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Thunder Falls to Rapid City in 11-Round Shootout

Monday, February 1st
Thunder Falls to Rapid City in 11-Round Shootout

Wichita, KS (Dec. 21st) - The shootout has not been kind to the Thunder so far this season and that trend continued on Sunday afternoon. Wichita (12-10-1-4) fell for the fourth time in penalty shots, losing to Rapid City (10-14-0-2) by the final score of 5-4 at INTRUST Bank Arena. The loss stops the Thunder's three-game winning streak. Kenton Miller, Ian Lowe and Ian Duval each had two points for the Thunder. Wichita is now 2-2-0-1 this season against the Rush with the next meeting coming at the end of January.

Duval scored his first goal of his pro career 2:13 into the game to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead. Kenton Miller got past the Rush defenders on a break-a-way, was stopped by the leg of Danny Battochio. Duval followed up the play and banged it home. The Rush answered just over a minute later as Riley Weselowski scored his first of two at 3:35 and tied it at one. The Rush went on to score three unanswered and gained a 3-1 lead. At 14:23, Winston Day Chief potted his fifth of the season that gave Rapid City at 2-1 lead.

The only goal of the second period came from Riley Weselowski at 16:42. Wichita was about to be called for its first penalty, but the Rush defenseman found a loose puck in the crease after Tim Boron stopped the initial shot and scored his second of the game. Both teams entered the third period with 17 shots on net. The Thunder had a two-man advantage in the second, but couldn't find the back of the net.

Wichita came storming back in the third with three unanswered and took a one-goal lead. Kenton Miller got things going at 3:29 with a wrist shot from the right face-off dot that cut the lead to 3-2. At 6:33, Erick Lizon found RG Flath through the slot and he scored his third of the year to tie the game at three. Todd Hosmer gave Wichita the lead at 7:51 as he blocked a shot at the Thunder line, came down on a two-on-one and beat Battochio. Rapid City wouldn't go away. With 15 seconds left, JM Rizk scored to tie the game after tipping home a shot from Sean Erickson. For the first time in the season-series, the game headed to overtime.

In the overtime, Wichita was awarded a power play when Eric Meland was taken down at the top of the circles. The Thunder fired several shots on Battochio, but he was able to keep it tied and the game headed into a shootout. Winston Day Chief scored at the top of round four that gave the Rush a 1-0 advantage. Ian Lowe kept Wichita alive at the bottom of round five and it headed into sudden death shooters. The next six shooters for each team were unsuccessful as Boron and Battochio put on a clinic. Kyle Stroh scored at the top of round 11 while Kyle Gibbons was stopped in the bottom half, helping Rapid City get past the Thunder 5-4.

Despite the shootout loss, Wichita has earned seven of a possible eight points in the last four and is tied with Quad City in third place with 29 points. RG Flath collects his 76th goal in a Thunder uniform. Duval and Miller finished with a goal and an assist. Miller has goals in back-to-back games and extended his point-streak to four games (2g, 4a). Lowe tallied two helpers, pushing his totals to a team-leading 16 on the season. Boron suffered his second shootout loss, stopping 25 of 29 shots on net. Battochio claims his eighth win of the year, stopping 26 of 30 shots he faced.

Wichita went 0-for-5 on the power play. Rapid City was 0-for-1 with the man advantage.

Wichita returns from the Christmas break with a Saturday home meeting against the Allen Americans 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.