RAPID CITY, SD (April 3) - Wichita closed a two-game trip to the Black Hills on Saturday night, coming back to grab an overtime win over Rapid City, 3-2, at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Brayden Watts assisted on the game-tying goal and then scored the game-winner just 53 seconds into overtime. Beau Starrett and Stephen Johnson also scored and Evan Buitenhuis won his fourth game in a row, stopping 36 shots.
Starrett opened the scoring at 7:39 of the first period. He fired a shot from the right boards that beat Adam Carlson to make it 1-0. Cam Clarke and Peter Crinella earned helpers on the goal.
The best chance of the second for Rapid City came from Jack Suter. He was pulled down from behind on a breakaway at 9:11 and was awarded a penalty shot. Buitenhuis came up large as he stuffed the chance and the Thunder held onto the lead.
In the third, Rapid City tied the game at one. During a net-front scrum, Buitenhuis got ran into by Tyler Coulter. Stefan Fournier was assessed a penalty after arguing the call and the Rush took advantage. Avery Peterson found a rebound at 9:16 and tallied his 18th of the year. At 10:56, Peter Quenneville gave Rapid City its first lead of the weekend. During a four-on-four situation, Kevin Spinozzi poked a loose puck under Buitenhuis near the left post and Quenneville pounced on the rebound across the crease for his 14th of the year.
Wichita tied the game four minutes later when Watts found Johnson at the right hashmark and he buried a one-timer.
The Thunder thought they took the lead with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Garrett Schmitz found a rebound near the left post and fired it in the net. The goal was waived off after a video review for goalie interference. Overtime was needed to decide the outcome.
Anthony Beauregard had a great chance early in the extra session as he found himself alone on a breakaway. He made a terrific move to beat Carlson, but was tripped in the crease. He made up for it the next time up the ice as he found Watts on a two-on-one break and ended the game.
Wichita had just one power play chance in the contest. It was also the first penalty shot against the Thunder this season. Beauregard extended his point-streak to five games with an assist. He has eight points over that stretch (2g, 6a). Watts collected his first game-winner of his career and has goals in back-to-back games. Starrett has points in three-straight and goals in two of the last three. Spencer Dorowicz has assists in back-to-back games.
The Thunder returns home for the next three starting Friday night against Utah at 7:05 p.m.
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