Wichita, KS (Jan. 30th) - Returning home from a five-game road swing in front of 6,496 fans, Wichita (20-16-2-4) fell to Quad City (19-15-4-2) on Friday night at INTRUST Bank Arena by the final score of 3-1. Parker Milner stifled the Thunder offense, making 30 saves and claimed the number one star of the night. Wichita drops to 4-2-1-0 against the Mallards and will travel to Moline for a pair of games beginning next Friday.
Kenton Miller scored the Thunder's lone marker of the contest in the second period.
The first period was a quiet one in terms of scoring. Ian Duval and Todd Hosmer both had good looks at the net, but weren't able to squeeze it past Parker Milner. Erick Lizon racked up seven penalty minutes in the first after dropping the gloves and throwing haymakers with Paxton Leroux. Shots on goal were nine to six in favor of the Thunder and the game remained scoreless.
In the second period, Mike MacIntyre fired a shot from the blueline that got through to Milner. Miller fought through a check and put home the rebound at 2:04 to put Wichita up 1-0. Quad City equaled the score on the power play as Matt Duffy snuck home a rebound at 9:16. Later in the second, Nikita Kashirsky caught a long outlet pass and skated in on a break-a-way, but failed to regain the lead for the Thunder. Antti Pusa scored the eventual game-winner with 1:12 left in the second period after fighting through a check behind the net, fell down to one knee and lifted a wrister past Tim Boron's glove to make it 2-1. Right near the end of the second, things got chippy after a hit in the Wichita defensive zone caused a get-together between Michael Trebish and Darren McMillan while Dan Milan and Mike Monfredo squared off. Trebish and McMillan were lost for the game for causing a secondary altercation.
Wichita had an abundance of chances in the third, but failed to get another past Milner. Kashirsky drove wide up the right wing, got to the front of the net and was denied. Immediately after, Travis Granbois's wrap chance was stopped and the Mallards defense cleared the puck away from the slot. Later in the third, Todd Hosmer rung a shot off the upper ninety that was inches from tying the game. A late penalty to RG Flath with three minutes to go caused the Thunder to take some chances shorthanded. As the penalty was about to expire, Boron was lifted while the puck went back into the offensive zone. Monfredo was able to steal and find an empty net that sealed the deal for the Mallards, up 3-1.
Miller recorded his 13th tally of the season and has points in his last five games (2g, 3a). Duval collected his 15th assist of the season while MacIntyre earned his second helper. Boron suffered the loss, stopping 19 of 21 shots. Milner earned the victory, stopping 30 of 31 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-5 on the power play. Quad City was 2-for-3 with the man advantage.
Wichita heads back out on the road, starting a three-game road trip tomorrow night at Missouri 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.