Rapid City, SD (Dec. 8th) - Rapid City (11-7-1-1) used a four-goal second period to pull away from Wichita (6-14-0-1) on Tuesday night, winning by the final of 7-2 at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The two teams were tied after the first 20 minutes, but the Rush recorded five unanswered en route to the victory.
Michael Neal and Dean Chelios provided the offense for the Thunder while Mason Baptista had a pair of assists.
Four minutes into the contest, Neal recorded his second goal of the season with assists from Baptista and Chelios that gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead. Rapid City answered nine minutes later when Cody Ferriero fired a one-timer on a two-on-one and tied the game. Rapid City held the shot advantage through 20 minutes, 9-5.
In the second, the Rush found the net four times on 10 shots. Mikhail Stefanovich scored his first of three to give the Rush the lead just two minutes in. His second came
at 8:06 that made it 3-1. Winston Day Chief added the third of the frame at 9:25 on the power play. Spencer Pommells finished the second-period scoring for Rapid City at 11:55 and gave the home team a 5-1 lead heading to the third.
Chelios gave the Thunder some life at 4:22 of the third with a rebound to cut the lead to three. Wichita had two breakaways and several other quality scoring chances that Marek Langhamer stopped shortly after. At 13:15, Stefanovich notched the hat trick and his sixth of the season. Day Chief recorded his second of the contest at 18:28 and Rapid City skated away with the 7-2 win.
Chelios recorded his first in a Thunder uniform and added an assist. Neal finished with a goal and an assist. Baptista also had two points on the night. David Shantz takes the loss, stopping 12 of 16 shots. Grant Rollheiser came on in relief during the second period, allowing three goals on nine shots. Langhamer earns the win, stopping 24 of 26 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-4 on the power play. Rapid City was 2-for-2 on the man advantage.
The Thunder travels south tomorrow night to take on the Colorado Eagles at 8:05 p.m. This will be the first trip in four seasons for Wichita to the Budweiser Event Center.
Individual tickets for all games are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 855-755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com.
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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.