WICHITA, Kan. – It’s been a rarity this season, but for one night, the Thunder had everybody pulling from the same side of the rope.

“No passengers, everybody worked,” said Thunder head coach Malcolm Cameron. “We had our work boots and hard hat on tonight and everybody worked. As opposed to the d working and forwards being lazy or the forwards working and d being lazy…it was everybody, every shift.”

Though it hasn’t shown on the scoreboard, Wichita has had some success against the Mavericks this season, especially when it comes to time spent and piling up chances in the offensive zone. In the opening minutes of the first period, Wichita camped out in the offensive zone, peppering Mason MacDonald with several chances. The dam broke just past the 9:00 mark when Mark MacMillan potted the rebound from a Tyler Elbrecht shot to give Wichita a 1-0 lead. For MacMillan, it was his third goal in as many games for the Thunder since returning from Europe.

After killing off a five-on-three power play, Jeremy Beaudry shot the puck over the glass, which lead to the third Mavs power play of the opening period. They connected just seconds into the man-advantage when Cliff Watson wired a shot over the shoulder of Dylan Wells to square the score at 1-1.

But with just two seconds left in the opening period, Travis Brown faked a slapshot, which every Mavs penalty killer bit on and went to the right side of the ice. After skating back toward the left-side board, Brown fired a slapshot that beat MacDonald over the right shoulder to give Wichita a 2-1 lead. For the Thunder, it’s their sixth straight game with a power-play goal.

Early in the second, it was a Jordan Ernst hooking minor that set up the Thunder’s second power-play chance of the night. Once again, it was Brown who collected a board pass from Dyson Stevenson and blasted a shot that again, beat MacDonald over the shoulder to give Wichita a 3-1 lead. For Brown, it’s the first two-power-play goal game of his career and his first two-goal game since November 25, 2017.

The game reached a boiling point late in the second, when Wells’ stick was knocked out of his hand. As he was returning it to Wells, Brown ditched the stick, slid down to block a shot, and inadvertently sent a Mavs player flying into Wells’ net. There was no call on the play, but the Mavs were incensed by the no-call from referee Liam Sewell.

Immediately after, a scuffle broke out, with the end result being a fight between P.C. Labrie and Nate Widman. Back at the benches, Cameron, Mavs coaches John-Scott Dickson and Kyle Hood were jawing with each other. Cameron removed his coat and loosened his tie, while Hood scampered off the Mavs bench and toward the hallway behind. Hood did not make it into the Thunder locker room or bench.

The Thunder continued to keep the gas pedal mashed in the final period, when Lane Bauer once again beat MacDonald high-blocker side to give Wichita a 4-1 advantage. The lamplighter was Bauer’s first of the season. Minutes later, Jakob Stukel scored a highlight reel goal for his fourth of the year to give Wichita a 5-1 lead.

Corey Durocher capped off the scoring with his second of the season at 8:57 of the third period, potting a rebound by Wells during a netmouth scramble. From there, Wichita did not allow Kansas City another shot in the game’s final 11 minutes.

The win for Wichita snaps a five-game winless skid and is also the first professional victory for netminder Dylan Wells.

“We’ve let him down,” Cameron said about the team’s play in front of Wells. “The guys were not letting this go for Wellsy. You saw guys block shots, take hits to get pucks out. Very pleased with the team effort.”

Stevenson led all scorers with three assists on the night. With a pair of assists, Steven Iacobellis extended his point streak to 12 games, which is the longest active streak in the league and tied for the longest point-streak all season (Michael Huntebrinker – REA), he also has helpers in five straight games. Keoni Texeira has registered assists in seven straight games.

Looking for some added stability to the forward corps, head coach Malcolm Cameron shipped forward Matt Schmalz to Orlando for forward Stefan Fournier prior to Tuesday’s game. Fournier is expected to make his team debut Friday night when the Thunder travels to Allen.

Wichita travels to Allen for a pair against the Americans starting on Friday night at 7:05 pm. Kansas City finishes the month of November out hosting the Tulsa Oilers Friday evening at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.


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