Independence, MO (Jan. 31st) - The Wichita (20-17-2-4) offense was held in check on Saturday night, losing to Missouri (17-19-2-2) by the final score of 4-0 at the Independence Events Center. The Mavericks used a three-goal second period to push past the Thunder for their second win of the season-series. The loss combined with a Quad City victory creates a log jam once again in second place as Wichita, Quad City and Tulsa each have 46 points. Wichita drops to 6-2-0-0 in the Independence Cup Series with just two games left between the two teams. After a scoreless first period, Missouri got on the board just 34 seconds into the second. Geoff Walker carried the puck wide, went behind the Thunder net and found Sebastien Thinel for a one-timer that got through Tyler Bunz to make it 1-0. The Mavericks increased their lead five minutes later on the power play when Jack Downing scored his first of two on the night. With just over five minutes remaining in the frame, Martin Lee put one on net that nearly crossed the line. Dan Milan was able to keep the puck from crossing as he scooped it up before it went completely in and sent it down the ice. The official went to the goal judge and had a word with his crew before waiving it off. Just a few minutes later, Missouri made no mistake about their third goal of the period. At 15:52, Downing scored his second of the contest after catching a nice pass from Lindsay Sparks and pushed it past Bunz for his eighth of the season. Missouri found the net once more in the third period as Landon Oslanksi fired one from along the goal line that got past Bunz to make it 4-0. Bunz made some terrific saves down the stretch, but the Thunder offense couldn't get one past Mike Clemente. Things got heated with just over a minute to go in the game that caused several ejections. As Eric Meland was turning in the left circle, Andrew Courtney took him down near the corner. Jared Walker came over to protect his man and that is when the fun began. Andrew Darrigo came over to start with Walker that caused everyone on the ice to get together in the corner. While that was going on, the two starting goaltenders met at center ice for an old fashioned throw-down. Bunz, Clemente, Walker, Darrigo and Courtney were all sent to the showers. Wichita failed to score for the second time this season. The two teams combined for 102 penalty minutes and 15 power plays. Bunz suffered the loss, stopping 31 of 35 shots. Clemente earned the victory, stopping all 34 shots he faced and combined on a shutout with Maxime Lagace, who was forced into action over the final 1:08 of the game. Wichita went 0-for-7 on the power play. Missouri was 1-for-8 with the man advantage. Wichita travels to Quad City for two games next week, starting on Friday night at the i-Wireless Center 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.