Rapid City, SD (Jan. 24th) - Wichita (19-15-2-4) snapped a three-game losing skid on Saturday night, knocking off Rapid City (17-21-0-3) by the final score of 4-3 in a shootout at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Trailing 1-0 heading into the second, the Thunder scored three-straight and took a two-goal lead into the third period. Rapid City scored twice in the final frame to force the game past regulation. Eric Meland scored in round 10 while Tim Boron stopped Sean Erickson to help the Thunder earn the extra point. Wichita improves to 3-3-0-1 against Rapid City in the final meeting between the two teams in the Black Hills.
Todd Hosmer led the scoring with two points while Kenton Miller and Danick Gauthier each recorded goals. Boron claimed his 13th win of the season and earned the Thunder their second shootout win of the year.
Rapid City got the scoring started after Wichita took two-straight minor penalties. Mathieu Brisebois unloaded a shot from the point and beat Boron to give the Rush a 1-0 lead on a five-on-three power play. There weren't a ton of offensive chances as the shots were 6-5 in favor of Rapid City after the first period.
In the second, Wichita rattled off three-unanswered to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. At 4:08, Todd Hosmer recorded his 14th of the season with a shorthanded goal that tied the game. Miller made it 2-1 with a wrist shot from the right face-off dot for his 12th tally of the year. The Thunder took advantage of their first power play attempt when Dallas Ehrhardt went off for a cross check. At 13:35, Gauthier came off the wall to the right face-off dot and fired one through traffic that got through Danny Battochio. For the second night in a row, the Rush were forced to make a change in net as Johnny Griggs came on in relief. Wichita almost grabbed a three-goal advantage when Travis Granbois was taken down heading to the net, giving Wichita its first penalty shot of the season. Granbois missed the net with a wrist shot and the game headed into the third with the Thunder leading by two.
The Rush got back into the game with two goals in a five-minute span in the third. Patrick Cullen found the back of the net at 10:30 after getting around a defenseman just inside the Wichita blueline. At 15:22, Dylan Clarke tied the game after finding a loose puck at the left circle for his 10th of the season. The game would head into overtime for the second time in the season-series.
After a scoreless extra period, the game went into the shootout. Nikita Kashirsky got things started with a goal at the top of round one. Patrick Cullen evened it with a marker at the bottom of round two. Hosmer and Cody Ferriero were both stopped in round three. Flath and Brisebois found the net in round four. The next five rounds went scoreless until Meland connected at the top of round 10. Boron stopped Erickson and the game ended with the Thunder claiming a 4-3 victory.
With the win, Wichita moves alone into second place ahead of Tulsa and Quad City.Hosmer tallied a goal and an assist and extended his goal streak to five games. Gauthier collected is 16th of the season, giving him three points in the last two games. Walker added an assist and has points in three-straight (1g, 3a). Boron stopped 20 of 23 shots on net. Griggs took the loss, stopping all nine shots he faced while Battochio allowed three goals on 11 shots on net.
Wichita went 1-for-2 on the power play. Rapid City was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Wichita closes out its five-game road swing in Quad City on Wednesday night against the Mallards 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.