SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
WICHITA SHUTS OUT RUSH ON TEDDY BEAR TOSS NIGHT
(WICHITA, KS) – The Wichita Thunder played host to the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night at the INTRUST Bank Arena, playing in their annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Thanks to a strong effort by the Thunder power play, and 44 saves by Tim Boron, the Thunder ended their losing streak to the Rush on their home ice, triggered a shower of bears early, and ultimately pulled away with a 5-0 win, the second time all season the Rush have been shut out.
It took the Thunder 75:03 of time over the course of two meetings in INTRUST Bank Arena to ignite the goal lamp, but they would do so on the final two power plays of the opening frame. Mike Wilson triggered a shower of teddy bears on the power play, giving the Thunder a 1-0 lead with just under five minutes to play in the first period. Moments later, the Thunder would receive their fourth power play of the opening set, and would capitalize once more. With 2:50 left on the clock, Eric Meland sent a bouncing puck past a sprawled out Danny Battochio to extend the home side’s lead to 2-0 heading into the first intermission.
The Thunder found more momentum in the second period and denied the Rush any opportunity to come back into the game. 5:25 into the second, Todd Hosmer rifled a shot that was tipped by Battochio’s glove and in, giving the Thunder a 3-0 lead. Then, with just 55.5 seconds to play in the period, Eric Lizon tipped a bouncing puck past a sprawling Battochio to further advance the Thunder lead to 4-0 heading into the final 20 minutes.
Etienne Marcoux would relieve Danny Battochio in the Rush net, but the Thunder would find a way to add a fifth tally. On an open rebound from an Eric Meland shot, Kyle Gibbons recorded his second goal of the season with just over five minutes to play in the game, giving the Thunder their 5-0 win, and Tim Boron another shutout on the season.
Danny Battochio recorded 40 minutes of play, making 21 stops on 25 shots, receiving his ninth loss of the year in his seventh straight start (6-9-2). Etienne Marcoux closed out the final 20 minutes and made 18 saves on 19 shots faced. The Rush were shutout for the second time this season, but for the first time on the road, and were outshot 44-25. Wichita received 9 power plays and cashed in on 2, while the Rush were held scoreless on 5, ending their streak of three games with power play goals. The Rush travel home to take on the Missouri Mavericks on Tuesday night, December 16th, with puck drop slated for 6:35 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
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