RAPID CITY, SD (Jan. 25) - Wichita erupted for five goals in the third period en route to a 7-4 win on Saturday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. With the win, the Thunder snaps a 10-game winless skid.
Stefan Fournier led the way with three points while six others finished with two points apiece. Dylan Wells grabbed his first win of the year, stopping 26 shots.
Wichita came out with a ton of energy in the early going. Both teams were unsuccessful on their two power play chances. Brennan Saulnier broke the scoreless tie at 17:46 as he caught a pass from behind the net from Darian Romanko and he beat Wells near the crease to make it 1-0.
Garrett Schmitz tied it at 3:29 of the second as he fired home a slap shot from the right point with plenty of traffic near the net. Rapid City answered quickly, scoring at 5:01 to re-take the lead. Saulnier collected his second of the game as he stole the puck from Billy Exell and beat Wells. Salvaggio tied it at 6:46 as he got to a rebound in the crease and netted his 11th of the season. Rapid City scored a power play goal at 18:59 to take the lead back. Saulnier fired a one-timer from the right dot for his hat trick goal to make it 3-2.
In the third, Wichita tied the game at 5:14 as Beau Starrett tipped in a shot from the point from Vincent Desharnais. Ostap Safin gave the Thunder the lead for good at 10:54 as he caught a pass up the right wing, skated down the boards and rifled a shot past Tyler Parks. At 11:30, Nolan Vesey scored the eventual game-winner as he caught a pass through the slot and beat Parks. Fournier scored his first of two in the third at 14:36 to make it 6-3. Rapid City got one back on the power play at 17:02 as Darian Romanko tipped in a shot from the blue line. With the goalie pulled, Fournier stole the puck from Jalen Smereck and scored into an empty net to make it 7-4.
Wichita reached a new season-high with five goals scored in one period. Fournier finished with two goals and an assist. Vesey, Salvaggio, Safin and Schmitz each had a goal and an assist. Desharnais had two helpers.
The two teams face off once against tomorrow afternoon starting at 5:05 p.m. CST.
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