RG Flath came into the season looking to record three separate milestones. Before the weekend, he had reached two of those and was looking to complete the trifecta. His two-goal performance along with three power play tallies paced the Thunder (23-14-3) to a 5-4 victory over Tulsa (11-26-3) on Sunday afternoon at the BOK Center. Flath's second goal was his 100th of his career and also finished with three points on the night. Wichita improves to 5-2-0 against the Oilers this season and has another trip to Tulsa at the beginning of February.
Tulsa got on the board first with an even strength goal from Drew Fisher. A Thunder clearing attempt was kept alive along the right wall and Patrick Schafer found a wide open Fisher who beat Torrie Jung over the glove to make it 1-0. At 10:52, Wichita scored its first of two power play goals in the period to tie the game. Andrew Martens sent a shot from the deep slot and Flath was able to tip it out of the air past rookie goaltender Dan Clarke. Two minutes later, Wichita took its first lead of the game on a beautiful move from Martens. He caught a pass up the left wing from Neil Trimm, beat a defender at the left face-off dot and went across the goal mouth on his backhand to make it 2-1. The Oilers were then awarded a five-on-three power play and tied the game at two. Fisher caught a pass across the slot from Ben Gordon at the right circle and put a one-timer past Jung.
Fisher continued to be a thorn in the side of the Thunder as he stole the puck at the Oilers line, skated down on a break-away and beat Jung with a backhand two minutes into the second period to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead. Fisher's hat trick was the first given up by the Thunder this season.
The Thunder would then record three goals in two minutes and took a 5-3 advantage into the third. Flath tipped home his second of the game at 7:03 on a shot from Travis Wight to tie the game at three. 24 seconds later, Ian Lowe stole the puck from an Oilers defender, dished it off to Trimm and he was able to get across the crease to sneak it past Clarke. Greger Hanson added a power play goal at 9:03, which caused Clarke to get pulled from the game and a 5-3 lead for the Thunder.
Early in the third, Sean Erickson let a shot fly past the glove of Jung just 41 seconds into the third period to cut the Thunder lead to one. Each team had two more power plays down the stretch and were unable to convert. Tulsa made a late charge and had a couple of scoring chances in the final minute with the extra attacker on the ice. Jung was able to hold the fort and Wichita earned its second-straight road win in Tulsa on the weekend, 5-4.
Martens led the way with a goal and three helpers while Trimm added his 19th of the season. Jung won his second-straight start and grabbed his 10th win of the year, stopping 23 of 27 shots. Wichita out-shot the Oilers 41-27 and has hit 40 shots in five of the last seven games.
The two teams combined for 18 power play opportunities as the Thunder went 3-for-9 while Tulsa was 2-for-9.
Wichita returns home for the next three games and will host the Denver Cutthroats for the first time ever on Saturday, January 26th. For tickets, call 755-SEAT, visit the INTRUST Bank Arena box office or online at www.selectaseat.com.
Help Thunder Dog get to his birthday bash by covering his medical bills. To learn more, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TvcrUVam-r4
Wichita Thunder mini-plans are still available. Contact the Wichita Thunder Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at (316) 264-4625 or visit the fan relations table behind section 120 at any Wichita Thunder home game for more information. Join the Blue Revolution today!