WICHITA, Kan. – For the third straight game, Wichita (11-17-4) was unable to find its offense in the third period, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Arizona Sundogs (12-18-1) Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. Wichita gave up three third-period goals for the second consecutive game as the Sundogs broke open a scoreless contest. Wichita trails in the season-series 3-1-0 and will not see Arizona until February. The Thunder has dropped three-straight entering the third period tied with its opponent in all three contests.
Goaltending was the story of the first 40 minutes as both netminders were tough for respective teams. Wichita was able to generate a number of odd-man chances, but couldn’t solve Andrew Engelage, who shut the door on a number of occasions. David Brown was up to the task in between the pipes for the Thunder as he denied all 16 shots he saw through the first 40 minutes.
The Sundogs broke the scoreless tie midway through the third period after a Thunder penalty had expired. Johan Ryd caught a pass in front of the Thunder net and banged home a rebound past Brown to grab a 1-0 lead. Arizona added another when Jared Walker was sent off for tripping at 12:31. David Rutherford scored his third goal in two games on the weekend at 13:23to increase the lead to 2-0 with assists to Brandon Coccimiglio and Johan Ryd. After Garrett Gruenke was sent off for roughing 40 seconds later, the Sundogs padded to their lead with another tally on the man advantage from Kevin Baker at14:41. Down the stretch, the Thunder kept pressing trying to get one past Engelage only to be denied at every turn and fell by the final of 3-0.
The Thunder end up on the wrong end of a shutout bid for the third time this season. Entering the third period tied, Wichita’s record falls to 2-7-2 on the season. Brown suffers his eighth loss of the year, stopping 23 of 26 shots. Engelage collects his second shutout of the season, stopping all 29 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-4 on the power play and is 0-for-10 over the last three games. Arizona went 2-for-7.
The Thunder heads to Quad City for the first and only time this season next Friday to take on the Mallards at 7:05. Wichita returns to INTRUST Bank Arena on January 17th against Quad City for Reality TV Night. Think you have what it takes to win $1 Million Dollars? Come out and get in line for your chance to get on the hit TV show, The Amazing Race, as there will be a casting call during the game.
With Wichita Thunder team release
Contact the photographer: Ed.Bailey@prohockeynews.com