Wichita, KS (April 8th) - Playing to keep its playoff hopes alive, Wichita (32-30-2-6) couldn't overcome a third-period comeback losing to Tulsa (36-29-2-3) by the final score of 4-2 on Wednesday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. Wichita held a 2-1 lead into the final frame before the Oilers rallied with three unanswered goals including the game-winner with 42 seconds remaining. The loss knocks the Thunder out of the playoffs and are now 2-7-1-3 in the StoneWolf Casino Cup Series.
After a scoreless opening period, Tulsa got on the board with a power play goal in the first minute of the second. Adam Pleskach scored his first of two at 44 seconds, ripping a shot off the crossbar that trickled over the goal line before Grant Rollheiser was able to save it from going in. At 2:19, Kurtis Bartliff pumped home a rebound past Kevin Carr to tie the game at one for his fourth of the season. The Thunder then took their first and only lead of the game at 6:48 when Mike Wilson got to a rebound off of Carr in the slot and beat him over the blocker for his 13th of the season.
In the third, Wichita failed to capitalize on two penalties called on Scott Macaulay. During his second penalty, which was a delay of game minor for clearing the puck over the glass, the Oilers pulled even at 8:09. Kyle Bochek stole the puck after slashing Eric Meland near the Thunder blue line and skated in all alone, beating Rollheiser to tie the game at two with a shorthanded goal. Tulsa took the lead for good at 19:18 when Jeff Jubinville fired a shot from the slot that Pleskach tipped out of mid-air and made it 3-2. Wichita pulled Rollheiser but Bochek scored an empty-netter for his second of the game at 19:50 and gave the Oilers a 4-2 win.
Wilson set a new career-high in goals with his 13th of the season and has points in three-straight (1g, 3a). Bernhardt (2g, 3a) and Gauthier (2g, 3a) collected assists and both have points in their last three as well. Rollheiser suffers the loss, stopping 22 of 25 shots. Carr improves to 11-2-0-0 against the Thunder, stopping 38 of 40 shots he faced.
Wichita was 0-for-4 on the man advantage. Tulsa went 1-for-1 on the power play.
Wichita plays Tulsa for the final time this season on Friday night starting at 7:05 p.m.
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.