Thunder Defends Honor In Loss
WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Thunder lost 3-0 to the Allen Americans on Thursday night at the Kansas Coliseum.
Americans' goaltender Charlie Effinger earned a 31-save shutout, marking the second time in three games Wichita has not scored.
Allen scored first, with the help from Effinger who threw a breakout pass down the left side of the neutral zone that was picked up by Nathan O'Nabigon. O'Nabigon crossed the Thunder's blue line and ripped a long shot to the long side of the net that landed just under the corner.
In the second, the Americans opened a 2-0 lead on a power play goal from Christian Gaudet. Jarret Lukin shot into traffic in front of the net and referee Dan Dreger ruled that Thunder goaltender Ian Keserich did not have full control of the puck when Gaudet slipped it underneath his pads at 16:27.
A two-man advantage power play goal from Tyler Woodisse iced the game for Allen, coming with less than 27 seconds left in the game. Late in the third, Kyle Bruce was up-ended by Americans' forward Justin Bowers. Bruce came after Bowers who shied away before Bruce Graham intervened. A fight ensued between Bruce and Graham with Graham's helmet not coming off until deep into the bout when Bruce was able to knock it free. Now with equal equipment on the ice, Bruce landed several jabs to the face of Graham, who stood six inches taller, before the lineseman broke up the scrum. Later in the period, Brandon Kaleniecki was hit in the face by Chris Kaufman, out of referee Dan Dreger's sightline, while waiting for a backdoor rebound. Kaleniecki was charged with a penalty several seconds later however, and sent to the penalty box. On one of the last faceoffs of the period, Jay Henderson took down Bowers who again failed to drop the gloves.
In his Thunder debut, Ian Keserich saved 34 of 37, including several impressive stops on backdoor shots early in the game. Wichita was 0 for 2 on the power play, while the Americans were 2 for 6.
The Thunder heads to Rapid City on Saturday, taking on the Rush at 8:05 p.m. Wichita returns home for its final weekend at the Kansas Coliseum when they host Tulsa on January 8th and Odessa on January 9th. For tickets, call the Thunder office at (316) 264-GOAL.
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