(WICHITA, KS) – Mark MacMillan, Dyson Stevenson, and Keoni Texiera each had 2 points as the Wichita Thunder defeated the Rapid City Rush by a 5-1 score on Friday night. The loss, coming in the first game of a “three-in-three” against the Thunder, ends the Rush point streak at 5 games, now 3-1-0-2 in their last 6.
Wichita stormed out to a 3-0 lead after the first period of play. With 6:14 played in the first period, Stefan Fournier put the Thunder on the board when he batted a rebound in close range by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson to give Wichita an early 1-0 lead (Lane Bauer and Jeremy Beaudry assisted). Carlson may have had a case for goaltender interference on the sequence, but the pleas went unheard. Just over three minutes later, Tyler Elbrecht, creeping in on a rush off of a lost offensive zone draw into the Rush zone, blasted a Mark MacMillan pass by Carlson to make it a 2-0 lead at 9:27 of the period (MacMillan and Jakob Stukel assisted). Dyson Stevenson rounded out the first period scoring entries with a shot from the near wall of the Rush zone that was deflected off of the defender’s stick in front of him to give Wichita a 3-0 lead (Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin and Steven Iacobellis assisted). Carlson was then removed from the game, allowing 4 goals on 7 shots in 14:24 of playing time. Tyler Parks, playing in his first game since suffering an upper body injury in the home-opener against Kansas City on October 20th, came in relief for the remainder of the period, and stopped all 7 shots he saw in the last 5:36.
Both teams went through a scoreless second period, but Wichita went back to their scoring ways in the third. Just 2:25 into the final period, Mark MacMillan took a lap around the Rush zone and rifled a shot from the high slot by Parks to bring the Thunder lead to 4-0 (Texiera had the lone assist). Ralph Cuddemi completed the scoring on the final Thunder power play of the game to bring the Wichita advantage to 5-0 with 9:48 left in the game (Stevenson and Texiera assisted). Tyler Poulsen broke the Wichita shutout on the final power play of the game for the Rush, burying an east-west pass from behind the goal line from Andrew Radjenovic by Wichita goalie Dylan Wells to bring the game to its final score of 5-1 with 2:48 left in the game (Radjenovic and Riley Weselowski assisted).
Adam Carlson, starting his sixth consecutive game, suffered the loss, allowing 3 goals on 7 shots on 14:24 of his start (8-4-2-2). Tyler Parks took over in relief for the remaining 45:36, and stopped 32 of 34 shots. Parks made his first appearance for the Rush since the home-opener on October 20th against Kansas City (Parks left that game with an upper body injury).
The Rush continue their two-week road trip in which they play 8 games in 12 nights on Saturday against the Wichita Thunder, continuing the series with game two of their a “three-in-three”. Puck drop for the rematch is slated for 6:05 p.m. MST at INTRUST Bank Arena.