The Rapid City Rush came to Wichita last night and outplayed, outshot, outscored and out maneuvered the Thunder, shutting them out 3-0. That’s not to say there were not a few very good moments here and there by Thunder players, such as Todd Hosmer, Danick Gauthier and Tim Boron. It was primarily Thunder’s Tim Boron who kept them in the game the first two periods, however the third was a completely different story as Rapid City took full control, scoring three unanswered goals to clinch the shutout:
- J. Faryna (with assist from D. Clarke)
- L. Oslanski (with assists from J. Schultz, J. Sides)
- K. Stroh (with assists from S. Brannon, D. Clarke)
Thunder coach Kevin McClelland had some pointed remarks postgame detailing his frustrations with the team and game, published by Jeffrey Lutz, of The Wichita Eagle:
On the Rush team: “They’re just a fast, young, skating hockey club that just works, works, works, works, works.
On the Thunder team: “We thought we were going to play a pretty game – hang onto the puck and try to beat guys. We weren’t beating the first guy, we wanted to beat the second and third guy.
“Not utilizing our linemates – we were trying to be too individual.”
“We’ve got guys that are supposed to go out there and do the job. There’s going to be some major moves and people are going to be surprised (Saturday) with the moves that are going to be made.”
Early indications are that Alex Bourret has departed the team. He wrote on his Facebook page this morning “Back home this week …..Bye bye Wichita.”
Bets are there will be additional changes coming as well. The Thunder needs some on-ice leaders to step up and provide guidance and cohesion to this team both offensively and defensively. Aside from last night’s game, there have been positive elements to the team and players, but they have to stop allowing teams like the Rush take control as they did last night.
The Thunder will have eight more opportunities this season to figure out how to beat the Rush and I have no doubt they can do it. They are a far better team than what I witnessed last night.