Thunder top Beast downtown
Over the last two seasons, Wichita (3-10-4) has had a distinct home-ice advantage winning 49 games at INTRUST Bank Arena. This year has been a different story as the Thunder went into Wednesday's game looking for its first home win through the first nine contests played in its own building. Behind two power play goals, Wichita hung on to knock off the Brampton Beast (8-8-1) by the final of 3-2. Andrew Martens and Jon Booras collected a pair of assists while Matt Robinson recorded his team-leading eighth of the season. Wichita evened the season-series with the Beast at one win a-piece. The two teams will meet on Friday night for the final regular season meeting at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Both teams had three chances with the man advantage in the opening frame, but the penalty killing units stood tall and limited scoring chances. Brampton out-shot the Thunder in the first period 10-6 and had several quality scoring chances denied by Taylor Nelson through traffic.
In the second, Brampton got on the board first at 3:11 when a shot bounced off someone in front of the Thunder net and found its way over the goal line past the outreached arm of Nelson to make it 1-0. The goal was credited to Michael MacIssac. Wichita answered just over three minutes later on the power play. After Jon Booras sent a pass around the wall, an Andrew Martens shot from the blue line was gobbled up by Tomas Klempa and put in to tie the game at one. At 15:23, Matt Summers caught a long outlet pass, dished it off to Robinson who proceeded to carry it up the left wing and he found the back of the net through Grant Rollheiser's five-hole and the first lead of the game for Wichita, 2-1.
With five minutes remaining in the third, Martens made a terrific play on the wall to keep the puck in, snapped a pass towards the net and Ian Lowe redirected it past Rollheiser for the eventual game-winner that increased the lead at that point of the game to 3-1. The Beast would not go away and added another on the power play with less than three minutes remaining. Jamie VanderVeeken sent a seeing-eye shot from the blue line that got past Nelson and cut the lead to 3-2. Nelson prevented Brampton from tying the game as he stopped several chances with the extra attacker after Rollheiser was pulled with a minute remaining and the Thunder held on for the 3-2 victory.
Wichita snaps a four-game losing streak and a nine-game winless streak at home with the victory. Robinson snaps a four-game goal drought, pulls within one of fifth place all-time and needs two more to jump ahead of Mark Karpen. Martens collected a pair of helpers and moved into fourth place all-time in assists by a Thunder defenseman, which is also his 100th career assist in Thunder blue. Nelson earns his third win of the year, stopping 25 of 27 shots. Rollheiser took the loss, stopping 24 of 27 shots he faced.
Wichita went 2-for-8 on the power play. Brampton was 1-for-7.