Wichita (29-15-6) and Allen (29-11-9) sported impressive special team units coming into Sunday's game. That ended up being the difference in the contest as the Thunder racked up three power play goals in the third period to pull away from the Americans with a 4-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at INTRUST Bank Arena in front of 8,829 fans. Wichita improves to 2-1-1 against Allen this season in just the 16th all-time meeting between the two franchises. Wichita moves within three points of the Americans for first place as the two teams will see each other in three of the next four games.
Wichita came out hard in the early going and kept the puck inside the Allen zone for the first few minutes. Allen was able to hold off the Thunder flury and grabbed a lead at 3:14 of the opening period. Wichita couldn't get the puck out of its own end and Alex Penner took a pass at the right post and put it just inside the crossbar. The official initially ruled it a goal and had to go over to the score table to visit with the goal judge. The goal stood and the Americans led 1-0. Chad Painchaud tied the game when he was able to stay with a rebound on the right post for his ninth of the season.
After a scoreless second period, the Thunder power play unit went to work in the third. Ian Lowe broke a tie game with a rebound goal at 3:39 to give the Thunder its first lead. Kevin Young scored his first goal in almost a month at 8:47 with a heavy slap shot through a screen to give Wichita a two-goal lead, up 3-1. Dave Inman would take the air out of the Americans sails with another power play goal at 18:32 that pushed the Thunder lead to 4-1. All three goals were on the man advantage, which has been operating over 34% in the last 11 games.
Painchaud and Flath push their point-streaks to five games as Painchaud finished with three points (1g, 2a) and Flath with two helpers. Painchaud is just two assists shy of 200 for his career. Young had a goal and an assist pulling him into a first-place tie in scoring by a blue liner with Allen's Tyler Ludwig with 42 points (15g, 27a). Torrie Jung moved into a third place tie with his 16th win of the season, stopping 25 of 26 shots.
Wichita went 3-for-10 on the power play while Denver was 0-for-5.
Wichita and Allen will meet on Tuesday night in a game that was originally scheduled for December 26th. The game was postponed and rescheduled due to inclement weather in Dallas. For tickets, call 755-SEAT, visit the INTRUST Bank Arena box office or online at www.selectaseat.com.
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!