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Photo Courtesy of Ed Bailey. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Courtesy of Ed Bailey. All Rights Reserved.

The Wichita Thunder’s weekend ended on a low as they lost to the Allen Americans in a shootout, 6-5. However the news is not all doom and gloom since they picked up one much-needed point last night, and the team played some outstanding hockey once again against the top ranked ECHL team.

Wichita ends their weekend with 5 more points for a total of 53 to keep them in 3rd place in the Central Division, one point behind Quad City in 2nd with 54 points, and five points in front of the Tulsa Oilers in 4th with 48 points.

Standings Feb 16 2015

Despite Allen starting the game off with two goals, the first on a 5-on-3 powerplay, both teams were a bit rough in their passing and positioning early in the game, however Wichita soon settled down and was able to keep Allen’s offense to a minimum. Late in the 1st Wichita’s Eric Meland put the Thunder on the board on a powerplay, and the period ended with Allen leading 2-1 .

The Thunder’s 2nd period was outstanding, even with the long list of penalties for both teams. At one point there were four players in Wichita’s box and three in Allen’s which was the game high. Wichita created some great setups, cycling, tape-to-tape passing, and positioning, resulting in three back-to-back goals by Mike Wilson (PPG), Danick Gauthier and Eric Meland, and another at the end of the period by Kenton Miller. Allen’s Chad Costello scored at 15:40 into the period on a 5-on-3 powerplay for the lone Allen goal in the 2nd. The period ended with Wichita leading 5-3.

Wichita led by 2 goals going into the 3rd period and maintained that lead until near the end with only four-and-a half minutes remaining in the game when Allen’s Costello scored at 15:34, and later at 18:49 Gregor Hanson’s goal would tie it to take the game into overtime. The Thunder, who looked totally exhausted in the 3rd, focused primarily on just maintaining their lead, and they can never afford to do this and expect to win against a strong offensive team like Allen. Allen outshot Wichita 16-7 in the 3rd.

Thunder’s Coach Kevin McClelland discussed the 3rd period with Wichita Eagle’s Jeffrey Lutz, “We didn’t do anything offensively in the third. We sat back. I’m not using tired as an excuse, but we got our bus re-routed (Saturday) night and the extra 15 minutes (on the bus) caught up to us.”

Wichita had a strong overtime period, outshooting the Americans 5-3, but they could never gain the advantage. In the end the Allen Americans won the shootout with 2 goals from Ian Schultz and Spencer Asuchak. Wichita’s lone goal came from Justin Bernhardt. For the first time the Thunder lose to Allen past regulation play — they currently stand at 4-5-0-1 against Allen.

Period Team Time Goals
1st ALN 13:17 T. Ludwig (assists C. Costello, J. Schaafsma) — PP
1st ALN 16:18 S. Asuchak (assists G. Steffes, G. Hanson)
1st WIC 18:27 E. Meland (K. Miller, I. Lowe) — PP
2nd WIC 1:23 M. Wilson (assists T. Hosmer, E. Meland) — PP
2nd WIC 1:49 D. Gauthier (assists R. Flath, J. Bernhardt)
2nd WIC 10:54 E. Meland (assists M. Wilson, K. Tulupov)
2nd ALN 15:40 C. Costello (assists K. Young, J. Schaafsma) — PP
2nd WIC 17:21 K. Miller (assist I. Lowe)
3rd ALN 15:34 C. Costello (assists G. Hanson, A. Gens)
3rd ALN 18:49 G. Hanson (assists J. Baker, K. Young)

Wichita has two days to regroup, rest up and return to tango once again with the Allen Americans in Allen on Wednesday night. Rest up, boys!

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