WICHITA, Kan. – Quad City (25-14-8) used a three-goal second period to skate past the Thunder (22-24-4) on Saturday night, winning by the final score of 4-1 at INTRUST Bank Arena. RG Flath scored the lone Thunder goal on the night and his third in the last two games. Wichita finishes the season-series 2-1-0 against the Mallards and split the two contests on home-ice. The Thunder drops two games below .500 and 10 points behind the Mallards in the standings.
The two teams played an even first 20 minutes with both goalies getting tested early. Wichita had the shot advantage after one, leading 9-7 in that department. Taylor Nelson was up to the task on an early chance from former Thunder forward Chris Greene from the slot as he stopped a one-timer at the top of the crease. Neither team could find the back of the net and the game entered the second period scoreless.
The Mallards took the game over with three goals in a 10-minute span in the second. Nicholas Rioux was called for tripping at 7:41, giving Wichita its first power play of the game. The Mallards created a turn-over and came back the other way on an odd-man rush. Matt Boyd was the recipient of a shorthanded goal at 8:10 and made it 1-0 from Gergo Nagy and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel. The Mallards scored eight minutes later when Nick McParland was called for slashing at 15:21, giving the visitors their first chance on the man advantage. Michael Monfredo fired a shot towards Nelson that Vladimir Nikiforov was able to re-direct into the back of the net and increased the lead to 2-0 at 16:34. Two minutes later, Quad City added to its lead as Boyd scored his second of the night finding a loose puck in the slot and beat Nelson. The Mallards held the Thunder to six shots on net while firing 12 themselves.
In the third, Quad City sat back and forced the Thunder to play the length of the ice. Flath gave the Thunder some life at 11:21 as he stole the puck from Ty Rimmer behind the net and wrapped it inside the right post to cut the lead to 3-1. The Thunder were unsuccessful on two third-period power plays and had a late chance when Jeff Lee was whistled for hooking at 15:22. Rimmer came up with some big saves as the Thunder out-shot the Mallards 15-4 in the period. Wichita pulled Nelson for the extra attacker and had some chances to get within one. Quad City added an insurance goal from Gabriel Levesque as he found an empty-net at 17:57 to close the scoring at 4-1.
Wichita loses for just the third time at home to Quad City and is now 7-3-0 against the Mallards at INTRUST Bank Arena all-time. Flath recorded his 19th of the season and is one goal shy of reaching 20 for the third-straight season in a Thunder uniform. Nelson collected his second assist of the year, but suffered his eighth loss of the season stopping 19 of 22 shots. Rimmer earns his 14th win of the season, stopping 29 of 30 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-3 on the power play. Quad City was 1-for-1 with the man advantage.
Wichita resumes action this Tuesday night against the Arizona Sundogs at 7:05 p.m.
With Wichita Thunder team release
Contact the photographer: Ed.Bailey@prohockeynews.com