Wichita, KS (Feb. 20th) - Dylan Clarke scored a power play goal with six minutes left to help Rapid City (25-24-0-3) get past Wichita (24-19-2-5) by the final score of 3-2 on Friday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Thunder led by one heading into the third period, but gave up a pair in the final frame and couldn't get another past Rapid City netminder John Griggs. Wichita drops to 3-4-0-1 in the season-series against the Rush. The two teams will close the regular season series at the beginning of March.
Mike Wilson recorded two points while Nikita Kashirsky added his 10th of the season to pace the Thunder offense.
The first period was a quiet one in terms of scoring. The Rush had two power play attempts in the opening frame, but were unable to get one past Tim Boron. Rapid City took a 9-8 edge into the first intermission.
Just 31 seconds into the second, Jesse Schultz found some room along the goal line and dished a pass into the slot for Cody Ferriero who buried it for the game's first goal. Wichita answered quickly, scoring less than three minutes later. Danick Gauthier fought through a check in the neutral zone, came down on a two-on-one, fed it across to Wilson and he beat Griggs to make it 1-1. At 16:17, Kashirsky put home a rebound from his stomach for his 10th of the season and gave Wichita its first lead of the contest.
Wichita had all kinds of opportunities in the third, but couldn't find the net. Todd Hosmer stepped away from two defenders down the middle of the ice, but rang a wrister off the mask of Griggs. Rapid City pulled even at 4:15 when Cody Ferriero went coast-to-coast and beat Boron to make it 2-2. The Rush took the lead with a power play goal from Clarke at 13:52 after getting a shot-pass tipped to him from Winston Day Chief. Down the stretch, each team had a late power play as the Rush were called for a delay of game for too many men on the ice and Todd Hosmer was sent off for slashing. With time winding down, Wichita was able to get Boron to the bench for the extra attacker and got the puck in the offensive zone. Griggs stood ground and the Rush held on for the win.
Wilson finished with a goal and an assist, putting him six points from reaching 200 for his career. He also extended his point-streak to six games, tallying nine points over that span (2g, 7a). Gauthier added his 23rd assist of the season, extending his streak to four games (3g, 4a) and 84 points in his pro career. Boron took the loss in his seven-straight start, stopping 26 of 29 shots. Griggs claimed the win, stopping 28 of 30 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-2 on the man advantage. Rapid City went 1-for-5 on the power play.
Wichita finishes the weekend tomorrow night against the Tulsa Oilers, which will be their first meeting since December 17th. Tomorrow night is the 4th Annual Cops vs. Fire game starting at 5:15 p.m. with the doors opening at 5 p.m. The team will be wearing special uniforms that will be auctioned off after the game with the proceeds going to the Arc of Sedgwick County.
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.