shootout at INTRUST Bank Arena. Anthony Deluca recorded the shootout winner in round four to help the Thunder secure their second win in the StoneWolf Casino Cup Series.
Tulsa took an early lead in the first after the Thunder got into penalty trouble. Wichita took back-to-back minors to give Tulsa a five-on-three power play just a little over five minutes into the period. Brandon Wong scored his fourth of the season off a rebound in front of David Shantz to make it 1-0. The Oilers had the first nine shots on net before the Thunder offense started to generate some chances late in the frame.
The momentum carried over to the second as Peter Sakaris roofed a backhand shot past Jussi Olkinuora to tie the game just 51 seconds in. The Thunder kept the Oilers at bay, only allowing nine shots in the period, and getting 12 shots on goal themselves. Shantz turned away several great chances by the Oilers and the period ended in a tie at one.
In the third, Wichita had several quality scoring chances that were turned aside by Olkinuora. Both teams finished with 10 shots on net, but the game would need to go past regulation to decide a winner.
Wichita outshot the Oilers in the overtime session, letting go three shots on net while the Oilers had none. After five minutes of scoreless hockey, the game headed into a shootout. At the top of round one, Phil Brewer got things started with a tally past Shantz. Sakaris answered with a goal of his own at the bottom of the first.
The next five shooters were denied, setting up Deluca in the bottom of round four. He skated in on his off-wing, made a terrific stick-handling move around a poke check attempt from Olkinuora and slid a backhand into the wide open net for the win.
The Thunder registered 30 shots for just the second time this season. Deluca records his first shootout goal of his pro career. Sakaris added his fourth marker of the season while Michael Neal and Joey Sides picked up assists. Shantz stopped 30 of 31 shots to earn his third win of the season. Olkinuora suffered his first shootout loss of the year, stopping 30 of 31 shots he faced.
Wichita resumes its six-game homestand on Friday night as the Missouri Mavericks come to town for a pair of games starting at 7:05 p.m.
Individual tickets for all games are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 855-755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com.
Season tickets are on sale now. Don't delay! Call the Wichita Thunder office and visit with a season ticket rep today to learn more. Stay up-to-date on all the news during the season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.
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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.