Thunder Comeback Falls Short in Rapid City
RAPID CITY, SD – The Wichita Thunder found themselves trailing by two twice on Friday evening, rallying to pull within one in each instance, but the comeback fell short as the Rapid City Rush earned a 4-2 victory. Matt Marcinew had a goal and an assist and Adam Carlson made 29 saves for Rapid City. Michal Stinil had two assists, giving him five points in the last two games.
The Rush scored the only goal of the first period. Weiland Parrish passed the puck from behind the net across the slot to Keegan Iverson who was just above the right face-off circle. He blasted a one-timer by Justin Kapelmaster for his first goal of the season.
Rapid City extended their lead to two when Max Coatta scored 3:23 into the second period. Roman Basran had taken over for Kapelmaster, who was hurt at the end of the first period. Brett Gravelle gained control of the puck along the half boards, dishing it to Coatta, who fired a laser into the upper corner for his 14th goal of the year.
Wichita had no answers for Carlson through the first 35 minutes of this game, but Cole MacDonald scored on the power play at 14:56 to pull the Thunder within one. It was a great play at the blueline that helped set up the tally as Colton Leiter attempted to clear the puck out of his own end, but MacDonald, was able to knock the puck down, making a backhand pass to Gavin Gould along the boards. He quickly fed the puck across the slot to Stinil, who gave it back to MacDonald. The defenseman fired a shot that beat Carlson low for his eighth goal of the season, giving him goals in three straight games.
The Thunder were right back in the contest, but Carter Robertson restored the two-goal lead 54 seconds into the third. He took a pass from Logan Nelson, then beat Basran with a shot of high through a screen for his fifth goal of the year.
Once again, the Thunder were able to cut the deficit to one when Jay Dickman scored his 21st goal of the season with 2:06 left in the game. Dickman took a pass from Peter Bates, then beat Carlson with a wrist shot to make it 3-2.
Wichita pulled netminder with a little over one minute left in the contest looking for the equalizer, but Marcinew sealed the victory with an empty net tally to make it 4-2.
Despite losing, the Wichita Thunder (27-26-5) remain tied with the Kansas City Mavericks for second place in the Mountain Division. Wichita will take on Rapid City (25-30-1) again on Saturday. The puck drops at 8:05 Wichita time.
by Robert Pannier