Wichita, KS (Nov. 7th) - Wichita hosted its first Education Kids Day Game in 15 years on Wednesday morning, falling at the hands of the Utah Grizzlies by the final of 5-4 at INTRUST Bank Arena.
For the second game in a row, Utah battled back to tie the contest in the third period and got the game-winner with just under two minutes left in regulation.
Steven Iacobellis netted his second of the year and Matt Schmalz had a goal and an assist to lead the Thunder offense.
Caleb Herbert continued on his torrid pace to start the year, scoring at 8:52 of the opening period to make it 1-0. Schmalz tied it at one at 9:37 with a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Joe Cannata under the glove. Just over a minute later, PC Labrie found Iacobellis near the right circle, went backhand to forehand and roofed it just under the crossbar for a 2-1 lead.
Utah didn't waste any time equaling the score as Tim McGauley beat Stuart Skinner from a sharp angle and tied it at two. Ralph Cuddemi re-gained the lead for the Thunder as Colin Larkin won a face-off to the left of Cannata. Cuddemi skated to the middle and fired a wrist shot back across the grain for his third of the year.
In the second, Jake Marchment scored his first of two at 14:51 to tie the game back up, this time at three. Ryan Walters made a nifty between-the-legs pass to him at the left post.
Travis Brown made it 4-3 at 5:17 of the third period. Hayden Hodgson made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone. He tipped it down the left wall to Schmalz, who found Brown at the right circle. He fired it past Cannata for his second of the year.
Again, Utah was up to the task, tying it just 22 seconds later with a goal from Nolan De Jong to make it 4-4. At 18:05, De Jong let a shot go that redirected off the end wall. Marchment was there to pick up the loose puck and put it past the outreached leg of Skinner to make it 5-4. Cannata held the fort in the final two minutes and Utah earned the regulation win.
Wichita had four different goal scorers in the contest. The loss snaps a three-game streak for Wichita where the team needed more than 60 minutes to decide the outcome. Schmalz tallied his first in a Thunder uniform with his goal today.
The Thunder remains at home to take on the Grizzlies to close out a three-game mini series at 7:05 p.m. on Friday night. Friday is Hockey Fights Cancer Night as the team will wear a special Hockey Fights Cancer uniform that will be auctioned off live after the game.
Individual tickets for all games are on sale now. Season tickets are still available for purchase. Get your seats for just $15 per month. All it takes is a $1 deposit per seat to reserve yours today. To learn more, click here or contact a Thunder representative at the office today!
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