Kale Kessy Hat Trick, Colin Stevens Shutout Lead Tulsa to 5-0 Victory
Sadly, 13 proved to be quite unlucky for the Wichita Thunder, who dropped their 13th straight game, 11 of those in regulation, this time to the Tulsa Oilers, 5-0. The Oilers got a hat trick from Kale Kessy and Colin Stevens stopped all 23-shots he faced in recording his first shutout of the season.
Matt O’Connor had his second straight start for the Thunder since joining the team, but this would not be his night. The Oilers peppered the Wichita netminder for 15-shots in the first period, two of which found the back of the net.
The first goal came at the 6:15 mark when Kessy received the puck in the right face-off circle. He fired a wrist shot that beat O’Connor and it was 1-0 Tulsa. That was Kessy’s eighth goal of the season.
With a little over a minute left in the first period, the Oilers would be back on the scoreboard again. Darcy Murphy fired a shot from a really bad angle that barely snuck under the legs of the goalie and into the net, and it was 2-0. For Murphy, that was his 16th goal of the year.
It was a tough start to the game, and it would not get better in the second. At 1:45 of the second, Danick Paquette fired a quick shot that went just under the crossbar and into the goal. That was his ninth goal of the year.
About 10 minutes later the Oiler would be back on the scoreboard and chase O’Connor from the game. With Tulsa on the power-play, Paquette fired a shot that was saved, but Kessy put the rebound in for his second goal of the contest.
With an even strength goal and a power-play one, Kessy completed the hat trick with a short-handed goal in the third period. The Tulsa forward carried the puck down the boards and fired a shot that Scott Greenham could not make the save on for his 10th goal of the year.
Meanwhile, Stevens was absolutely brilliant between the pipes for the Tulsa Oilers. He saved 10 shots in both the first and third periods, and his defense really helped out, holding the Thunder to just three-shots in the second, and 23 total shots for the night.
The loss was the 13th in a row for Wichita, who has not won since January 22. They are 0-11-2-0 during that span.
Kale Kessy finished with 3-goals on the night. Danick Paquette had a goal and 2-assists and Wes Cunningham added 2-assists.
The Thunder travel to Cincinnati to take on the Cyclones Wednesday night. The puck drops at 6:35Wichita time.
By Robert Pannier