KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Entering Thursday night’s game with the Kalamazoo Wings, the Wichita Thunder penalty kill was ranked 20th in the ECHL, but in the middle of the pack on the road. By the end of 60 minutes, though, the penalty kill would take a sizable hit.
The Wings scored three power play goals and held off a late push from the Thunder in the third period to claim the two points.
Kalamazoo jumped out to a two-goal lead, scoring twice on the power play in the first. Josh Pitt connected on a five-on-three at 7:41 to make it 1-0. Lane Scheidl made it 2-0 at 18:43 as he put home his own rebound at the left post for the Wings’ second power-play goal of the evening.
In the second, Jeremy Beaudry cut the lead to one with a blast from the deep slot just as a Thunder power play expired. Kalamazoo scored back-to-back markers with five to go in the frame. Jimmy Mullen re-gained a two-goal advantage at 16:50, catching a pass across the slot to make it 3-1. At 18:18, Danny Moynihan fired a wrist shot from the left circle past Nick Riopel on the power play to make it 4-1.
If you’re keeping score, that was three power-play goals allowed by Wichita in just 40 minutes of play.
Dyson Stevenson got one back at 7:24 of the third. Mark MacMillan won a face-off and he wired a wrist shot past Joel Martin to make it 4-2. At 18:51, Nick Latta unloaded a one-timer from the left point to cut it to 4-3. Wichita had the puck in the offensive zone and had a few scoring opportunities. The Wings blocked a shot with 34 seconds left and Kyle Blaney found an empty-net to close the scoring at 5-3.
Stevenson recorded his 13th of the year and collected his 100th ECHL point. Beaudry finished with a goal and an assist. MacMillan had two helpers on the night, and has nine points in his last seven games. Latta scored for the first time since February 24th.
Oh, and the penalty kill? The Thunder fell to 21st overall in the ECHL and 16th on the road after Thursday’s game. The Thunder have allowed power-play goals in three straight contests. Wichita now heads to Fort Wayne, a place where they gave up 17 goals during their last trip there, for a game Saturday night.
For Kalamazoo, they have won three straight games and are now back in the fourth position in the Central Division, with a two-point lead over the Kansas City Mavericks. The Wings now open up a six-game road trip with a tough game Sunday in Toledo.