Thunder Suffers Tough Loss in Shootout
FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wichita Thunder lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Fort Wayne Komets at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Friday night.
Fort Wayne rallied for four goals in the third to wipe out a 4-0 Thunder lead, before outscoring the Thunder 3-0 in the shootout for the win.
Bobby Phillips lofted a shot past Marc-Antoine Gelinas at 2:43 in the third to get Fort Wayne on the board at 4-1. At 12:10, Tab Lardner tipped in a rebound at the end of a Komets' power play to cut the lead in half. With just over 40 seconds left in regulation, Sean O'Connor made it 4-3 while Lardner tied it with 8.6 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Fort Wayne had five power plays in the third period, including a stretch of four straight 8:07-16:29.
The Thunder scored twice late in the first to build a 2-0 lead. Matt Robinson scored a power play goal from the right hash mark at 15:43, beating Komets' goaltender Nick Boucher over the left shoulder. At 17:23, Chris Greene deflected Dustin Donaghy's shot from the point around Boucher's right skate to make it 2-0.
Wichita scored twice more in the second to increase its lead to 4-0. Lance Galbraith connected on a perfect backdoor pass from Jesse Bennefield at 5:02 to finish off a two-on-one rush. Later in the period, Bennefield beat Boucher on a penalty shot that bounced off his blocker and into the net.
Gelinas took the loss, saving 38 of 42. Boucher earned the win, stopping 21 of 25. Wichita was 1 for 5 on the power play, while the Komets were 1 for 7. Bennefield's goal was his second penalty shot goal of the season.
The Thunder and Komets finish their series Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The Thunder returns home on Friday, February 11th when they host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. For tickets, call the arena box office at (316) 755-SEAT or visit the Thunder's official website at www.wichitathunder.com
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