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Wichita win in OT with goal by Wilson assists Tulupov Kashirsky

Wichita Thunder celebrate their overtime win, March 7, 2015.

The past three days for the Wichita Thunder team have just been crazy. Following their great comeback win against the Rapid City Rush on Wednesday night the team loaded up for a twenty hour bus trip to Brampton, Ontario for their next three games. The Thunder also added a new goaltender Grant Rollheiser upon their arrival (who had been traded from the Brampton Beast!), while their stalwart goaltender Tim Boron was called up to the AHL’s Rochester Americans who were playing nearby in Hamilton, Ontario. And to top all of that, on their first full day in Brampton the Wichita Thunder had yet another great comeback, three in fact, to beat the Brampton Beast in overtime 5-4. It’s hard to top that craziness.

First off, let’s talk about Tim Boron who surprisingly has never been called up to the AHL in his previous eight years of professional hockey. There’s nothing better than seeing a loyal and well-deserving goaltender receive a callup and you could tell how proud Coach McClelland was as he talked about it with Jason Mals. He made it clear that he would not call the Rochester Americans and ask for Boron’s return while the AHL team still needed him. He wouldn’t take that special opportunity away from Boron. Tim Boron’s night in Hamilton with the Rochester Amerks was a bit on the crazy side as well. A Hamilton Bulldog shot careened into Rochester’s bench, glancing off Boron’s shoulder then shattered the glass right behind him. Boron had to head to the dressing room to clean all the glass off and he returned to finish out the game.

Last night the Wichita Thunder dressed their usual emergency backup goaltender, Kevin St. Pierre, who also moonlights as the team’s bus driver and the team’s color commentator while on the road. (That’s yet another great story.)

Playing in place of Tim Boron was the team’s brand new goaltender Grant Rollheiser in his first game with the Thunder against his very recent former team the Brampton Beast. McClelland told Mals that he had talked to the Edmonton Oilers about the situation with Tyler Bunz, currently in Oklahoma City with the Oilers farm club the OKC Barons and it was obvious that Bunz would not be returning in the near future due to the goaltender injury situation in Edmonton. As a result it was necessary for the Thunder to have another good goaltender on the roster, therefore the team traded for Grant Rollheiser for future considerations.

The Beast’s ECHL Player of the Month Chad Painchaud was a scratch for the game due to a possible concussion, however it is not confirmed. In February Painchaud had four hattricks (no, that is not a typo); 17 goals, 3 assists for a total of 20 points during just the month of February.

The 1st period started with a quick Brampton Beast goal by Stephon Thorne at 2:19 which beat Rollheiser topshelf to take the lead 1-0. The Beast held control throughout the 1st as Wichita battled with penalties and near the end of the period at 18:54 Danick Gauthier was called for boarding, receiving a major (41.3 for 5 minutes), as well as a game misconduct – boarding (41.5) and he was escorted off the ice leaving the Thunder without their leading scorer for the remainder of the game. Shots on goal for the 1st were 12-7 for the Beast.

The Beast started the 2nd on the powerplay which helped Dalton Thrower gain an even larger margin for the Beast as he shot one past Rollheiser to take a two goal lead. Later at 12:01 Wichita’s Justin Bernhardt scored after an excellent play with Mike Wilson finding goalie Trevor Cann out of position. Almost four minutes later Brampton would strike yet again, after Wichita’s too many men penalty, with a goal from their newly traded Brett Lyon to put the Beast up 3-1 to regain their two goal lead. Near the end of the period at 18:21 the Thunder’s Jared Walker narrowed the lead with a goal off a rebound from Nikita Kashirsky to end the 2nd 3-2 in favor of Brampton. Shots on goal for the 2nd were 10-9 for Brampton, however the Thunder were essentially out playing the Beast for the majority of the period.

The Beast widened their lead in the early 3rd period to 4-2 when David Ling scored off a pass from Justin Donati after the Thunder gave the Beast far too much room to maneuver down the ice. Now down by two goals once again the Thunder created some great chances themselves and at 10:08 on a powerplay Nikita Kashirsky in front of the net was finally able to pop in a rebound to bring the score to within one goal. Later at 14:02 on yet another Beast penalty, Todd Hosmer tied the game at 4 with a shot from the side of the net. Shots on goal for the 3rd were 11-7 for Wichita.

Brampton had some very good chances in overtime, however Thunder’s new goaltender Rollheiser held his former team off to give Wichita the advantage. At 3:33 the Thunder struck when Kirill Tulupov’s hard shot from the blueline caught Cann, rebounded and went into the net after bouncing off Mike Wilson. Not a very pretty goal, but a greasy goal is just as good when the Thunder is able to celebrate a long hard-fought victory. Shots on goal for overtime were 4-3 for the Thunder.

Period Team Time Goals
1st BRM 2:19 S. Thorne (assists C. Wild, T. Fawcett)
2nd BRM 2:03 D. Thrower (assists J. Donati, D. Ling) – PP
2nd WIC 12:01 J. Bernhardt (assist M. Wilson)
2nd BRM 15:59 B. Lyon (assists D. Ling, J. Donati) – PP
2nd WIC 18:21 J. Walker (assist N. Kashirsky)
3rd BRM 4:12 D. Ling (assists J. Donati, M. McCready)
3rd WIC 10:08 N. Kashirsky (assists R. Flath, M. Wilson) – PP
3rd WIC 14:02 T. Hosmer (assists I. Lowe, M. Wilson) – PP
OT WIC 3:33 M. Wilson (assists K. Tulupov, N. Kashirsky)

The Thunder remain in Brampton for two more games and will face the Beast again on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. EST).