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Kirill Tulupov's Shot. (Photo Courtesy of Ed Bailey. All Rights Reserved.)

Kirill Tulupov’s Huge Shot from the Blueline. (Photo Courtesy of Ed Bailey. All Rights Reserved.)

The Wichita Thunder finally secured their much-needed regulation win at the BOK Center last night thanks to Kirill Tulupov’s and Mike Wilson’s goals and goaltender Tim Boron’s solid night in net. The Thunder are now 2-2-1-3 against the Tulsa Oilers in their StoneWolf Casino Cup Series with 6 games to go, the next on Feb. 21st, and all but one game will take place in Wichita.

The Thunder started the game very strong with solid defense overall, not allowing Tulsa many chances at all in the early part of the 1st period. Despite that strong effort Tulsa scored at 6:42 when a shot by Charles Lachance hit Boron and then bounced with a weird slow-motion beeline into the net (with assists from Tom Mele and Kevin Noble). Undeterred, the Thunder continued their pace and at 17:54 Wichita tied the game with a wrist shot from defenseman Kirill Tulupov (with assists from Kenton Miller and Ian Lowe). The 1st period ended with 10-6 SOG in favor of Wichita and both teams killed off two penalties each.

The 2nd period again showed a strong effort by Wichita, shutting down Tulsa’s offense and their shots on goal, and the Thunder delivered some huge hits to regain possession in their own zone. Later in the period Wichita’s three straight penalties allowed Tulsa to regroup and begin to control the game offensively, however Wichita was able to kill off all of their penalties keeping the game tied at 1-1. At 17:46 Wichita’s defenseman Mike Wilson put the Thunder in the lead with a quick shot snapped past Carr (assisted by Eric Meland and Kyle Gibbons). The 2nd period ended with 16-12 SOG in Wichita’s favor.

Tulsa came out strong in the 3rd period and outshot the Thunder 12-9, but they were unable to capitalize on their one powerplay opportunity. Overall, Wichita penalty kill units were able to stop Tulsa from scoring on any of their six powerplay opportunities and Wichita was finally able to earn their first regulation win in the BOK Center this season.

Last night’s Wichita goals were scored by Thunder defensemen, Kirill Tulupov and Mike Wilson, with points going to six different players, three of which were defensemen. Tulupov and Wilson both tallied their third goals of the season.

Thunder’s Tim Boron stopped 29 of 30 shots, and Oilers goalie Kevin Carr stopped 33 of 35. Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay gave due credit to Thunder’s goalie Boron, “We had lots of good scoring opportunities. I thought [Thunder goalie] Tim Boron was outstanding tonight. We had some great chances, especially in the third period. We hit two or three posts tonight.”

Wichita killed off all of their six penalties and played a very solid overall defensive game, outshooting the Oilers 35-30.

Note: Thanks to Ed Bailey for the use of his outstanding photos. He brilliantly captured Kirill Tulupov’s hard shot from the blueline — take a look at that bent stick! 

Period Team Time Goals
1st TUL 6:42 C. Lachance (T. Mele, K. Noble)
1st WIC 17:54 K. Tulupov (K. Miller, I. Lowe)
2nd WIC 17:46 M. Wilson (E. Meland, K. Gibbons)

StoneWolf Casino Cup Series: 6-2-0-0 Tulsa  (Wichita 2-2-1-3)

Wichita continues their roadtrip and will face the Allen Americans Friday night at 7:05 p.m. and they return home on Sunday to host the Rapid City Rush at 5:05 p.m.

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