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Playoff Hopes Stay Alive in 4-3 Shootout Win vs. Allen

Monday, February 1st
Playoff Hopes Stay Alive in 4-3 Shootout Win vs. Allen

Wichita, KS (April 1st) - Needing a win to keep its playoff hopes alive, Wichita (31-29-2-6) got a much-needed two points in a 4-3 shootout win over Allen (44-14-6-4) on Wednesday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. Mike MacIntyre potted his first shootout goal of the year in the bottom of round seven to help Wichita move within three points of Tulsa for the fourth and final playoff spot. Wichita improves to 8-7-0-1 against Allen with one more meeting on the final day of the regular season.

Justin Bernhardt finished the night with two goals while Ian Lowe recorded his 18th of the year.

Wichita was limited to just five shots in the opening frame, but took advantage of a defensive-zone breakdown to make it 1-0. Kenton Miller found Bernhardt streaking through the slot and he buried it past Joel Rumpel for his 14th of the season. Allen tried to answer on the next shift, but Grant Rollheiser was up to the task and stopped all 15 shots in the first.

Five goals were scored in the second frame. At 5:47, Ian Lowe created a turnover in front of the Allen net and put it past Rumpel for a 2-0 lead. The Americans answered with two goals just over three minutes apart. Justin Baker got Allen on the board at 6:16 after controlling the puck on the perimeter and firing one through Rollheiser. At 8:24, Konrad Abeltshauser tied the game at two with a power play goal and his first of the season. Bernhardt re-gained the lead for Wichita at 10:48, receiving a beautiful pass across the crease from Mike Wilson and found a wide open net. Allen went back on the power play when Jared Walker was whistled for tripping and capitalized. Spencer Asuchak tipped in a shot from the blue line at 13:31 for his 11th of the year and tied things at three.

Wichita had several more chances on the power play in the third, but couldn't solve the Allen penalty kill. The Americans outshot the Thunder 8-4 in the final frame, but the game would head past regulation for the seventh time in the season-series.

In the overtime period, both teams had quality scoring chances. At 2:26, Todd Hosmer and Baker were sent off after a post-whistle scrum. The action was fast and furious during the two minutes of three-on-three. Wilson almost ended it with a breakaway, but lost control coming to the glove-side post of Rumpel. The final horn would sound to end the extra session and a shootout was needed.

The first four shooters were unsuccessful as Bernhardt and Lowe were stopped for the Thunder. Greger Hanson beat Rollheiser at the top of round three to make it 1-0. After the next three shooters were stopped, Kenton Miller roofed a backhand at the bottom of round five to force the shootout into sudden death. MacIntyre, who was 0-for-1 in the shootout, beat Rumpel in the bottom of round seven with a wrist shot past his glove to secure the win for the Thunder.

Wichita improved to 5-1 past regulation against the Americans and 3-0 in games decided by penalty shots. With two goals, Bernhardt now has seven of his 15 markers against Allen this season. Lowe broke his goal scoring slump, finding the back of the net for the first time since March 1st. Rollheiser claims his 13th win of the season, stopping 33 of 36 shots and stopped six of the seven shooters in the shootout. Rumpel suffers his first shootout loss of the year, stopping 16 of 19 shots he faced and stopped five of the seven shooters he faced in the shootout.

Wichita was 0-for-5 on the man advantage. Allen went 2-for-3 on the power play.

Wichita has a couple of days off before returning to action on Saturday night for the final meeting of the season against the Brampton Beast 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.