WICHITA, Kan. – For a crowd of over 10,000, Stuart Skinner played his best game in months and Wichita received offense from some familiar faces in a 4-0 shutout win over Allen.
There was quite a bit of feeling outdone by the Allen Americans and the Wichita Thunder to start the game. Meanwhile, Skinner and C.J. Motte kept the opposing team off the board.
It was not until 14:54 while on the powerplay that Wichita got things started. Corey Kalk scored off a nice feed by Mark MacMillan from behind the net. The goal was Kalk’s 13th of the season.
The Thunder carried the 1-0 lead into the intermission, putting 22 shots on goal in the first period, a new season high.
On a carryover powerplay, Wichita did not wait long to strike in the second, putting their second powerplay tally on the board. MacMillan netted his 19th of the season just 15 seconds into the second period.
At 8:49, Ralph Cuddemi scored his 13th powerplay goal of the year, that number tied for first in the league. The goal was Wichita’s third with the man advantage on the evening.
The remainder of the second period was exactly what fans expect from an Allen/Wichita matchup. Typical hard hits, scrappy plays, and loud fans, INTRUST Bank Arena felt like a Kelly Cup Playoff atmosphere.
Wichita would carry a 3-0 lead into the second intermission, leading 32-21 in shots.
The Thunder controlled the pace of the third period, both emotionally and on the scoreboard. As the period went on, the tensions raised as well.
Wichita scored a final goal at 15:05 as Kalk scored his second of the game, this one from an impossible angle.
Wichita finished the game smart, helping Skinner earn his fourth shutout of the season.
“I want to play hard for the guys and obviosly for the fans we got here,” Skinner said. “I’m just doing my best to stop the puck.”
Coming into the game, Wichita was 1-for-22 against Allen at home on the powerplay. Kalk finished the game with four points (2G, 2A). Skinner stopped all 34 shots he faced while Motte stopped 36 of the 40 against him.
The Thunder will finish the home schedule tonight in a rematch with the Americans. Matthew Harding and I will get your game night started with The Sin Bin Pregame Show at 6:30 pm.