Wichita (16-7-2) thrilled the home crowd on Teddy Bear Toss Night, pulling away late from the Tulsa Oilers (8-12-2) with a 5-2 victory on Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. Four different players found the back of the net for Wichita while Kevin Regan earned his 11th win of the season. Wichita leads the season-series 3-1-0 with a Sunday afternoon meeting tomorrow against Fort Worth to finish off a three-in-three for the second-straight weekend.
Tulsa's Gary Steffes gave the Oilers the early lead with a goal at 10:11 of the first period. Steffes sat behind the net and as the puck went out to the right circle, found himself all alone in front of Kevin Regan and made a nice move to the backhand for his 14th goal of the season.
Les Reaney brought the waterfall of teddy bears to the ice just 27 seconds into the second period. A clearing attempt went off Greger Hanson, found its way to Reaney at the right face-off dot and he slipped it past Garman to tie the game at one. Tulsa's Ben Gordon re-gained the lead for Tulsa at 9:53, beating Regan to the short-side on a two-on-one break to make it 2-1. Less than a minute later, Kevin Young started a rush and finished it with a wrap-a-round goal at 10:39 to tie the game at two. At 13:14, Dave Inman let a slap shot fly from the blue line, popped up and over Garman and found its way into the net to give the Thunder their first lead of the game, 3-2.
In the third period period, Wichita pulled away, scoring two goals in 29 seconds and completing a run of four unanswered. Matt Summers found a gap in the Tulsa defensive zone and put home a one-timer at 16:55 to make it 4-2. Trimm was given credit for the goal as he skated right past Keserich as the shot as approaching the net. Trimm showed great patience on the right wing wall and skated all the way to the net scoring on a backhand to increase the lead to 5-2.
Trimm led the way with four points (2g, 2a) and now as 15 on the season. Chad Painchaud added two helpers and now has a team-leading 19 on the season. Regan won his fifth-straight start, stopping 17 of 19 shots. The Wichita-Tulsa rivalry of old made an appearance as the two teams combined for 62 penalty minutes and eight fighting majors.
Wichita went 0-for-5 on the power play and Tulsa didn't fare any better, going 0-for-4.
Wichita will travel to Fort Worth to take on the Brahmas on Sunday afternoon. The Thunder's next home game is Friday, December 21st against the Fort Worth Brahmas. For tickets, call 755-SEAT, visit the INTRUST Bank Arena box office or online at www.selectaseat.com.