Wichita (21-11-3) had been looking for something to build off of after starting out its six-game road trip losing two-out-of-three games last week. Behind solid goaltending from Torrie Jung and a two-goal night from Ian Lowe, the Thunder won a tight game in Rapid City (15-15-5) by the final of 3-1 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Tuesday night. Wichita improves to 3-1-0 against the Rush this season and is 2-0-0 on the road. The two teams will have two days off before seeing each other in back-to-back contests on Friday and Saturday.
Wichita got off to good start, out-shooting Rapid City 17-8 in the opening frame. Ian Lowe got the Thunder on the scoreboard at 14:20 of the first period as he tipped home a Nathan Lutz shot to give Wichita a 1-0 advantage. The goal was originally awarded to Neil Trimm, but was changed after the period ended.
Wichita continued to fire the puck on net, but Danny Battochio kept Rapid City in the game with some terrific saves. At 4:29 of the second, Jarrett Konkle tied it as he stepped around a Thunder defender at the blue line, skated to the face-off dot and beat Torrie Jung to make it 1-1. Wichita then had some great opportunities denied when Dustin Donaghy caught a pass from Les Reaney on a two-on-one chance only to see his shot stopped by Battochio. At 16:44, Rapid City turned the puck over at their own blue line on a clearing attempt and Andrew Martens made them pay. He sent a low, hard shot on net that was tipped home by Lowe for his second of the night and gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. The goal was originally given to Andrew Martens, but again changed to Lowe after the period came to a close.
The Rush had some great chances themselves in the final 20 minutes, but Jung stood tall and helped the Thunder keep a one-goal advantage until late in the game. Greger Hanson sealed it with an empty-net goal with 53 seconds left and Wichita skated away with a 3-1 win.
Lowe had his second multi-goal game of the season while Matt Summers pushed his point-streak to four games with an assist. Torrie Jung won his eighth of the year, stopping 22 of 23 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-5 on the power play and held Rapid City scoreless on their four opportunities.
Wichita will stay in Rapid City for a pair of games beginning on Friday, January 11th. The Thunder returns home on Friday, January 18th against the Tulsa Oilers before heading back out on the road for two games in Tulsa.