Allen, TX (Jan. 4th) - Playing in another one-goal contest, Wichita's (16-11-1-4) comeback bid fell short on Sunday afternoon, losing 3-2 to Allen (22-5-1-2) at the Allen Event Center. The Thunder's four-game winning streak comes to an end while the Americans have won their last three. Ian Duval and Nikita Kashirsky picked up goals in the losing effort. The season-series is tied at 3-3-0-0 and Wichita will return to Allen for a pair of games in two weeks.
After a scoreless and entertaining first period, the two teams combined for four goals in the second. Rylan Schwartz got things started one minute in when he stole the puck in the neutral zone, skated down on a break-a-way and beat Tyler Bunz to grab a 1-0 lead for Allen. Duval netted his second of the year on his second break-a-way chance as he slipped it just inside the left post on Riley Gill to even the score at one. The Thunder appeared to take the lead when Danick Gauthier had a wide open look from just in front of the Allen crease, but his wrist shot was blocked and the game stayed tied.
The Americans scored the next two of the period starting at 11:44. Kyle Follmer picked up a loose puck and banged home a rebound past Bunz to make it 2-1. At 15:50, Tyler Ludwig connected on a power play goal in the slot as he cut down to the net and scored his sixth of the season.
In the third, Wichita came out strong and had several scoring opportunities in the first few minutes. Kashirksy put home a rebound at 12:56 to pull the Thunder within one with assists to Todd Hosmer and RG Flath. The Thunder attempted to pull Bunz with a minute remaining in regulation, but a whistle stopped play forcing him back into the net with a face-off outside the Thunder blue line. Wichita didn't get another chance to pull him as Allen hemmed the Thunder in their own end down the stretch and lost by the final of 3-2.
Wichita's record drops to 7-3-1-4 in one-goal games and extends its streak to eight-straight that have been decided by a single marker. Lowe picks up his 19th assist of the year and has points in his last eight (5g, 6a). His goal-scoring streak comes to an end at four-straight, but takes over the team-lead in points with 31. Duval pushed his scoring streak to seven games with his second tally of the season (2g, 6a) and also has points in 10 of the last 11 games. Meland grabbed his 10th assist and has points in his last four outings (1g, 3a). Bunz suffered his seventh loss of the year, stopping 35 of 38 shots. Gill claimed his 16th win of the season, stopping 26 of 28 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-3 on the power play. Allen was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Wichita continues its three-game road trip on Wednesday night at the I-Wireless Center for the first time this season against Quad City 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.