WICHITA, Kan. – Trailing 2-0 in the second period, the Wichita Thunder exploded for four unanswered goals to claim a 5-3 victory over the Allen Americans on Saturday night at the INTRUST Bank Arena in front of a season-high 8,163 fans. Ian Lowe scored twice in 29 seconds to spark the Thunder while Matt Robinson tallied the game-winner with eight minutes remaining and extended his point-scoring streak to seven games. Wichita is 1-1-1 this season against Allen with two meetings next weekend looming. With the win, Wichita pulled within one point of Allen for first place.
As the puck dropped to start the game, there was a different feeling in the building. The top two teams got after it in the early going, which certainly had the atmosphere of a playoff game.
Allen got on the board first five minutes in. Jamie Schaafsma muscled down the right wing past a Thunder defenseman, had a pass deflect over to Tyler Ludwig who was wide open and scored to make it 1-0. Wichita has given up the first goal in the last four games.
Adam Pineault gave the Americans a 2-0 lead two minutes in the second period when he found himself all alone in the slot and beat Torrie Jung. Kevin Regan started for the first time since January 18th, but was taken out of the game late in the first period.
At that point, Wichita grabbed the momentum with four-straight tallies. 12 seconds into a power play, Jarred Mohr fired a shot along the ice and was tipped by Lowe past Aaron Dell to get the Thunder on the board at the six minute mark.
On the next shift, Neil Trimm stole the puck at the red line, dished it off to Lowe and he put a backhand under Dell to tie the game at two.
Wichita added its second power play goal of the game at 8:03 of the third period. Summers moved along the goal line, fed it over to R.G. Flath who banged it home to give Wichita its first lead, 3-2.
Three minutes later, Robinson found a loose puck at the top of the left circle and scored his seventh of the season which would hold up as the game-winner to extend the lead to 4-2.
Allen got one back with a power play goal from Kale Kerbashian at 13:21. Allen pulled its goalie with 1:40 remaining and the Thunder took the air out of the sails of the Americans with an empty-net goal from Painchaud at 18:30 to make it 5-3.
Robinson finished with a goal and assist, giving him 14 points in 11 games since coming back to Wichita and is seven points shy of 300 for his career. Jung earned his 14th win of the season, stopping 22 of 24 shots in relief. Wichita has collected at least a point in the last eight games, going 6-0-2 in that span. With the loss, Allen is 1-4-4 in its last nine games.
Wichita was 2-for-4 on the power play while Allen went 1-for-3.
The following images were recorded at the Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday evening.
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