WICHITA, KS – It’s one step forward, two steps back for the Wichita Thunder.
On a night when their lone ECHL all-star representative from last season, Danick Gauthier, scores two first period goals — one on the power play, the Thunder squandered a pair of one goal leads and lose to Tulsa 4-2.
Gauthier now has five goals in his last four games.
The Thunder took the lead at 12:16 of the first period when a dump-in from Donnie Harris took a Wichita bounce off the corner boards, allowing Gauthier to get to it while Kevin Carr was out of the net. Tulsa tied the game after Ramsay created a turnover in the Thunder zone and scored on a wrap-around at 16:55. With less than a minute to go in the frame, Mathieu Gagnon took a two-minute boarding penalty and Wichita was able to capitalize. Gauthier potted his second of the first with one second on the clock, snapping a shot over Carr for his fifth goal of the season.
Oilers forward Christophe Lalancette scored at 2:50 of the second period to bring the game back level at 2. The second period turned into rock ’em, sock ’em robots, with four fights in the middle frame. In the first tilt, Paxton Leroux bloodied Tom Kroshus with a cut to the forehead. The next three fights happened one after the other at 14:33, 14:34 and 14:35 of the period. All told, the teams combined for eight fighting majors and 66 penalty minutes.
The 2-all stalemate ended with seven minutes to go in the final period. A shorthanded slap shot by Ben Walker was kicked out by Thunder goaltender Grant Rollheiser but Ramsay buried the second chance bounce for his second goal of the night and the Oilers’ first shorthanded tally of the season.
“That can’t keep happening that kind of stuff. It shouldn’t happen. There’s no way we should lose that game because we got a shorthanded goal against us.” Thunder head coach Kevin McClelland said of the home loss.
Wichita now hits the road for a seven-game road trip beginning next weekend, when the Thunder travel to play the Missouri Mavericks.