Thunder Offense Stymied in Final Game in Utah, 4-1
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT – Peter Bates scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season, but it was not nearly enough as the Wichita Thunder fell to the Utah Grizzlies, 4-1. David Fitze scored two goals for Utah and Trent Miner stopped 19 shots. Trevor Gorsuch faced 48 shots, stopping 44.
The Grizzlies scored the only goal of the first period, as Fitze netted his first tally of the season 12:34 into the contest. With Utah on the power-play Keoni Texeira took a shot that Gorsuch saved, but Fitze put home the rebound to make it 1-0.
Just before the five-minute mark of the second Fitze netted his second goal of the contest. Fitze received a perfect pass through the neutral zone from Brett Stapley that sent him in on a breakaway. He beat Gorsuch to the glove side to make it 2-0.
Wichita cut the deficit in half just before the 12-minute mark. Brayden Watts found Bates down the left side, who fired a shot that beat Miner to get the Thunder on the board. The tally gave Bates goals in three straight games.
However, Utah responded with two goals in the span of 26 seconds to put this game away. The first came at 15:50 when Stapley scored on the power-play. He made a nice move across the slot, slowing himself down before lifting a wrist shot past Gorsuch for his first goal of the season.
Jared Power closed out the scoring at 16:16 when he took a pass from Mick Messner and buried it for his first goal of the season.
Wichita had been held to 10 total shots through the first two periods, but added 10 in the third. However, Miner denied every opportunity. Give top put up 11 shots in the first, 22 in the second, and 15 and the third. The Grizzlies were 2-4 on the power-play while Wichita went 0-3.
Wichita (4-7-1) returns home to begin a three-game set against the Rapid City Rush (4-6-1) starting on Friday. The puck drops at 7:05.
by Robert Pannier