WICHITA, Kan. – For the first time in eight games, Wichita was held scoreless in the first period. But that was not enough for Rapid City to break the Thunder’s winning streak, as Wichita scored two second period goals en route to a 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon.
Stuart Skinner, who recorded 30 saves, earned his second professional shutout. The win sent Wichita’s win streak to five, their longest of the season.
“I give a lot of credit to the guys up front,” Skinner said. “I’m Honestly just happy That we’re winning games.”
On the other side, it was Tyler Parks, who the Thunder forced into relief action Friday night after putting three goals up on Adam Carlson. Coming into the game, Parks had yet to record a win this season and Wichita had no plans to change that.
It was at the 7:37 mark of the second period when Ralph Cuddemi buried a one-timer off a great feed by Dyson Stevenson and Steven Iacobellis. The goal, scored on the Thunder’s second powerplay of the night, marked the fifth straight game with a powerplay goal.
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As the puck dropped following Cuddemi’s goal, punches began to fly as Garrett Klotz turned and wailed on Stefan Fournier, to which Tyler Elbrecht joined in to help. 10 feet away, Cedric Montminy and Ryan Van Stralen went at it. At the end of it all, Van Stralen and Montminy found themselves in the box with five each for fighting. Elbrecht sat for two for roughing and Klotz skated off the ice for the final time of the night, earning an aggressor and game misconduct calls on the play.
Per usual, it did not take Wichita long to add another, as Mark MacMillan tipped an already tipped puck from Cuddemi and Keoni Texeira.
The remainder of the game would feature a couple powerplays for both sides, but neither could connect. Wichita would finish 1 for 4 with the man advantage and put up a perfect 5 for 5 on the penalty kill, including a full minute with a 5-on-3 disadvantage.
“I thought we controlled the whole hockey game.” Cameron said.
Cuddemi finished the night with two points (1G, 1A). He has six goals in his last five games. Texeira earned his 18th assist in his first 22 games, leading all rookies in assists.
The Thunder hit the road again this weekend for games in three different states in three nights, beginning Friday, Dec. 14 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to take on the Fort Wayne Komets, puck drop scheduled for 7:00 P.M.
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