ALLEN, TX (Dec. 17) – Wichita staved off a late charge from Allen on Saturday night, claiming a 4-3 win at Credit Union of Texas Event Center.
Kelly Bent, Jake Wahlin, Brayden Watts and Dylan MacPherson each found the net. Evan Buitenhuis earned the win, stopping 29 shots.
Wichita took a 1-0 lead at 4:46 of the first period. He put home a rebound off a shot from Wahlin and scored his first of the season.
In the second, Watts made it 2-0 at 1:38 when he fired home a one-time feed from Quinn Preston for his 12th of the year.
Wahlin increased the lead to 3-0 at 10:20. He caught a long outlet pass from Zack Hoffman near the Allen line. Wahlin came in on a two-on-one and fired a shot from the right circle past Logan Flodell for his fifth of the year.
Hank Crone broke up the shutout bid for Buitenhuis with eight minutes left in regulation. He put home a rebound near the slot to make it 3-1 and tallied his 12th of the year.
Allen pulled Flodell with just over two minutes left and Wichita added another to make it 3-1. MacPherson fired a shot from inside his own blueline that found an empty-net for his fifth of the year.
The Americans scored two late power play goals to make the game interesting. Zach Pochiro tallied his seventh of the year on a two-man advantage at 19:18 to make it 4-2.
At 19:33, Liam Finlay fired a one-timer from the top of the right circle to cut the lead to 4-3.
Allen had one last chance with 20 seconds left, but the Thunder held on and took the victory.
Wahlin led the way for the Thunder with a goal and an assist. Watts extended his point-streak to three games. Preston extended his point-streak to eight games with an assist. Buitenhuis has wins in back-to-back starts.
The Thunder returns home on Wednesday night to begin a three-game series against Rapid City.
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