Independence, MO (Dec. 31st) - Wichita (15-10-1-4) scored three unanswered goals in the second period and hung on late for a 4-3 win over Missouri (13-13-1-2) on New Year's Eve at the Independence Events Center. Todd Hosmer finished with two points including the game-winning goal while three other players found the back of the net. Wichita improves to 6-1-0-0 in the season-series and has won five-straight against the Mavericks.
For the second game in a row, Wichita recorded the first goal of the game when Hosmer found Mike Wilson in the deep slot and he roofed a wrist shot past Maxime Lagace to make it 1-0. At 12:08, Josh Brittain tied the game at one as he caught a pass across the crease from David Rutherford and tallied his sixth of the season.
In the second, Missouri grabbed its first lead of the game at 9:54 when David Rutherford's pass tipped off a defenseman's stick and got past Tim Boron to make it 2-1. The Thunder didn't take long to answer as Ian Lowe fired a one-timer past Lagace's glove just 20 seconds later and evened the contest at two. At 16:00, Eric Meland weaved his way through the slot and beat Lagace with a low shot to the far post and gave Wichita its second lead of the game, 3-2. Hosmer recorded his eighth of the season at 17:56 as he put home a rebound off a shot from Erick Lizon to increase the lead to 4-2. That would be it for Lagace as he was pulled at the start of the third, giving way to Mike Clemente.
The Mavericks wouldn't go away quietly, cutting the lead to one just past the midway point of the final period. Sebastien Thinel scored his third goal in the last two games against the Thunder at 11:23 that made it 4-3. After both teams had power play chances, Missouri had one last opportunity with just under three minutes as Kenton Miller was sent off for boarding. The Thunder penalty kill, which has been stingy against Missouri all season, kept the Mavericks at bay. Clemente was pulled for the extra attacker to give Missouri a two-man advantage, but Wichita held the fort and claimed the victory.
Wichita has won three in a row and stopped its four-game streak of having to play more than 60 minutes. Ian Lowe recorded his 11th of the season and has goals in three-straight. Gauthier finished with two helpers to push his totals to 15 assists on the season. Ian Duval added his 12th assist of the year and extended his point-streak to five games (1g, 5a). In his seventh-straight start, Boron earned his 11th victory of the year, stopping 20 of 23 shots. Lagace suffered his third loss, stopping 15 of 19 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-3 on the power play. Missouri was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Wichita opens up the New Year at home on Saturday night against the Missouri Mavericks 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.