RAPID CITY, SD (Dec. 10) – Timur Ibragimov and Quinn Preston scored twice, Evan Buitenhuis stopped 44 shots and Wichita came back to win, 4-1, over Rapid City on Saturday night.
Wichita scored four-unanswered goals and won the special teams battle to pull into a second-place tie with the Rush. The Thunder scored a goal on the power play and added a shorthanded tally. Wichita also held the Rush to an 0-for-6 mark on the power play.
Watts and Cole MacDonald each had two helpers and Jay Dickman added an assist.
Brett Gravelle scored with less than four minutes left in the first to make it 1-0. He took a great pass from Max Coatta and buried a wrist shot that brought out the teddy bears.
In the second, Ibragimov scored back-to-back goals to give the Thunder their first lead of the week. His first came on the power play at 8:13. Watts fed a pass across the dots to him at the left circle and he beat Adam Carlson to tie the game at one.
At 13:40, Ibragimov gave Wichita a 2-1 lead. He stripped the puck near the Wichita line, skated in on a breakaway and beat Carlson for a shorthanded tally.
Quinn Preston, who was unavailable for the first two games of the week due to illness, scored a pair in the third. He made it 3-1 at 4:26 as he caught a long outlet pass and buried a wrist shot past Carlson. He iced the game with an empty-netter at 19:29 ot make it 4-1.
Wichita snaps a two-game slide and stops the Rush winning streak at six games.
Watts tallied his 100th ECHL point and has four assists in his last three games. Ibragimov and Preston both recorded their first multi-goal games of their careers. MacDonald has five points in his last four games. Buitenhuis made 44 saves, which is the second time this season he has stopped 40 or more shots in a game.
The Thunder continues their five-game road trip next weekend with a pair of games against the Allen Americans starting on Friday night.
The holidays are coming fast. Take care of the Thunder fan in your life with one of our three great options for the holidays. Click here to learn more about some of the great offers as the Thunder Saves Christmas!
Single game tickets are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets online here, at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena or by calling the Thunder office at 316-264-4625.
Season tickets for the 2022-23 campaign are still on sale. Fans can pay in full and receive 10% off. Lock in your seats for every game and enjoy all the benefits. Click here to learn more.