RAPID CITY, SD (Dec. 9) – Wichita tried to mount another late comeback on Friday night, but fell short in a 2-1 loss at Rapid City.
Dominic Dockery recorded his first pro goal. Evan Buitenhuis was terrific in the losing effort, making 25 saves with three high quality chances late in the third.
Rapid City got on the board first for the second game in row. Jon Martin went around a Thunder defenseman and scored at 13:24 of the first period to make it 1-0.
In the second, Brett Gravelle scored at 13:24 to make it 2-0. He took a drop pass through the slot off the the rush and beat Buitenhuis for his second of the year.
Buitenhuis stopped Alex Aleardi twice in the third period and both chances were of the Grade-A variety. The first chance was on a shorthanded breakaway, but he snagged it out of the air with his glove. Aleardi made another nice play during a two-on-one, but Buitenhuis came up big.
Dockery scored at 11:27 when he fired a shot from the left point that was tipped through the slot and got past Daniil Chechelev to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Thunder had two late power plays, but failed to get the equalizer. Buitenhuis was pulled with 30 seconds left for the extra attacker. Wichita couldn't get set up in the offensive zone and time ran out.
After combining for five power play goals on Thursday night, the two teams went 0-for-6 on the man advantage.
Wichita outshot its opponent for just the third time this season. Jake Wahlin and Kelly Bent earned assists. Jay Dickman had a season-high 11 shots on net.
The Thunder closes their three-game series this week against the Rush tomorrow night starting at 8:05 p.m. CST.
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