Moline, Il. – Wichita (12-17-4) snapped a three-game losing skid on Friday night, beating the Quad City Mallards (16-7-7) in a shootout by the final of 3-2 at the I-Wireless Center. In the team’s only trip this season to Moline, the Thunder jumped out to an early lead with goals from RG Flath and Dustin Donaghy while getting a terrific effort in net from David Brown against his former team. Quad City mounted a third-period come-back after getting a pair of goals to force to overtime and eventually a shootout. The Thunder are 1-0-0 against the Mallards this season and will face Quad City a week from tonight back in Wichita.
Wichita got off to a good start, getting the first goal for the first time in the last five games. After Benjamin Dieue-Fauvel was called for holding, Flath scored on the man advantage tipping home a Tomas Klempa shot from the left point for his 10th of the season at 4:34. Quad City started to get some offensive zone pressure, but the Thunder defenders did a good job of limiting the Mallards while they were trying to create down low.
In the second period, two heavyweights went at it as Erick Lizon and Jordan Lane dropped the gloves at the 12:44 mark. Right after the altercation, Donaghy gave the Thunder a 2-0 lead putting home his fourth of the season at 12:56. Both goaltenders continued to get tested late in the period and Brown was forced to make a tremendous save as the Thunder were a man down with less than a minute to go in the period.
The Mallards came out in the third with some desperation and were able to pull even in the contest. Mike Hellyer was a benefactor of a loose puck on the right side of the net and scored at 2:31 to make it 2-1. After Wichita was unable to get the puck out of its own zone, Gergo Nagy scored at 10:50 to tie the game at two. Quad City out-shot the Thunder 14-2 in the final period as the game headed into overtime.
Both teams had some chances in the extra session, but were kept at bay by the goaltenders. Quad City fired four shots on Brown while the Thunder mustered three shots against Thomas Heemskerk.
In the shootout, Hellyer went first for Quad City but was stopped by Brown. Robinson was next and beat Heemskerk through the five-hole. After Vladimir Nikiforov was stopped, Summers came down the left side and put a wrist shot into the top corner to make it 2-0 through the first two rounds. In round three, both Klempa and Nagy were unsuccessful. Gabriel Levesque scored at the top of round four while Flath missed for the Thunder. At the top of round five, Brown poked the puck free from Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel giving Wichita its second-straight shootout appearance win.
It was the first time in the last 13 games for the Thunder that a game ended up in overtime or a shootout. Wichita improved its road record to 8-6-2 and are 3-1 in shootout situations. Robinson netted his 14th shootout goal of his Thunder career and moved into third place ahead of Bob Berg. Matt Summers was credited with the shootout winner and also had an assist in the contest. Brown won for the eighth time this season, stopping 32 of 34 shots. Heemskerk was just as good, stopping 28 of 30 shots in the overtime loss.
Wichita went 1-for-3 and scored for the first time on the man advantage in the last four contests. Arizona went 0-for-5.
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