Ryan Misiak Nets Hat Trick to Send Thunder to 10th Straight Loss
The Wichita Thunder had to think that this was going to be another one of those nights when Terrence Wallin scored just 44-seconds into the game to give the Rapid City Rush the early lead. However, that Thunder continually battled back all night long, tying the score three different times before finally falling 7-5. Ryan Misiak led the way with three-goals and an assist, ruining a big night for Blake Tatchell, who scored a goal and added 2-assists of his own.
It was Wallin that would put the Thunder on their heels right off. Mark Cooper stole the puck in the Wichita end and took a shot that was saved. However, Wallin grabbed the rebound and put it in for his 11th goal of the season.
A little less than 11 minutes later the Thunder would tie the score. Macoy Erkamps fired a shot on net that Austin Lotz saved, but Maxime St-Cyr, playing in his first game for Wichita, was standing on the doorstep and put the puck back in for his fourth goal of the year. That would send the two teams to the break tied at one.
It had been a fairly tight-checking affair in the first, as the two teams combined for just 15 shots. However, the second period would be a shootout, as the two teams combined for six goals in the frame.
The Rush got on the board first when they scored at the 6:09 mark of the second. Ryan Walters received a pass down low behind the Wichita net, and passed it out to Ryan Misiak who put a wrist shot over Scott Greenham’s shoulder to put the Rush back on top.
Less than three minutes later the Thunder would tie the score once again. Blake Tatchell brought the puck into the Rapid City end down the left side of the boards. He moved toward the slot, holding onto the puck as he slowed down. This allowed him to wait for the defender to screen Lotz, and Tatchell made a great shot just under the cross bar for his sixth goal of the season.
Five minutes later the Rush would get the first of two straight goals. Former Wichita forward Logan Nelson passed to Mark Cooper in front of the net, who put the puck in the net for his 12th goal of the season. Just 71 seconds later the Rush were killing a penalty when Ryan Walters would race the Wichita defender for the puck behind the Thunder goal. He knocked down the defenseman, gained control of the puck, and moved in front of the net where he put a shot past Greenham for the goal.
The Wichita Thunder responded right away, getting one of those goals back 46-seconds later. Erkamps shot from the point was saved by Lotz, but Tatchell gained the rebound and put it right back on goal. Once again, Lotz made the save, but the puck moved to the side of the net where David Friedmann put in his 11th goal of the season, a power-play goal to make it 4-3.
It would stay that way until there was a little less than two minutes left in the period when the Thunder would add another power-play goal. With a 5-on-3 advantage, Matt DeBlouw nearly lost control of the puck, but regained control and passed to Alex Vanier at the point. He blasted a slap shot that beat Lotz to tie the score.
Into the third the game would go, where the Rush would take the lead for good. At the 5:58 mark, Ryan Misiak passed to Alex Mikulovich at the point. He fired a shot that got past Greenham and it was 5-4.
At the 12:39 mark it would be 6-4. Walters passed to Misiak near the side of the goal. He continued toward the net and beat the Thunder goalie to extend the lead to two.
With 88-seconds left in the game the Thunder would make it a one-goal game again. Macoy Erkamps blasted a shot from the point that beat the Rush goalie for his third goal of the season.
The Wichita Thunder pulled their goalie looking for the equalizer, but Misiak would end the comeback. He gained control of the puck at his own blueline and passed to Hunter Fejes. Fejes gave it back to him and Misiak scored into the empty net for the hat trick.
Ryan Misiak finished with 3-goals and an assist for the Rapid City Rush. Mike Monfredo added 3-assists and Ryan Walters had a goal and 2-assists. For the Thunder, Blake Tatchell added a goal and 2-assists.
The loss was the 10th straight for the Wichita Thunder. They will look to break that streak Friday night when the Toledo Walleyes come to town. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier