February 12, 2013 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Wichita Thunder
Rapid City, SD (February 12th) - Wichita and Rapid City have played some nail biters this season in the Black Hills and Tuesday night's title did not disappoint. The Thunder (27-14-6) couldn't hold onto a third period lead and lost in overtime on a goal scored by Damian Surma to give Rapid City (23-20-5) a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. RG Flath scored his 19th goal of the season in the losing effort, but the night belonged to the goaltenders. Torrie Jung and Tim Boron combined to stop 74 shots on net. Wichita wins the season-series 4-3-1 over Rapid City in the final meeting of the regular season. The Thunder drop to third place behind Fort Worth, who won earlier in overtime over Arizona.
The two teams battled through a scoreless first. Wichita had the better of the scoring chances, but was unable to solve Boron. Chad Painchaud finished with six of the Thunder's 14 shots in the period and had a couple of great opportunities only to be denied. Dustin Donaghy also had a terrific chance when he caught a long outlet pass, stepped away from the defender and fired a wrister from the left face-off dot that Boron was able to get a piece of.
Flath broke the scoreless tie just past the halfway point of the second period. Wichita was awarded a power play as Surma was whistled for hooking. With 20 seconds remaining on the man advantage, Summers took a pass along the goal line and fed Flath at the right circle to make it 1-0. The play was eerily similar to Flath's power play goal on Saturday night against Allen.
Rapid City came out wit a lot of energy and scored early in the third period with a power play goal. Surma gained the line down the left wing and found a cutting Jesse Schultz at the right circle to tie the game at one 37 seconds into the final frame. Wichita unloaded 20 third-period shots on Boron, but was unable to solve the former Thunder goaltender. Wichita continued to buzz around Boron's crease and had several scrums where he was able to lay on the puck. Wichita out-shot Rapid City 20-5 in the final period. After 60 minutes, the two teams would need extra time for the second time this season.
With under two minutes to go in overtime, Wichita couldn't clear the puck from its own zone and Surma capitalized on a fluke bounce that popped over Jung's head, hit a Thunder defender and found its way into the net to give the Rush the 2-1 win.
Despite the loss, Wichita has earned at least a point in its last nine games, going 6-0-3 over that span. Matt Robinson had his scoring streak stopped at seven games. Painchaud collected an assist and moved within eight for 200 for his career. Jung stopped 26 of 28 shots he faced in the losing effort. Boron was just a tad better, stopping 48 of 49 shots to earn his fourth win against Wichita this season. In three of the last five starts against Wichita, Boron has made at least 40 saves. Tonight was the first blemish of the season for the Thunder when playing on a Tuesday, now 4-0-1 on the season.
Wichita went 1-for-5 on the power play while Rapid City was 1-for-3.
Wichita travels to Denver for a meeting on Friday night against the Cutthroats. The Thunder return home for three-straight beginning on Saturday, February 16th against Denver. For tickets, call 755-SEAT, visit the INTRUST Bank Arena box office or online at www.selectaseat.com.
Wichita Thunder mini-plans are still available. Contact the Wichita Thunder Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at (316) 264-4625 or visit the fan relations table behind section 120 at any Wichita Thunder home game for more information. Join the Blue Revolution today!