Brampton, ON, CA (March 8th) - Wichita (27-21-2-6) climbed out of another hole on Sunday afternoon against Brampton (19-33-3-0), but fell short losing in a shootout by the final score of 5-4 at the Powerade Centre. Brampton scored four consecutive goals and two early in the second to take a three-goal lead. For the second-straight game, the Thunder battled back and forced the contest past 60 minutes. Wichita falls to 3-1-0-1 against the Beast, but does get a point to move to 62 on the season.
Dan Milan, Nikita Kashirsky and Todd Hosmer each had two points in the losing effort.
Eric Meland got the Thunder on the board first with a slap shot from the deep slot at 7:01 with assists to Mike Wilson and Erick Lizon. The Beast answered quickly, scoring 1:29 later as Jeff Brown recorded his first professional goal with a wrist shot from the right circle past Tim Boron. Just over a minute later, David Ling gave the Beast their first lead after walking out of the corner and lifting a shot past Boron's glove to make it 2-1. Later in the period, Jared Walker drove up the right wing and got pushed into Trevor Cann near the crease. Walker was sent off for goaltender inference and eventually would cause Cann to come out of the game at the start of the second frame.
In the second, Jason Pitton got Brampton on the board early and increased the score to 3-1 with his 21st goal of the year. At 3:24, Justin Donati beat Boron from the top of the circles for his 10th of the season and a 4-1 lead. The night would be over for Boron as he was lifted for the first time this year and Grant Rollheiser came on in relief. Less than a minute later, RG Flath broke through after getting a nice centering feed from Danick Gauthier and roofed it past rookie netminder Ryan DeMelo. The Thunder pulled within one at 15:35 as Milan scored against his former team with a shot from the slot through a screen. Wichita was forced to play from behind entering the third period for the third game in a row.
Wichita dominated the scoring chances in the final period, but couldn't solve DeMelo until the last three minutes. Just as a Thunder power play was expiring, Hosmer buried a wrist shot from the left circle at 17:21 that evened up the score at four. The game went scoreless the rest of the way and overtime was needed once again.
Each team registered one shot during the extra session. Rollheiser and DeMelo were up to the task and the game headed into the shootout. David Ling scored at the top of round one while Kashirsky was denied, giving the Beast a 1-0 lead after the first two shooters. At the bottom of round three, Ian Lowe buried a wrist shot that tied it at one. Bobby Hughes scored at the top of round four, which would hold up as the game-winner. Flath and Gauthier were both stopped, giving Brampton a 5-4 victory in penalty shots.
Both teams headed past regulation for the third-straight game. It was the first meeting during the regular season-series that ended up in a shootout. Kashirsky added two helpers and pushed his point-streak to eight games (5g, 6a). Hosmer has goals in back-to-back contests, both of which tied the game and forced overtime. Milan scored his first goal of the year and finished with two points. Lizon added an assist, which equals his career-high in points with 16 (7g, 9a). Wilson recorded an assist, moving his point-streak to four games (2g, 5a) and points in 11 of his last 12 (5g, 18a). Flath potted his 84th goal in a Thunder uniform, putting him one shy of moving into an eighth place tie with Jim McGeough. He is also just one point away from tying Andrew Martens in 11th place in points all-time (171). Rollheiser suffered his first shootout loss of the season, stopping all 17 shots he faced in relief. DeMelo claimed the victory, stopping 18 of 21 shots in 45 minutes of relief.
Wichita went 0-for-2 on the man advantage, stopping its streak of scoring on the power play at five games. Brampton went 0-for-3 on the power play.
Wichita will finish its Canadian swing tomorrow night against the Brampton Beast at 6 p.m. CST
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.