Tulsa, OK (Oct. 16) - Kenton Miller scored twice, including the game-winner nine seconds after Tulsa tied the game and helped Wichita to a 3-2 victory on Friday night at the BOK Center. Miller finished with two points while Anthony Deluca had the other goal for the Thunder. The win gives Wichita a 1-0 series advantage in the StoneWolf Casino Cup.
The Oilers had the better of the scoring chances in the first period, but Thunder netminder David Shantz was up to the task. He made a beautiful save on Brandon Wong with just over two minutes to go in the frame, which helped keep the game scoreless through one.
In the second, Wichita got goals 31 seconds apart to take a 2-0 advantage. At 11 minutes, Dan Milan jumped on the ice during a change and unloaded a low shot that Miller got a piece of to make it 1-0. Immediately after, Deluca stole the puck at center, came down the left wing and whistled one into the upper right corner to make it 2-0.
Tulsa stormed back into the contest with two goals in the final frame. Ben Walker poked home a loose puck during a net-mouth scramble that cut the lead to one at 11:16 of the third. With less than two minutes remaining, Brady Ramsay got to another loose puck near the crease before Shantz could cover it and tied the game.
On the next shift, Miller beat the Oilers to a loose puck on a dump-in. From behind the net, he slid it through Olkinuora, who appeared to give up on the play thinking it was icing to re-gain the lead. The goal was just nine seconds after Tulsa had evened the score. Shantz stood strong and helped Wichita pull out a dramatic 3-2 victory.
Deluca notches his first goal as a pro while Milan, Danick Gauthier and Mason Baptista each earned assists. Wichita's best period was the second, outshooting the Oilers 13-3 in the frame. Shantz grabbed his first win in a Thunder uniform, stopping 22 of 24 shots he faced. Olkinuora took the loss, stopping 21 of 24 shots he saw.
Wichita went 0-for-5 on the power play. Tulsa finished 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
Opening Night is tomorrow night against the Quad City Mallards! Join us for our Opening Night Block Party, brought to you by Toyota. Starting at 4 p.m., fans can congregate in front of Entrance A and B with all kinds of family fun activities.
The first 1,000 fans in the door that night will get a free voucher for a selfie stick, presented by Waste Connections. Fans who receive this voucher can pick up their prize on the way out of the arena.
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.