Ralph Cuddemi Scores Two to Help Power Thunder to 3-1 Victory
The Tulsa Oilers returned to Wichita on Friday night, looking for the repeat of last weekend when they came from behind in both contests to win 6-5. However, Stuart Skinner was having none of that, stopping all 30 of the 31 shots he faced in the 3-1 victory. Ralph Cuddemi scored two goals, Lane Bauer added a goal and an assist, and Keoni Texeira and Quentin Shore each had two assists to pace the Wichita Thunder offense. The loss denied the Oilers the chance to move into first in the Mountain Division.
The Wichita Thunder battled through a very chippy first period as the game remained scoreless for nearly 18 minutes. Finally, at 17:48 of the first, Marc-Olivier Crevier-Moron fired a shot that was saved by Devin Williams, but Ralph Cuddemi was able to corral the rebound. He moved quickly to his left, then backhanded a shot into the upper corner for his 19th goal of the year. That made it 1-0.
With 1:01 left in the first, the Thunder would get back on the board. While on the power-play, Keoni Texeira fired a shot from the point that Williams saved but, once again, a Wichita player gained control of the rebound. This time it was Lane Bauer, who knocked the loose puck in for his seventh goal of the year. Quinten Shore earned the assist on the goal, his second of the game.
Neither team would score in the second. Tulsa had a golden opportunity to get on the board when Dylan Bredo came from the left boards, sweeping across the net looking to tuck the puck under Skinner, but the Thunder goaltender made a diving stop to keep the puck out in a highlight reel goal.
Into the third the game went with the Thunder leading by two. With 1o minutes, Wichita would add another goal. Lane Bauer passed the puck to Cuddemi as he was entering the Tulsa end. Cuddemi moved in then fired a wrist shot from about 10 feet out. It hit off of Williams glove and in for his second goal of the game.
Tulsa would finally get on the board with 1:42 left in the game. While on the power-play, Eric Drapluk passed the puck in front to Scott Henegar, who redirected the puck in for his 13th goal of the year. That made it 3-1, which would be the final.
The Wichita Thunder will take their two game winning streak to Allen to take on the Americans on Saturday night. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier
Featured Image by Ed Bailey