January 3, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wichita Thunder
Allen, TX - Kevin Dufour, Nick Bligh and Johnny Daniels have been with the Thunder for less than two weeks. On Sunday afternoon, all three forwards made an impact in the Thunder's 4-2 victory over Allen at the Allen Event Center.
Bligh finished with a goal and an assist, Daniels potted his third in a Thunder uniform and Dufour recorded the game-winner to help Wichita move into second place in the Mountain Division with 42 points.
Before warm-ups even began, a pregame brawl ensued at the red line. The two teams were at the end of a four-game-in-five-night stint against each other.
The bad blood spilled into the first period with the two teams combining for 92 penalty minutes. Olivier Archambault recorded the only goal of the first as he cut through the slot and tucked it just inside the left post past Shane Starrett.
Wichita grabbed its first lead with two goals in 45 seconds. Daniels was the recipient of a beautiful tick-tack-toe play at 8:33 and tied the game at one. Butcher made it 2-1 at 9:18 with a nice play near the crease and slid it past Williams for his third of the year. Archambault potted his second of the game with a one-timer at 10:52 and tied the game at two.
In the third, Dufour intercepted a pass at the Thunder line, sped away from the Allen defense and beat Stephon Williams through the five-hole on a breakaway to make it 3-2. Bligh increased the lead to 4-2 at 11:04 as he made a nice play to stay onside at the Allen line and wristed one past William's blocker. Allen pulled Williams with just under two to go, but the Thunder held on for the victory.
The two teams combined for 96 penalty minutes, which is a new season-high for combined minutes in a single game this season. Dufour has five points (2g, 3a) in four games since being acquired earlier this week. Bligh recorded his first multi-point ouiting in a Thunder uniform (1g, 1a). Bauer finished with two assists. Starrett stopped 29 of 31 shots to grab his 10th win of the season. He also has wins in back-to-back games this weekend.
Wichita went 0-for-5 on the power play. Allen was 0-for-7 on the man advantage.
The Thunder begins 2018 next Friday night against the Quad City Mallards starting at 7:05 p.m.
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