Wichita, KS (Nov. 26th) - Leading by one heading into the third period, Wichita scored three times and skated away with a 4-1 win on Sunday night at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Joel Rumpel made 38 saves, including 20 in the second period and Dyson Stevenson had a Gordie Howe hat trick to lead the way for the Thunder.
Kalamazoo got off to a good start, firing the first seven shots on net. At 6:45, Matt DeBlouw changed the momentum with his third goal of the season. Stevenson flipped a pass to himself over a defenseman and fed it back across the slot. Matt DeBlouw buried it for his first goal since Opening Weekend. From that point, Wichita outshot the Wings, 16-2, to close out the first.
The story of the second was the goaltending. Joel Rumpel and Michael Garteig were terrific, stopping a combined 30 shots on net.
In the third, Ralph Cuddemi recorded his first goal in a Thunder uniform to make it 2-0. Kalamazoo failed to clear the puck out of their own zone and Cuddemi pounced on a rebound. Evan Polei increased the lead to 3-0 with his first goal as a pro at 4:37. The Wings broke the shutout bid for Rumpel at 10:56 when Kyle Blaney got in behind the Wichita defense and scored to cut the lead to 3-1. Stevenson found the net for his fifth of the year at 14:28 with a wrist shot from the right circle to close the scoring at 4-1.
Tonight's match-up was the first time ever that the Thunder and the Wings faced each other. DeBlouw and Stevenson each finished with a goal and an assist. Steven Iacobellis had a pair of assists. Polei and Cuddemi each fired seven shots on net. Rumpel improved to 7-1-0 with the victory. Garteig suffered the loss, stopping 36 of 40 shots he faced. Wichita went 0-for-4 on the power play. Kalamazoo went was 1-for-6 on the man advantage.
The Thunder has the week off and will face Kalamazoo to begin the month of December next Saturday night starting at 7:05 p.m.
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