RAPID CITY, SD — Mark Miller and Ryan Misiak extended their point streaks to four games each in the second period, but the Wichita Thunder pulled away in the second period to defeat the Rapid City Rush 3-1 on “KISS Night” on Friday night.
Both teams skated through a scoreless first period, but three goals from both teams in the middle frame opened up the goal entries in the box score. The Thunder was the first to dent the scoresheet, when former Rush defenseman Landon Oslanski when he fired a wrist shot from the top of the Rush zone that beat Rush netminder Sam Marotta up over the glove. The tally came with 8:40 gone by in the second period, and lifted Wichita to a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, the Rush evened the score off the hot hand of Mark Miller. Ryan Walters found Ryan Misiak up the length of the ice. Misiak couldn’t capitalize on his shot, but he sent it in front of the net and Mark Miller slammed the puck by Wichita goaltender Sean Bonar to even the score at 1. Misiak and Walters earned the assists; Miller and Misiak extended their point streaks to four games each.
Wichita jumped back on top when Oslanski found Kenton Miller in neutral ice. Miller broke the Rush blue line and sent a wrist shot up high on Marotta to put the visitors up 2-1 with 5:46 left in the second. Towards the end of the period, the Rush were awarded a 5-on-3 power play for 1:54, but could not solve Bonar during the advantage.
Wichita put the game away with an empty-net goal late in the third. Despite multiple opportunities in the third period, Christian Isackson ended the Rush comeback bid with a neutral zone shot into the empty net, bringing the game to it’s 3-1 final score.
Sam Marotta suffered the loss, his first in four starts, stopping 20 of 22 Thunder shots. Marotta’s record fell to 7-12-2 on the season. On the other side, Sean Bonar made 22 stops and improved his record to 3-4-0-1 in a Thunder uniform.
Both teams rematch for the final time this season tonight at 7:05 pm MT/ 8:05 pm CT at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.