Wichita, KS (April 4th) - Danick Gauthier had three points, Ian Lowe scored for the second game in a row and Grant Rollheiser claimed another win against his former team as Wichita (32-29-2-6) tamed Brampton (22-43-3-0) on Saturday night by the final score of 5-1 at INTRUST Bank Arena. Wichita takes the regular-season finale and finishes 5-1-0-1 against the Beast this season. With a Tulsa loss to Missouri earlier tonight, the Thunder move within three points of the fourth playoff spot and play Tulsa the next two contests starting on Wednesday night.
Kenton Miller got things started halfway through the first period, getting a terrific feed from Gauthier in the slot and blasted it past Parker Van Buskirk. Brampton peppered Grant Rollheiser on the other end, but he stood tall and kept the Beast off the board through the first 20 minutes.
In the second, Lowe increased the lead to 2-0 with a power play goal 1:46 in. He whistled one from the left face-off circle over Van Buskirk's shoulder for his 19th of the season. Rollheiser wasn't tested as often as he was in the first made his best save in the second from point-blank range in the frame. Wichita would take the 2-0 advantage into the third.
The Thunder found the net three times in the final period, two of which came off the stick from Gauthier on the power play. His first came on a five-on-three, putting a one-timer through Van Buskirk from the right face-off dot for his 29th of the season. His second came on the ensuing five-on-four power play chance, catching a beautiful feed through the slot and tickled the twine for his 30th of the year. Jeff Brown stopped the shutout bid for Rollheiser less than two minutes later, beating him from the right circle on the man advantage and cut the lead to 4-1. At 16:19, Garrett Klotz recorded his first goal in a Thunder uniform on a two-on-one opportunity to re-gain a 5-1 lead. The final horn would sound and the Thunder earned its 72nd point in the standings.
Wichita recorded three power play goals for the second time this season, which equals a season-high. Out of the six goals scored, four-straight came on the man advantage between the two teams. Nine different players found the score sheet, including a two assist performance from both Mike Wilson and Justin Bernhardt. Gauthier finished with his 20th multi-point outing of the season and his fourth time recording two goals in a game. Lowe had a goal and an assist to push his totals to 39 on the season (19g, 38a). Rollheiser earned his third win against his former team, stopping 26 of 27 and was named the #1 star of the game. Van Buskirk suffered his sixth loss of the year, stopping 24 of 29 shots he faced.
Wichita was 3-for-5 on the man advantage. Brampton went 1-for-5 on the power play.
Wichita begins an important stretch against the Tulsa Oilers with back-to-back home games starting on Wednesday night at 7:05.
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.