Danick Gauthier’s Late Goal Extends Thunder Losing Streak
The Wichita Thunder were finally able to snap their scoreless streak that saw the team go over 200-minutes between goals, but the Tulsa Oilers would still prevail, getting a goal from Danick Gauthier with 1:43 left in the game to give the Oilers the 5-3 win. That extended the Thunder’s losing streak to six.
The Wichita Thunder had entered the contest in a huge scoreless slump, not lighting the lamp in any of their previous three games. However, they would get on the board first. At the 13:50 mark of the first period the Thunder were killing a penalty when Vincent Arseneau would score for his fifth goal of the season. That was the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) leading eighth short-handed goal of the season for the Thunder and gave the team its first lead since a December 11 contest, the last time the team won.
The lead would last less than four minutes, however. At the 17:09 mark Phil Brewer tied the score when he beat Thunder goalie Peter Di Salvo, who was making his first start for the team, for his eighth goal of the season.
With just 10-seconds left in the first Jacob Poe would give Tulsa the lead. The Oilers defenseman was awarded a penalty shot when he was hauled down on a breakaway. He delivered, beating Di Salvo to make it 2-1.
The Oilers dominated much of the first period, leading the game by one and outshooting the Thunder 13-9, but Wichita would turn the tables in the second. They outshot Tulsa 18-12 in the period and that helped the Thunder to retake the lead. Landon Oslanski tied the score a little less than six minutes into the frame, his second goal of the season.
At the 9:27 mark, Arseneau would tally his sixth goal of the season and second of the game. Oslanski passed to Arseneau along the boards. He fired a long shot that found its way through a screen and into the net to give Wichita the lead 3-2.
A little less than seven minutes later the game would be tied. Shawn Bates scored his seventh goal of the year to tie the game at three.
The final period would be a tight battle. Both teams had their opportunities but Di Salvo and Tulsa goalie Jamie Phillips kept the score even. This looked like the game was headed to overtime and the Thunder may get their first point in over three weeks, but Danick Gauthier would add to the heartache. Ryan Olsen brought the puck into the Thunder end and passed to Gauthier. He fired a slapshot that beat Di Salvo for his sixth goal of the season.
The Thunder would pull their goalie looking for the equalizer, but had trouble trying to maintain possession in the Tulsa end. With one second left in the contest, Emerson Clark put in the empty-net goal to make it 5-3.
Arseneau scored 2-goals for the Wichita Thunder and Matt DeBlouw added 2-assists. Oslanski scored a goal and had an assist. Phil Brewer added a goal and an assist for the Tulsa Oilers. Kale Kessey had 2-assists.
These two teams will faceoff again on Sunday evening. Game time is 4:05.
By Robert Pannier