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The Wichita Thunder didn’t have an outstanding game last night but they found a way to win in overtime, and in the end that’s what ultimately counts. RG Flath once again scored the game winner for the Thunder while Tim Boron picked up his fifth win in the last six games, and the Thunder added to their point streak, now at six straight games (5-0-0-1). As the season moves into 2015 every point for the Thunder is precious now to keep them in a playoff berth. As of today the Thunder ranks 7th in the Western Conference with 33 points, and 3rd in their Central Division, 2 points in front of the Tulsa Oilers with 3 games in-hand against Tulsa.

The Thunder’s first period harked back to their pre-Thanksgiving games with lackluster low shots on goal, 8-4 for Missouri, and no score. The Thunder had a better 2nd, showing much more energy and physicality. Last night Thunder’s Russian defenseman Kirill Tulupov added an additional agitator role to his game catching Missouri off-guard at times. At 17:37 into the 1st the Thunder’s Danick Gauthier (with assists by K. Miller and I. Lowe) put Wichita on the board. Shots on goal for the 2nd were 10-6 for the Thunder.

The 3rd looked good for the Thunder as Ian Lowe capitalized on a powerplay at 11:57 (assists by I. Duval and J. Walker) to put them up 2-0, however Missouri quickly rallied to get past the Thunder’s defense. Mavericks Sebastien Thinel scored at 14:43 and again at 17:28 to tie the game, hitting his 1000th professional career point, establishing a Missouri Maverick milestone. The tie held through the end of the period sending the two teams into overtime. The 3rd period’s shots on goal were 9-5 for the Thunder.

The Thunder dominated in overtime and at 3:31 RG Flath scored off a rebound for the Thunder win, 3-2. Overtime shots on goal, 3-0 Thunder. Wichita is now 5-1-0-0 against Missouri in the Independence Cup Series.

Period Team Time Goals
2nd WIC 17:37 D. Gauthier (assists K. Miller, I. Lowe)
3rd WIC 11:57 I. Lowe (assists I. Duval, J. Walker) — PP
3rd MO 14:43 S. Thinel (assists L. Sparks, A. Courtney)
3rd MO 17:28 S. Thinel (assists P. Alber, L. Sparks)
OT WIC 3:31 R. Flath (assists I. Lowe, E. Meland)

There is hope that the Thunder might see Tyler Bunz back in Wichita this week which would give Tim Boron a much-needed break. OKC Barons goaltender Richard Bachman was practicing with the team on Tuesday morning and is expected to play very soon. Boron has been in net for the Thunder since Bunz was called up to the OKC Barons on December 17th.

HC05 Banská Bystrica (Slovak Extraliga) announced the signing of Thunder’s former Captain Theo Peckham. In October Coach McClelland made it clear that Peckham might be in Wichita for only a short time, “Now, how long he’ll be here, who knows. He’s got the ability to go on and play at a higher level, that’s for sure, and hopefully he’ll get that opportunity.” (From Jeffrey Lutz’s article “Thunder must work fast to get its hockey roster together” Oct. 11, 2014, Wichita Eagle.) All the best, Theo!

Tonight the Wichita Thunder once again face the Missouri Mavericks, this time in Independence on New Year’s Eve at 7:05 p.m.

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