Wichita, KS (January 29th) - Wichita (26-14-3) spotted the visitors from the Black Hills a two-goal advantage only to rip off five-unanswered in the final 40 minutes to win for the fifth-straight game by the final of 5-2 over Rapid City (19-18-5) on Tuesday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. RG Flath scored twice while he, Matt Summers and Greger Hanson combined for eight points. Torrie Jung earned his 13th win of the season, tying Kevin Regan for the team-lead in wins. Wichita leads the season-series 4-3-0 with one more meeting coming up in Rapid City in the middle of February. Wichita moves within one point of Allen for first place as the Americans fell in a shootout against Fort Worth.
The Thunder have been getting off to quick starts over the last three games. That trend was reversed tonight as Rapid City took a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. Justin Faryna had the puck roll off his stick onto Jung and as he was trying to cover up a rebound, Faryna poked it past him less than three minutes into the game. At 17:14, Faryna added his second point of the contest as he dug it loose out of the corner and found Damian Surma who sent a snap shot past Jung's blocker.
After being held in check in the opening frame, Wichita scored the next five goals in the last two periods. Flath scored his first of two at 4:13 of the second on a beautiful shot from the slot past Tim Boron. Matt Robinson tied the game with a power play goal at 11:29 on a beautiful shot from the left face-off dot as he was coming into the zone. Neil Trimm would record the game-winner at 13:55 and chased Boron from the game. Trimm caught a head-man pass from Robinson, had the initial chance blocked but stayed with it and slipped the puck in to give the Thunder a 3-2 lead. Boron, who had been solid against the Thunder in five previous games, was taken out after giving up three goals on 21 shots.
Danny Battochio wouldn't fair much better in the final period as the Thunder scored two more on the power play to give themselves some breathing room. Flath tallied his second of the night at 6:25 after receiving an outstanding pass from Summers and buried it. Andrew Martens made it 5-2 with less than five minutes left and completed a string of five-unanswered goals for the Thunder.
Flath has scored two goals in three of the last four games, has had at least a goal in four of the last five and five of the last seven contests (8g, 5a in that span). Hanson and Summers each had three assists, which is the second-straight game Summers has recorded that mark. Trimm added his 20th goal of the season, which ties him with Hanson for the team-lead.
Jung won the battle in net, stopping 21 of 23 shots. He has won his last five starts and has moved into a third place tie for wins in the CHL.
The victory is the 16th of the season at INTRUST Bank Arena and ties Fort Worth for most home wins in the league. Wichita continues to be perfect when playing on a Tuesday night. The Thunder, playing for the first time at home on a Tuesday, is 4-0-0 on the season. Wichita also ties its season-long win streak at five games. The previous streak went from November 20th to December 30th.
For the second straight game, Wichita went 3-for-5 on the power play and didn't allow a power play goal for the third game in a row as Rapid City was 0-for-3.
Wichita heads out of town to take on Tulsa on Saturday night. The Thunder return home on Friday, February 8th against the Oilers for Military Appreciation Night. Military personnel can receive $5 tickets with a military ID, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. For tickets, call 755-SEAT, visit the INTRUST Bank Arena box office or online at www.selectaseat.com.
Wichita Thunder mini-plans are still available. Contact the Wichita Thunder Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at (316) 264-4625 or visit the fan relations table behind section 120 at any Wichita Thunder home game for more information. Join the Blue Revolution today!