WICHITA, Kan. (April 9) - Trailing by one heading into the final period, Wichita scored two goals in a 1:42 span and held off a late charge by Utah for a 5-4 win on Friday night at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Spencer Dorowicz scored the game-tying goal and Peter Crinella connected on the game-winner to push the Thunder to their 28th win of the year.
Stefan Fournier, Matteo Gennaro and Jacob Graves also scored and Evan Buitenhuis collected his fifth-straight win since joining Wichita.
Wichita got on the board first at 5:31 of the opening frame. Anthony Beauregard stole the puck in his own zone and started a three-on-two up the ice. He fed a pass to Dean Stewart near the Utah line. Stewart fired a shot off the right leg of Kevin Carr and Fournier pounced on the rebound for his 16th of the year.
The two teams combined for six goals in the second period. Gennaro, who was out of the lineup nearly a month, made it 2-0 with his 14th of the season. He took a shot that bounced up in the air, hit the back of Carr and somehow went in the net. Four minutes later, Graves put home a rebound for his second of the year to make it 3-0.
Utah climbed back into the game, scoring four goals over the next eight minutes. At 10:43, A.J. White got loose on a breakaway and beat Buitenhuis to cut the lead to 3-1. Matt Hoover tallied a highlight reel backhand goal at 14:44 to make it 3-2. Pat Cannone tied the game at 17:18 as he put home a one-timer from the edge of the left circle. Matthew Boucher gave the Grizzlies a 4-3 lead at 18:34 as he poked home a rebound past Buitenhuis.
In the third, Dorowicz tied the game with a shorthanded goal at 3:33. He stole the puck near the Thunder line, raced down on a breakaway and slid a shot that Carr appeared to stop. He never had control and the puck crept over the goal line for his third of the season. At 5:15, Wichita took the lead for good. Garrett Schmitz made a great play as he carried the puck into the zone, delayed near the left circle and fed a pass to Crinella. He fired a quick shot past Carr for his ninth of the season. Utah pulled Carr with just over a minute remaining, but the Thunder held on for the win.
Wichita improved to 5-0-0 when scoring a shorthanded goal. Wichita is outscoring teams 52-34 in the third period.
Gennaro has four goals in his last three games and finished with two points (1g, 1a). Dean Stewart had two helpers. Ryan White notched his first point in a Thunder uniform and also had a fight. Gagnon collected an assist and had 17 penalty minutes.
Wichita remains at home tomorrow night to host Utah at 7:05 p.m.
Single game tickets are on sale now. Click here to purchase tickets or call the Thunder office at 316-264-4625.
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