After giving up a three-goal lead, Wichita (5-11-4) mirrored what the visitors were able to do in the second period, scoring five unanswered goals in the third to skate away from the Missouri Mavericks (12-4-1) on Thursday night with a 8-6 victory at INTRUST Bank Arena. Matt Robinson and Jesse Dudas each potted two goals while 12 different players recorded points on the night. Wichita has won three of its last four contests and pulls even in the Independence Cup standings 2-2-0 with another meeting looming tomorrow against the Mavericks.
Unlike last Saturday, Wichita got off to a hot start right off the bat. Robinson found a loose puck in front of Shane Owen and buried his first of two on the night at 34 seconds to grab a 1-0 lead. At 11:36, Matt Summers scored a power play goal with just three seconds remaining with the man advantage to extend the lead to 2-0. He was pushed up tight against the goal mouth and somehow slipped it under Owen's arm for his second of the season. Jon Booras added to the lead after collecting a terrific pass from Dudas and scored on a break-a-way with a blistering wrist shot off the pipe. The Thunder took a 3-0 advantage into the locker room while only leading 12-11 in the shot department.
In the second, the Mavericks grabbed all the momentum and got a fortunate bounce 16 seconds into the period. A dump in ricocheted off the right corner wall to the slot where Trevor Kell was waiting and put it home to get Missouri on the board. The pendulum started to swing back towards the visitors as Colten Hayes cut the lead to one at 3:04 with a wrist shot from the left circle past Taylor Nelson's glove. Missouri then grabbed the lead, scoring three goals in 1:25 and two goals in 11 seconds. John-Scott Dickson scored at 7:03 with a power play goal that tied the game at three. In an effort to try to turn the tides, David Brown was brought on in relief for the Thunder. At 8:17, Dave Pszenyczny got ahead of a Thunder defender and beat Brown to give the Mavericks its first lead of the game, 4-3. Shortly thereafter, Eric Castonguay caught a headman pass and scored on a breakaway at 8:28. The Mavericks out-shot the Thunder 19-9 in the period and led 5-3 heading into the second intermission.
Wichita came out in the final twenty minutes and re-gained its form from the first. After Henrik Odegaard was sent off for interference, Tomas Klempa banged home a rebound at 7:08 to cut the lead to 5-4. The crowd started to get back into the game and then went wild when Dudas fired a shot from behind the goal line that got past Owen at 8:51 locking it up at five. At 10:38, Robinson scored his second of the night with a rebound in front of Owen and grabbed a 6-5 lead. A couple of minutes later, Jared Walker took a beautiful pass from Ian Lowe and buried a shot that extended the lead to 7-5. Missouri tried to pull Owen with two minutes left, but before they were able to get the puck the length of the ice, Dudas intercepted it at the Thunder line and rifled it down to the open net and made it 8-5. Obi Abuda scored another for Missouri at 18:40, but it was all she wrote and the Thunder went on to win by the final of 8-6.
Wichita scored a season-high eight goals and its most on home-ice. Robinson's two-goal outing moves into fifth place ahead of Mark Karpen with 95 goals all-time. His goal to start the game was the fastest goal to start a game and a period this season. Martens extends his point-streak to eight-games with three assists while Dudas does the same, recording three points (2g, 1a). Booras extends his point-streak to five games with three points (1g, 2a). Brown earns his first win in a Thunder uniform, stopping 12 of 15 shots. Owen takes just his third loss of the year, stopping 25 of 32 shots he faced.
Wichita went 2-for-2 on the power play. Missouri was 1-for-4.
The Thunder travel to Missouri on Friday night before returning home Saturday to close out a three-in-three against the Tulsa Oilers at 7:05 p.m. Saturday Night is Teddy Bear Toss Night, presented by Bank of the West and the Law Office of Slape and Howard. Bring a new teddy bear to the game and when the Thunder score its first goal, fans are encouraged to the throw the bears on the ice. The teddy bears will delivered around the area to local charities and underprivileged children by the Thunder players to help ensure everyone has a present for the holiday season.