RAPID CITY, SD (Dec. 27) - Wichita tried to dig themselves out of a 4-0 hole on Friday night and almost tied it late, but fell to Rapid City, 4-3, at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Beau Starrett and Patrik Parkkonen led the way with two points for the Thunder while Stefan Fournier and Cameron Hebig also scored.
Rapid City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Tyler Coulter tallied his 11th of the season at 5:57 to make it 1-0. Tyler Poulsen beat Mitch Gillam with a wrist shot at 12:34 to make it 2-0.
In the second, the Rush added two more to hop out to a 4-0 cushion. Coulter netted his second of the game at 5:40 to make it 3-0 after collecting a nice pass from Poulsen. At 6:42, Peter Quenneville made it 4-0 with his 14th of the year. For the first time this season, Gillam was lifted and Evan Weninger came into the contest. Hebig cut the lead to 4-1 at 10:03, scoring just after a Rush penalty expired.
Starrett cut the lead to 4-2 at 8:40 of the third. He caught a long-lead pass as he was coming out of the penalty box and hammered a slap shot past Tyler Parks. With less than a minute to go, Weninger was pulled for the extra attacker and the Thunder cashed in. Fournier tipped in a shot from Parkkonen to cut the lead to 4-3. Wichita had one last rush up the ice, but time ran out and Rapid City held on for the win.
Fournier has goals in four of his last five games. Parkkonen has three assists in his last two games.
Wichita remains in the Black Hills tomorrow night with another meeting against Rapid City at 8:05 p.m. CST.
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