WICHITA, KS – The positive, the defense tightened up considerably from where it was over the weekend against Missouri.
One of the negatives, Wichita lost a tight game against the conference-worst Indy Fuel Tuesday night by the score of 1-0. The other…Wichita could not mount much net-front presence in front Jake Hildebrand, who collected his second professional shutout with 28 saves.
Each team traded solid scoring chances in the first period, with Kevin Lynch ringing the iron behind Drew Owsley. Just five minutes into the game, Matt DeBlouw took a puck to the face and skated off. He was done for the night and his status going forward is up in the air.
In the second, it was much of the same; tight defense, scoring chances either way and more iron. Matt Rupert was the first to ding the metal on a shorthanded breakaway after he picked off a pass in the top part of the Thunder power play formation. Seconds later, Jamie Doornbosch wanted to hear the iron ring as he fired a shot that was tipped onto Hildebrand.
Almost 13 minutes into the final period, Jonathan Carlsson stepped up the boards and created a net-mouth scramble that beat Owsley. The line of Alexis Loiseau, Zach O’Brien and David Friedmann had been in the zone too long and that set up the game-winning goal.
Wichita would get a late power play, but could not capitalize on it.
With the loss, Wichita falls to 7-13-0-0 at home, and 12-17-1-1 overall. The Thunder return to action on Saturday night, when they host the Missouri Mavericks at 8:05pm.