WICHITA, KS – Kenton Miller forced overtime and Kale Kerbashian recorded the game-winner with 13 seconds left in the extra period to propel Wichita past the Idaho Steelheads by the final of 3-2 on Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena.
The win was Wichita’s 400th home win in franchise history.
Kerbashian led the way for the Thunder with a goal and an assist while David Shantz was named the number one star, stopping 33 shots coming on in relief early in the first.
Just 19 seconds into the game, Grant Rollheiser was injured when Michael Neal and an Idaho forward went crashing into his net. He was unable to continue and left the game. The Wichita Eagle’s Jeffrey Lutz reports Rollheiser was seen walking in a brace after the game, but the team would not comment on the extent of his injury.
Shantz came in for Rollheiser and finished with 15 saves after the first frame.
Martin Nemcik got the scoring started in the second, carrying the puck down the left wall and fired a shot through a screen that beat Jack Campbell to make it 1-0. The Steelheads pulled even less than three minutes later with a tally from Joe Basaraba during a delayed penalty. At 12:39, Radoslav Illo threw a pass towards the net that got through Shantz, hit the left skate of Andre Morrissette and went over the line. The ref deemed that the puck crossed the line before he kicked it and the goal would stand.
In the third, Wichita carried much of the play and found a way to break through to tie the game. With just 12 seconds remaining, Miller came off the wall and fired a seeing-eye shot that got through Campbell and forced the contest into overtime.
The start of the extra period was fast and furious with the two teams getting chances on both ends. Kerbashian made a nice play in the neutral zone to get around a defender, came in up the right wing and lifted a wrist shot under the bar for the game-winner with 13 seconds left in the OT.
Wichita played past regulation for the third-straight game and improved to 8-8-5-5 in one-goal games. Four other skaters grabbed helpers. Shantz claims his ninth win of the year, stopping 33 of 35 shots. Campbell suffers the overtime loss, stopping 30 of 33 shots he faced.
Wichita was 0-for-4 on the power play. Idaho went 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
The same two teams will play this afternoon at 5:05 at Intrust Bank Arena.