The Wichita Thunder’s losing streak reached six Saturday night (0-5-1), as the Indy Fuel got a natural hat trick from Quentin Shore in the 5-0 victory. Shore scored all three of his goals in the second period, and Ryan Rupert added two goals to complete the scoring. Gordon Defiel stopped all 31 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
The struggling Thunder would find themselves trailing early, as the Indy Fuel got on the board at 2:54 of the first. Former Wichita forward Logan Nelson passed the puck to the corner to Alex Brooks. He fired a perfect pass to Ryan Rupert, who was standing right in front of the net. Rupert tipped it in for his 15th goal of the year.
Early in the second, the Fuel would expand their lead to two. At 1:27, Woody Hudson passed the puck to Quentin Shore as he was crossing in front of the net. He fired a shot that beat Ty Rimmer for his 12th goal of the year.
It nearly became a three goal lead at the eight minute mark of the period when a pass came to Rupert who blasted a one-timer, but Rimmer made a great blocker save. The puck was loose in front of the net, but Rimmer was able to knock down two more point blank shots while on his butt before the Thunder were finally able to clear the puck out of the zone.
That exchange opened up the action. About a minute late, a Thunder shot was saved by Gordon Defiel, but the rebound came out to Pierre-Cedric Labrie, who blasted a one-timer that went just wide of the goal. Moments later, Labrie picked up a head of steam in the neutral zone, split between two defensemen, before moving in on a breakaway. However, Defiel made a great pad save.
With 5:22 left in the second, the Indy Fuel extended their lead to three. A bad giveaway in the neutral zone gave the Fuel a 2-on-1 break. Quentin Shore intercepted the errant pass, entered the zone and opted to take the shot. Rimmer got his glove on the puck, but it ripped through and into the net to make it 3-0.
With a little over two minutes left in the frame, Indy was back on the board. After killing off a Thunder power-play where a goal was waved off, the Fuel would come out of their zone on another 2-on-1. Woody Hudson passed the puck across to Stone who buried the one-timer for his third goal of the game. That made it 4-0.
At the 9:29 mark of the third, the Indy Fuel would add a power-play goal. Nelson’s shot hit the post, but went right to Ryan Rupert, who blasted it in for his second goal of the game. ‘
The loss is the eighth in the last nine for the Wichita Thunder. They remain in sixth place. These two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon. The puck drops at 4:05.
By Robert Pannier