Head Coach Kevin McClelland wanted his team to assert themselves and start putting the puck in the net. On Wednesday night, Wichita (8-5-2) did just that with a 5-1 win against the Bloomington Blaze (8-4-1) at INTRUST Bank Arena. Les Reaney added a pair of goals while Dave Inman added two helpers in the victory. Wichita earns their second-straight win and their first against the Blaze all-time. Wichita trails 1-2-0 in the season-series against Bloomington and will not see them until the beginning of March.
Wichita scored first for the third straight game when Aaron Dawson's clearing attempt deflected off of his own goalie and slid into the net at 10:22. Ryan Flanigan was credited with his second goal of the season. When scoring first, Wichita is 4-1-1.
Les Reaney extended the Thunder lead to 2-0 in the second, scoring his first goal at home since joining Wichita. He caught a pass at the red line, skated away from the Bloomington defenders and put it through Festa on a break-a-way. The Blaze got on the board at 12:08 on a goal from David Gilbert. Wichita was then awarded a four-minute power play when Aaron Dawson was called for hooking and cross-checking. The Thunder took advantage as Ian Lowe recorded his second goal in two games less than a minute into the power play to regain a two-goal advantage.
In the third period, Les Reaney collected his second of the night to make it 4-1. Erick Lizon got to a loose puck in the right wing corner, zipped it to the crease where Reaney tapped it in for his fourth of the season. RG Flath would add his fifth of the year off a face-off win and the Thunder skated away from the Blaze with a 5-1 victory.
Flath is just eight goals shy of 100 for his career with a goal tonight and is still searching for his 100th assist. Reaney recorded his second multi-goal game of the season. Lizon and Wight each recorded their first points while Kevin Regan clamped down for his fourth win, making 24 saves on 25 shots.
Wichita was 1-for-5 with the man advantage. Bloomington went 0-for-2 on the power play. Wichita has not given up a power play goal in four contests, killing off all 14 chances from the opposition during that stretch.
Wichita will have the day off before returning to home-ice for a pair of games this weekend. The Thunder hosts Quad City on Friday night and Fort Worth on Saturday evening. For tickets, call 755-SEAT, visit the INTRUST Bank Arena box office or online at www.selectaseat.com .
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