Tarantulas Notch First Win Of New Year Against Wichita
After a long and trying road trip, the Topeka Tarantulas returned home to take a 4-3 victory over the Wichita Thunder that snapped a six-game losing streak.
The Spiders came out flying in the first, but it was Wichita's Derek Parker who scored first when he was left all alone in front of Topeka goalie Dwayne Bateman during a power play at 7:39.
Topeka roared right back, with forward Tab Lardner scoring his sixteenth goal of the year at 8:28. Lardner found the wide open rebound off a Jonathan Dubois shot and sent the puck past a sprawling Jamie Vandespyker.
Thunder defenseman Paul Esdale put Wichita back on top by skating in from the blue line and beating Bateman.
The Tarantulas pulled even once again when defenseman Kevin Harris took the puck in from his own blue line before walking in front of the net to put it past Jason Flick, who replaced Vandespyker after the first Topeka goal. The tally was Harris' first in a Tarantula jersey.
Wichita continued the back-and-forth battle with a goal by captain Jason Duda at 5:15 in the second.
Topeka forward Dustin Russell scored his sixth of the year on a Tarantula power play at 10:09, and forward Dallas Flaman would put the Spiders up for good 15 seconds later with his sixth of the season.
Bateman stopped 30 of 33 Thunder shots to earn his third win of the season, and Harris would finish with three points on the night.
Topeka takes the ice again Friday night against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. In their last meeting in Bossier, the Bugs eked out the Tarantulas 3-2. Game time is 7:35 p.m. Friday night at Landon Arena.
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