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Thunder Holds Off Late Charge By Heartlanders

Friday, March 8th
Thunder Holds Off Late Charge By Heartlanders

WICHITA, Kan. (Mar. 8) – Wichita scored three goals in a five-minute span in the third period and held off a late charge by Iowa on Friday night, winning 4-3 at INTRUST Bank Arena in front of a season-high 10,651 fans.

Brayden Watts had three points to lead the way for the Thunder. Trevor Gorsuch made 35 saves to claim the victory. 

Iowa got on the board first with less than three minutes to go in the opening period. Evan Boucher was taken off the puck in the slot, but two Thunder players ran into each other. Kevin McKernan was johnny-on-the-spot and fired a shot past Gorsuch to make it 1-0.

In the second, McKernan recorded his second of the game at 2:26. Evan Boucher came around the Thunder net and fired a shot off Gorsuch. McKernan put home the rebound for his third of the year to make it 2-0. 

Wichita scored the next four to grab a 4-2 lead. With less than a minute to go in the second, Jeremy Masella caught a pass from Watts at the left circle and fired a shot past Hunter Jones to make it 2-1. 

At 2:33 of the third, Lleyton Moore tied the game at two. Michal Stinil came in off the rush and fired a shot from the right circle. Jones kicked out a long rebound and Moore fired it past him for his fifth of the season. 

Wichita took its first lead just 29 seconds later. Ryan Finnegan found Watts in the slot and he put a shot past Jones for his 10th of the year to make it 3-2. 

Bradley Marek increased the lead to 4-2 at 7:20. Jay Dickman came around the Iowa net and found Marek near the top of the crease. He beat Jones for his ninth of the season on the power play. 

Kyle Masters cut the lead to 4-3 at 17:24. Casey Dornbach found him at the left circle. Masters carried it across the crease and fired a shot off the post. He popped his own rebound past Gorsuch for his third of the year. 

Jones was lifted for the extra attacker with less than two minutes to go in the game. The Heartlanders nearly tied it when Evan Boucher found a loose puck at the top of the crease and he tried to fire it towards the net. Gorsuch somehow made a leg-pad save while he was laying on the ice with 40 seconds to go in the contest. 

Wichita held off the Iowa charge down the stretch and claimed a 4-3 win. 

The Thunder went 1-for-4 on the power play. The Heartlanders were 0-for-1 on the man advantage. 

Wichita improved to 9-0-2 against the Central Division. Watts has goals in three of his last four and extended his point-streak to eight games. Stinil also extended his point-streak to eight games with an assist. Moore recorded his first goal since February 24 and has points in eight-straight. Finnegan has points in three-straight. Nolan Kneen had two helpers, giving him three assists in his last two games. 

The Thunder remains at home tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. to host Iowa.

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