Matt Robinson scored with just over a minute remaining in the third period to help the Thunder (37-18-8) secure a 4-3 win over the Allen Americans (37-17-9) on Tuesday night at the Allen Event Center. Wichita moves into second place ahead of Fort Worth and just one point back of Allen for first. Wichita leads the season-series 4-3-1 against the Americans with one more meeting coming between the two teams on Friday night.
Wichita has struggled early at the Allen Event Center. That was not the case in the opening 20 minutes on Tuesday as the the Thunder took a 2-0 lead. Neil Trimm scored his 35th of the season at 9:13 off a beautiful give-and-go from Chad Painchaud and beat Steve Silverthrone to make it 1-0. The Thunder then took advantage of the only penalty called in the first as Dave Inman blasted a one-timer past Silverthorne from the left wing circle and upped the lead to 2-0 at 17:05.
In the second period, Ian Lowe got the Thunder off to a good start with a heavy shot from the top of the right circle at 6:25 to extend the Thunder lead to 3-0. Lowe's goal forced Silverthorne to the bench and brought Aaron Dell in between the pipes for Allen. The Americans grabbed the momentum with two goals from Chris Doyle 1:20 apart to make it a one-goal affair. His first came at 7:27 when he tried to feed a pass in front of the Thunder net and got a good bounce off the skate of Les Reaney past Torrie Jung to get Allen on the board. Doyle then scored his second after receiving a terrific pass from Todd Robinson at the right side of the net and lifted it over Jung's shoulder. The Americans tied the game at 17:24 of the second with a power play goal from Tyler Ludwig, who tipped it home at the right post. Allen recorded 23 shots in the second, which is a season-high for most shots against the Thunder in a period.
Both teams had quality scoring chances in the third period. With 1:12 left, Matt Summers got to a loose puck behind the Allen net, fed it to the slot where Robinson drove one past the glove of Dell to give Wichita a 4-3 advantage. Allen won the next face-off and pulled its goaltender to get the extra attacker on the ice. Wichita was able to hold the fort and held on for the victory.
With the win, Wichita finishes 3-1-0 on its four-game road trip and pulls to .500 on the road. The Thunder earns its second win in regulation all-time at the Allen Event Center. Robinson recorded his sixth game-winner of the year, which ties him for the team-lead. Trimm (1g, 1a) and Martens (0g, 2a) each finished with two points. Jung sits in second place after ringing up his 23rd win, stopping 40 of 43 shots he faced.
Wichita went 1-for-1 on the power play while the Americans were 1-for-3.