Wichita, KS (Dec. 30th) - RG Flath scored with 2:29 remaining in overtime to give Wichita (14-10-1-4) a 3-2 victory over Missouri (13-12-1-2) on Tuesday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Mavericks climbed back from a 2-0 deficit with just over five minutes remaining, but the Thunder prevailed to improve to 5-1-0-0 against Missouri in the Independence Cup Series. Ian Lowe finished with three points and Danick Gauthier recorded his team-leading 14th of the season. The two teams play again tomorrow night at the Independence Events Center to round out the home-and-home series. Wichita moves alone into third place and two points behind Quad City for second.
The two teams played through a scoreless first period with Missouri taking the edge in shots, 8-4, into the locker room. Wichita had plenty of chances, but failed to hit the net. Wichita attempted 17 shots and misfired on 13 of those. Both teams had one power play chance, but couldn't generate much in the offensive zone.
Gauthier got the Thunder on the board at 17:37 of the second when his backhand glanced off of Brendan Rempel's leg and got past Maxime Lagace to make it 1-0. The Thunder pulled even in the shot department at 14 and held the Mavericks to six shots in the second frame.
In the third, Lowe recorded his 10th of the year after collecting a beautiful backdoor feed from Ian Duval and beat Lagace to make it 2-0. The Mavericks would fight back, getting a pair of goals from Sebastien Thinel in less than a three-minute span. His first came at 14:43 with a wrist shot from the left circle. At 17:28, he collected his 1,000th career point after getting to his own rebound in the crease and putting it past Tim Boron that tied the game. Neither team could find the back of the net down the stretch and for the fourth straight game, Wichita would head into extra time.
The Thunder controlled the overtime period, outshooting the Mavericks 3-0. At 3:31, Flath pounced on a rebound after Lowe's shot dropped in the crease and he swept it inside the far post for the game-winning goal and his fourth of the season.
Wichita hands Missouri its first overtime loss of the year and improves to 2-1 with games decided in the extra session. With the win, the Thunder have taken the last four in the season-series. Tonight's meeting was the first between the two teams that finished after 60 minutes. Flath's goal gives him 77 in a Thunder uniform. Gauthier and Lowe have scored in back-to-back games. Kenton Miller collected an assist and extended his point-streak to six games (2g, 6a). Duval grabbed his 11th helper of the year, extending his point-streak to four games (1g, 4a). In his sixth-straight start, Boron earned his 10th win of the season stopping 17 of 19 shots. Lagace suffered his first overtime loss, stopping 23 of 26 shots he faced.
Wichita went 1-for-3 on the power play. Missouri was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Wichita closes out 2014 on Wednesday evening in Independence against the Mavericks at 7:05 p.m. The Thunder begin the New Year on Saturday, January 3rd at home against Quad City.
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.