Wichita, KS (March 4th) - Trailing by two with less than seven minutes remaining, Wichita (26-21-2-5) scored three unanswered goals to get past Rapid City (27-25-2-3) by the final score of 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. Danick Gauthier tied the game with 1:28 left and scored the game-winner on the power play to help the Thunder pull even with the Rush with 59 points. Wichita finishes the season series 4-4-0-1 against the Rush and are in a tie for fourth place in the Central Division.
Rapid City jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period. Dylan Clarke tipped in a long shot from the blue line from Riley Weselowski on the power play at 4:40 to make it 1-0. With three minutes remaining in the opening frame, Cody Ferriero added another power play tally from the left circle to increase the lead to 2-0.
The two teams struggled to find much offense in the second, combining for just nine shots on net. Wichita had a few quality scoring chances, but couldn't get one past Griggs. Nikita Kashirsky caught a head-man pass behind the Rapid City defense, but was denied on the ensuing breakaway.
Wichita finally broke through at 12:31 of the third period when Mike Wilson made a terrific play to feed RG Flath in front of the net and cut the lead to 2-1. With time winding down, Tim Boron was taken off the ice for the extra attacker. The Thunder won an offensive zone face-off and kept the pressure on the puck. Gauthier fired a shot from the left corner that got through Griggs and evened things at two. Wichita finished regulation on the power play as Kevin Harvey planted Kashirsky from behind into the boards near the benches. The game headed into OT tied at two.
The Thunder power play finally broke through in the first 30 seconds of the extra period. After Flath almost ended it with a rebound chance, he sent the puck around the wall to the blue line. Ian Lowe held it in the zone and fed it over to Gauthier. He unloaded a one-timer past Griggs and the comeback was complete, winning 3-2.
Wichita wins for the first time when trailing by two. Gauthier extended his point-streak to eight games (6g, 8a) and moves into a tie with Ian Lowe for the team-lead with 51 points. Lowe has points in his last four (1g, 5a). Kashirsky has points in six straight (4g, 3a). Wilson added an assist and is just one point shy of 200 for his career. Flath recorded his 83rd goal in a Thunder uniform and needs two more to move into an eighth place tie with Jim McGeough. Boron earned his 20th win of the season in his 11th straight start, stopping 18 of 20 shots. Griggs suffered the overtime loss, stopping 28 of 31 shots he faced.
Wichita went 1-for-4 on the man advantage and has a power play goal in four-straight games. Rapid City went 2-for-3 on the power play.
Wichita begins a seven-game road trip on Friday night against the Brampton Beast starting at 6:30 p.m. CST.
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.