Wichita, KS (Dec. 27th) - Wichita (13-10-1-4) finally broke through in the shootout on Saturday night, winning 3-2 over Allen (19-4-1-2) at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Thunder outscored the Americans 2-1 as Nikita Kashirsky and RG Flath found the back of the net in the penalty-shot round to secure Wichita's first shootout victory of the season. Ian Lowe and Danick Gauthier picked up goals to pace the Thunder offense. Wichita has won three in a row over Allen with the last two coming past regulation and are 3-2-0-0 in the season-series.
Wichita got off to a strong start in the early moments of the first period. Ian Lowe and Eric Meland had a couple of early chances that were stopped by Aaron Dell. At 3:30, Tyler Ludwig got free up the right wing and beat Tim Boron over the shoulder for his fourth of the season and a 1-0 lead. Ian Lowe tied the game on the power play at 14:42 with a one-timer from the right circle for his ninth tally.
In the second, the only goal was scored by Danick Gauthier that gave Wichita a 2-1 advantage. He stole the puck at the left circle, walked in and whistled one past Dell under the blocker for his 13th of the year. The Thunder outshot Allen 11-8 in the frame and took a 2-1 lead into the final period.
Jamie Schaafsma evened the contest at 8:38 of the third period after a Thunder defenseman lost his footing behind the net. He caught a pass from Gary Steffes and beat Boron for the equalizer. Allen outshot Wichita in the frame by a 9-3 margin, but the game remained deadlocked at two and headed into overtime.
After a scoreless extra period, Wichita entered the shootout for the second game in a row. In round one, Gary Steffes and Kashirsky were both successful heading to the top of round two. Neither team found the back of the net in rounds two and three. Flath beat Dell in the bottom of round four for his first shootout goal of the season and a 2-1 lead. Boron stopped Schaafsma in the bottom of the round and secured a 3-2 shootout win for the Thunder.
After seven-straight games that were decided in regulation, Wichita has needed extra time in three-straight. The Thunder improve to 2-0 against Allen after 60 minutes after winning 2-1 in OT on Friday, December 19th. The Thunder are now 1-4 in shootouts this season. Lowe has goals in consecutive games against Allen and extends his point-streak to four (2g, 3a). Miller earned his 15th helper of the year and has points in five-straight (2g, 5a). Duval also had an assist, extending his streak to three-straight games (1g, 3a). Boron earns his first shootout victory of the year and ninth win, stopping 25 of 27 shots. Dell took his first shootout loss in his seventh appearance for the Americans, stopping 29 of 31 shots he faced.
Wichita went 1-for-3 on the power play. Allen was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Wichita plays at home on Tuesday night against the Missouri Mavericks at 7:05 p.m. The Thunder close out 2014 on Wednesday evening in Independence against the Mavericks at 7:05 p.m.
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.