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Tim Boron in net for the Wichita Thunder on Feb. 15, 2015. Wichita Thunder vs. Allen Americans (Photo courtesy of Ed Bailey. All Rights Reserved)

Tim Boron in net for the Wichita Thunder on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. Wichita Thunder vs. Allen Americans (Photo courtesy of Ed Bailey. All Rights Reserved)

Going into the second half of the 3rd period last night the Wichita Thunder held a 5-3 lead over the Allen Americans, and if this sounds vaguely familiar you probably watched their last game against Allen in Wichita on Sunday afternoon on Feb. 15th. And you will also remember how the Americans scored two goals at the end of the 3rd to tie the game and push it into overtime. Remember that? Yes, it happened again! As Yogi Berra said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

And just like Sunday’s game, overtime passed without either team scoring which of course led to the shootout, however this time the ending was much more to Wichita’s liking as they rolled out of Texas with a 6-5 shootout win thanks to Todd Hosmer’s goal at the bottom of round seven. Wichita is now 5-5-0-1 against the top ranked team in the ECHL.

Ian Duval started and ended the scoring for Wichita last night in regulation, along with goals from Kirill Tulupov, Justin Bernhardt, and Danick Gauthier. This is Duval’s 9th goal of the season, Tulupov’s 5th, Bernhardt’s 6th and Gauthier’s 20th. This is indeed Coach Kevin McClelland’s team scoring by committee which is necessary in a league where players can be called up at any moment. Of the 20 goals scored in regulation or overtime in the last four games (Feb. 13th, 14th, 15th and 18th), 4 of the goals came from the Thunder defense — Meland with two, Wilson and Tulupov with one each.

Period Team Time Goals
1st WIC 2:50 I. Duval (assists N. Kashirsky, J. Walker)
1st ALN 7:07 G. Steffes (assists C. Costello, T. Ludwig) — PP
1st WIC 12:26 K. Tulupov
2nd ALN 2:36 J. Baker (assists G. Hanson, J. Schaafsma)
2nd ALN 12:53 C. Costello (assists K. Follmer, G. Clarke)
2nd WIC 17:43 J. Bernhardt (assists D. Gauthier, M. Wilson) — PP
3rd WIC 7:56 D. Gauthier (assists I. Lowe, J. Bernhardt) — PP
3rd WIC 10:21 I. Duval (assist K. Tulupov Dan Milan)
3rd ALN 11:40 G. Hanson (assists J. Baker, S. Asuchak)
3rd ALN 19:59 G. Steffes (assists S. Asuchak, C. Costello) — EA

Central Division Standings: The Thunder currently sit in 3rd with 55 points, 1 point behind Quad City Mallards in 2nd with 56 points. The Tulsa Oilers are 3 points back in 4th place and Rapid City in 5th with 51 points. Allen continues their solid 1st place ECHL league wide ranking at 74 points, 3 points in front of the Reading Royals.

Feb 19 2015 Central Division rankings

A word about league stats: In breaking down some of the plays in Thunder games this season it is very clear that ECHL league Game Sheets are not always correct and accurate. It is understandable given that these positions are filled with volunteers and at least in the Central Division the staff has moved to new software and regulations. There is also the issue of some less than clear video of the games which makes it difficult to always determine who was on the ice for a goal. The unfortunate part of this however is that it reflects upon a player’s individual stats, in their assists and their +/- stats primarily, and this puts the onus on the players to watch for and request corrections. (I highly suspect any minor league stats have this type of issue, so the ECHL is not alone in this problem.)

The Thunder return to Wichita this weekend with back-to-back games against the Rapid City Rush on Friday (Feb. 20) and the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday (Feb. 21).

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