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Thunder Falls in First of Two in Utah

Monday, February 1st
Thunder Falls in First of Two in Utah

West Valley City, UT (Feb. 23rd) - Ralph Cuddemi recorded three points against his former team, but Utah came out on top Friday night with a 7-3 victory at the Maverik Center.

Jon Puskar netted his second goal in a Thunder uniform and Chad Butcher tallied three assists.

Michael Pelech got things going for Utah at 8:14 of the first to make it 1-0. Cuddemi connected on his 22nd of the season at 11:51 with a power play goal that tied the game at one. Four minutes later, Ryan Misiak re-gained the lead for the Grizzlies with a shorthanded marker at 15:25 to make it 2-1. Brendan Harms found a loose puck at 18:59 and fired it over Shane Starrett's left shoulder to make it 3-1. Puskar cut the lead to one with 17 seconds to go in the frame, beating Joel Rumpel to the glove side.

In the second, Ryan Walters scored at 5:55 to increase the lead back to two, up 4-2. Misiak added his second of the game at 15 minutes to make it 5-2. Starrett was lifted and Nick Riopel came on in relief. Utah's offense kept going as Pelech lit the lamp at 18:25 to make it 6-2. Cuddemi answered just 24 seconds later to cut the lead to 6-3.

Travis Howe closed the scoring at 7:01 of the third period as he went hard to the net and poked in his first goal of the season to make it 7-3.

Cuddemi has five points in his last three games (4g, 1a). Puskar potted his 14th of the season. Butcher added his second three-assist game of the year.

Wichita went 2-for-9 on the power play, giving the Thunder three power play goals in the last two games. Utah was 1-for-6 on the man advantage.

The Thunder finishes a two-game set tomorrow night at 8:05 p.m. against Utah.

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