Rapid City, SD (March 16th) - Mark MacMillan scored six minutes into the third period and Nick Riopel held off a late push from Rapid City, winning 3-2 on Friday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Ralph Cuddemi and Mark MacMillan each had two points while Riopel stopped 33 shots to earn his 15th win of the year.
After the two teams failed to find the back of the net in the first, they combined for four in the second. Cuddemi gave Wichita a 1-0 lead at 4:44, tipping a shot from Jeremy Beaudry through Adam Vay for his 27th of the year. Ryan Van Stralen made it 2-0 at 14:19 as he got some help from Ian Brady. He was trying to clear the puck to the corner, but accidentally swept a backhand through Vay. The Rush quickly got back into the game as Peter Sivak scored at 15:55 with a wrist shot from the left circle. Andrew Radjenovic tied it at 18:57 as he fired a wrist shot from the right boards past Riopel.
In the third, MacMillan helped Wichita re-gain the lead at 6:20. He dished it off to Cuddemi, went hard to the net and the puck glanced off his skate through Vay. Rapid City argued the goal not only for kicking the puck in, but for off-side as well. The marker would stand and Wichita went up 3-2. The Rush had several chances late, but Riopel stood firm and helped the Thunder to their 33rd win of the year.
Cuddemi has a goal and an assist in four of his last outings. MacMillan has goals in back-to-back games. Van Stralen continues to stay hot, recording his fifth goal of the year.
Wichita went 0-for-2 on the power play. Rapid City was 0-for-1 on the man advantage.
The Thunder closes their season-series against Rapid City tomorrow night at 8:05 p.m. CST.
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