Wichita, KS (March 4th) - Guillaume Lepine scored six minutes into the third and Nick Riopel held off a late push from Idaho on Sunday afternoon, helping Wichita claim a 2-1 victory at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Ralph Cuddemi registered his 24th of the season and added an assist. Ryan Van Stralen had two helpers and Riopel stopped 32 shots en route to the win.
Idaho scored first just 2:20 into the game as Eric Sweetman fired a shot from the right point that got past Riopel.
Wichita tied the contest early in the second period. Van Stralen carried it through the neutral zone, skated up the left wing, went to the net and found Cuddemi near the crease and he tipped it past Philippe Desrosiers.
In the third, Lepine gave the Thunder their first lead of the contest. Van Stralen won a board battle on the right wall. He gave the puck to Cuddemi near the right face-off dot. Cuddemi snapped a pass to Lepine in the slot and he buried it to the top right corner to make it 2-1.
Down the stretch, Idaho had several chances and pulled Desrosiers with two minutes left in regulation. Riopel held the fort and snapped Wichita's six-game winless skid.
Cuddemi reached the 50-point plateau, becoming the first Thunder player to hit that mark since the 2014-15 season. He has points in six of his last seven games (5g, 7a). Van Stralen notches his first multi-point game of his pro career. Lepine registered his fifth tally of the year and is just one shy of his career-high.
Wichita went 0-for-3 on the power play. Idaho was 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
The Thunder closes a four-game homestand on Wednesday night with a meeting against the Quad City Mallards at 7:05 p.m.
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