Moline, IL (Jan. 9th) - For the second-straight game against Quad City (17-13-3-2), the Thunder (17-11-2-4) found the back of the net three times in the third period and won at the i-Wireless Center by the final of 4-1 on Friday night. Jared Walker, Ian Duval and Danick Gauthier scored for the Thunder in the final frame while Nikita Kashirsky added his seventh of the year in the second. Wichita improves to 3-1-1-0 against the Mallards in the season-series and moves into second place one point ahead of the Mallards.
Both teams enjoyed a pair of power plays in the first, but were unable to score through 20 minutes. Tyler Bunz made two key saves late in the period, denying a chance from Jeff Lee as he got to the front of the crease on his backhand. The Mallards took a 16-8 shot advantage into the intermission.
In the second, the two teams continued to exchange power play chances and went a combined 0-for-9 after 40 minutes. Kashirsky broke a scoreless tie with two minutes left after stealing the puck behind the net from Evan Mosher and stuffed a backhand just inside the post for his seventh of the season.
Quad City evened the score six minutes into the third off a face-off when Mike Monfredo rifled one from the left point past Bunz for his sixth of the season. Just 44 seconds later, Walker collected a loose puck at the left boards, got past a diving defender and beat Mosher to re-gain the lead for the Thunder, up 2-1. At 13:36, Duval picked off a pass at the edge of the left circle and beat Mosher across the crease with a backhand to increase the lead to 3-1. Quad City pulled its netminder with less than three minutes left to try to get back into it. Gauthier scored his 15th of the season into the empty cage and made it 4-1.
Wichita pushes its record to 7-0-4 all-time at the i-Wireless Center against Quad City with the win tonight. The Thunder have outscored the Mallards 8-1 in the third period over the last three contests. Duval has goals in three-straight and extended his point-streak to nine games (4g, 6a). Gauthier pulls into a tie with Ian Lowe for the team-lead in points (32) with a goal and an assist. Bunz claims his fifth win of the year, stopping 33 of 34 shots. Mosher suffers his seventh loss, stopping 23 of 26 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-6 on the power play. Quad City was 0-for-7 with the man advantage.
Wichita returns home this weekend for a pair of games against the Evansville Icemen, starting Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Come celebrate Thunderdog's birthday with all of his mascot friends tomorrow night, presented by Sonic, Atomic Billboards and Premier Martial Arts.
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.