West Valley City, UT (Jan. 2nd) - Wichita opened up a three-game set on Wednesday night against Utah and fell by the final of 5-3 at the Maverik Center.
PC Labrie, Cam Reid and Steven Iacobellis provided the offense in the losing effort.
Wichita got on the board first when Labrie fired a one-timer past Kevin Carr at 1:15 of the opening period. Utah answered with just over four minutes to go in the frame as Austin Carroll got to rebound and beat Stuart Skinner through a screen to make it 1-1.
In the second, the Thunder re-took the lead as Cam Reid scored on the power play at 4:56 to make it 2-1. Utah scored the next three in a span of two minutes. Jack Walker got to a bad bounce off the end glass on a shot from Jake Marchment and beat Skinner to tie it at two. Travis Barron unloaded a one-timer at 8:04 to make it 3-2. At 8:58, Marchment put a shot between his legs from in front of the crease on the power play to make it 4-2.
Tim McGauley increased the lead to 5-2 at 3:56 of the third period as he stole a puck near the red line, raced in and beat Skinner to the glove side. His night would be done and Ed Minney came on in relief. Iacobellis cut the deficit to two with his 11th of the year at 17:03. He caught a pass at the left circle and beat Carr with a snap shot to make it 5-3. Minney was lifted for the extra attacker, but the late game magic would not happen tonight as Utah held on for the 5-3 win.
Wichita has a power play goal in five-straight games. Iacobellis and Reid finished with three points (1g, 2a).
The Thunder remains in Utah to take on the Grizzlies this Friday night starting at 8:05 p.m. CST.
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