WICHITA, Kan. (Dec. 23) – The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, AHL's San Jose Barracuda and powered by Toyota, closes a three-game set tonight at 7:05 p.m. against Rapid City at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Last night, the Thunder claimed a 5-1 win over the Rush. Wichita raced out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back.
With the victory, the Thunder have won three in a row and moved six points ahead of Rapid City for second place in the Mountain Division with 32 points. The Rush sits in third place with 26 points and have lost their last six games.
Brayden Watts added two more points last night, giving him eight over his last five games (4g, 8a). He is tied for second in the league with 31 points. He’s already matched his goal totals from last season, tallying his 15th marker last night. Watts is tied for third with 15 goals.
Michal Stinil has been red hot since the night before Thanksgiving. He has points in 11 of his last 13 games and two or more points in eight of his last 10. Over that stretch, Stinil has collected 14 points (7g, 7a). He needs three points to equal his totals from a year ago when he tallied 30 points in 54 games as rookie.
The Thunder are getting offensive contributions from the backend this season. Cole MacDonald and Dylan MacPherson each collected two assists last night. MacDonald has four points in his last two games (1g, 3a). MacPherson tallied his second multi-point game of the season.
Zachary Emond made his third start of the season last night and was terrific. He made 36 saves and improved to 3-0-0 on the year. He lowered his goals-against average to 1.29 and save percentage to .963. Emond has seen at least 30 shots in all three of his starts.
Quinn Preston returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension. He netted his eighth goal of the season last night and pushed his point-streak to nine games (6g, 5a).
The Thunder power play is operating at 26.1% against the Rush in the season-series, going 6-for-23. Wichita is 3-for-9 in the first two games this week, which is good for 33.3%. The Rush have scored three goals on 20 chances against Wichita (15%) and have been held at bay so far this week, going 0-for-10 on the man advantage.
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