WICHITA, Kan. – For the second straight night, the offense delivered in the first minute for Wichita, but unlike Saturday night, sloppy hockey spelled doom for the Thunder on Sunday afternoon at INTRUST Bank Arena.

Just 27 seconds into the game, P.C. Labrie scored off a feed from Jakob Stukel firing to the top right corner to give Wichita an early 1-0 lead.

A couple minutes later, as Tyler Elbrecht pursued Steven McParland on defense, both lost their footing, sending them into Wells’ lower body. While Wells hopped up fairly quickly and finished the period, he would not return to the ice following the first intermission.

Much like Saturday night, Idaho answered fairly quickly. It was Spencer Naas who answered the call at 5:40 of the first, beating Dylan Wells to his stick side to even things up.

At 10:53 in the first, on a Brad McClure slashing penalty, Wichita would convert on the powerplay thanks to Keoni Texeira on a rocket shot from the top of the zone.

McParland would give Idaho another answer at the 16:54 mark in the first, beating Wells through the five-hole on a breakaway attempt.

The first would end 2-2, with some commotion as the period ended. After the final horn of the period, a few players gathered at center ice, but it would be Elbrecht and Elgin Pearce who eventually dropped the mitts. Labrie would also receive a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct on the altercation.

Ty Rimmer would start the second period in goal for Wichita, his first appearance since signing with Wichita earlier this week.

Wichita would take a couple early penalties in the second period but managed to kill them off. The scoreboard would remain knotted at two until Stukel added another to the Thunder’s tally at 9:28.

Idaho wasn’t giving up easily, answering 50 seconds later on a stick-shattering deflection by Brady Norrish.

Wichita would take another lead at 16:55 of the second during a powerplay on a huge slap shot by Travis Brown.

Finally, a chippy second period would end, Wichita still carrying a narrow 3-2 lead.

Ryan Faragher led Idaho onto the ice in the third, replacing Colton Point in net for the Steelheads.

Just 31 seconds into the third, on an almost identical play from Saturday night’s contest, Idaho would answer once again, this time off the stick of McParland, his second of the game.

After a couple minutes of sloppy hockey by Wichita, Labrie would head to the box for boarding. Just under a minute into the powerplay, McClure scored easily off a pass from A.J. White, giving Idaho their first lead of the game.

Down the final stretch of the game, Wichita would take a couple needless penalties, one of which negated a powerplay opportunity.

With under three minutes left, Rimmer would skate off the ice for an extra attacker. Wichita did a nice job keeping play in the offensive zone, but could not get anything through Faragher.

Finally, Wichita got the opportunity they were looking for, with a faceoff in the offensive zone with 2.8 seconds left. Wichita won the faceoff and Brown took a hard shot that was barely stopped by Faragher, and the final horn sounded.

“They executed better than us, they were harder on the puck than us, We made too many mental errors.” Wichita Thunder Head Coach Malcolm Cameron said. “They played their style of game, we didn’t.”

The Steelheads outshot Wichita 49-24 Sunday afternoon. The Thunder went 2-for-4 on the man advantage while Idaho went 1-for-6. The teams combined for 54 penalty minutes.

Wichita plays game three of a five-game homestand on Friday, February 1, when they host mountain division opponent Utah at 7:05 P.M.

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