WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita Thunder continued their season-long five-game homestand Wednesday night, welcoming the Rapid City Rush to town for the first time since mid-May.
Game in a Paragraph
For two teams still trying to find an identity, it is clear each side works extremely hard. However, there were spurts in the game where Rapid City outworked Wichita, especially in the first ten or so minutes of the second period. Former Thunder forward Logan Nelson broke the ice at 11:51 of the second, firing a backhand wrister by Thunder netminder Evan Buitenhuis to give Rapid City a 1-0 lead. That seemed to wake Wichita up a little bit, who controlled much of the play in the final eight minutes of the period. Playing in his 100th pro game, Jay Dickman scored on a tremendous individual effort at 15:43 of the period to tie things at 1-1. Capitalizing on a soft holding call in overtime, Tristan Thompson ripped the game-winner off a set play 2:28 into overtime to give the Rush a 2-1 win.
- The forward group of Dickman-Carter Johnson–Peter Crinella was the best unit for the Thunder on Wednesday night. They were sound defensively, had multiple good scoring chances, and each had a hand in the first goal of the night.
- They may not have been the best line on the ice tonight, but the trio of Brayden Watts-Matteo Gennaro-Tim Soderlund pumped quite a bit of rubber at the net, recording 10 shots, seven coming off the stick of Soderlund.
- Evan Buitenhuis made his 12th consecutive start, he is three away from tying the team record (15, Bobby Desjardins, 1992-93) and the ECHL record held by Joel Martin.
- He was the tough-luck loser tonight, stopping 34 of 36 shots he faced.
- In eight games this month, Buitenhuis has allowed more than two goals just once (3 on 11/19 at Tulsa)
Rapid City Standouts
- Overall team defense. The Rush did a great job of forcing Wichita into bad plays in every area of the ice and winning puck battles on the walls in key areas
- Lukas Parik has been very solid in net for Rapid City this season. He stopped 30 of 31 Wichita shots Wednesday night and improved to 3-1-1-0 on the season
- Logan Nelson has 14 points on the season in 13 games played, which leads the Rush
- Stephen Baylis had assists on both Rush goals
The Thunder and Rush enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and will resume play on Friday. Wichita hosts Tulsa, while Rapid City travels to Kansas City to play the Mavericks for the first time this season. The Thunder and Rush will finish out the weekend Saturday and Sunday at INTRUST Bank Arena.
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