WICHITA, Kan. – It was not pretty hockey from the Thunder inside INTRUST Bank Arena on Friday night as the Utah Grizzlies shut out Wichita, 4-0. The Thunder struggled to gain any momentum throughout the game, playing slow and nonphysical hockey.

Travis Brown would take a bad penalty for slashing after not receiving a call seconds earlier. That penalty would come back to haunt Wichita just 40 seconds later.

It was Ryan Walters who scored the lone goal, a powerplay tally at 8:49 in the first. After a scrum behind the net of Ty Rimmer, defensemen Tyler Elbrecht and Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin hurried back around to the front of the net. Morin skated around to the front of the net cross-crease, while Elbrecht stayed tied up behind the net thus opening up a hole to Rimmer’s right side, to which Walters made the Thunder pay.

As the period went on, the game remained fairly lifeless. Utah owned the shot total in the first, outshooting Wichita 11-6.

“I thought we had a Pretty good first period actually,” Elbrecht said. “I thought We came out pretty quick.”

Early in the second, Wichita would have a 5-on-3 opportunity for over a minute. Despite a couple good opportunities, Wichita would come up empty on both the 5-on-3 opportunity and the double minor penalty.

Once again, the second half of the period was lifeless for both squads, the teams tied for 14 shots apiece.

Wichita later took just their second penalty of the game at 4:51 of the third, this time a sloppy slashing penalty on Gabriel Verpaelst sent Utah to the man advantage. Once again, the Grizzlies made Wichita pay, as Mike Economos scored just his fourth goal of the year, after proceeding to the goal mouth unmarked for an easy shot on Rimmer.

It didn’t take but a couple minutes for Utah to send fans to the exits when Joey Raats beat Rimmer five-hole at the 10:22 mark of the third.

Just when fans thought it couldn’t get worse, Walters put the nail in the coffin, netting his second of the game just 55 seconds later after an unfortunate rebound for Rimmer.

Finally, the game would end, a 4-0 victory for the Grizzlies. Wichita’s two penalties and the scattered offense would end up costing them.

Kevin Carr was credited with the win for Utah, his 33rd all-time victory over Wichita and third shutout of the season. Utah improves to 7-0-0-0 against Wichita this year and 16-1-1-0 all-time.

Wichita went 0-for-3 three on the powerplay while Utah went 2-for-2. The teams combined for 20 penalty minutes.

The two-game set between Wichita and Utah concludes tonight at INTRUST Bank Arena at 7:05 P.M. The Sin Bin pregame show begins at 6:30 P.M. on The Sin Bin App.

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