WHEELING, WV (March 19) - Wichita headed east on Friday night to face the Wheeling Nailers for the first-time in franchise history and came out with a 3-2 win on at WesBanco Arena.
Trailing 2-1 early in the third, the Thunder scored back-to-back goals in a seven-minute span to grab their 10th road victory of the season.
Stefan Fournier scored twice in his 200th ECHL game. Spencer Dorowicz added his second of the year while Evan Weninger stopped 36 shots for his 14th win of the season.
It didn't take long for the two teams to create some fireworks as Fournier and Garet Hunt dropped the mitts just six seconds into the game. Fournier continued to put his stamp on the first period as he redirected a pass from Anthony Beauregard to give Wichita a 1-0 lead at 18:43.
Fournier thought he recorded his second of the contest early in the second, but he rang a slap shot off the cross bar. Wheeling tied it at 14:57 as Michael Joly created a turnover at the red line, came down on a three-on-one and fed it over to Patrick Watling. He fired a one-timer past Evan Weninger, who almost got over to make a glove save.
Wheeling took its first lead just four minutes into the third. Nick Riveria created a turnover on the right wall, fed a pass to Hunt and he fired one past Weninger.
Fournier tallied his second of the game at 7:03 to tie it at two. His initial shot hit a defenseman, but he followed up the play and put one past Alex D'Orio for his 14th of the year.
At 14:22, Brayden Watts made a terrific play just inside the Nailers line. He dove to the ice, kept the puck near him, got back up and fed a pass to Dorowicz. He quickly let a backhand go that beat D'Orio over the blocker and gave Wichita a 3-2 advantage.
The Nailers pulled D'Orio with one minute left, but Wichita was able to get the puck out of its own zone and claimed the win.
Fournier recorded his second multi-goal game of the season. Dorowicz tallied his first game-winner of the year.
The Thunder remains in Wheeling for the second of a three-game series on Saturday night starting at 6:10 p.m.
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