WICHITA — The Wichita Thunder let another game slip away 3-2 Friday night to the Allen Americans in ECHL play at INTRUST Bank Arena.
Zach Hall scored the game winner for Allen on a rebounded shot with 4:57 remaining. Joel Chouinard was credited with the assist.
The loss is Wichita’s third straight and eight in the last 10. It was Wichita’s second straight loss to Allen, falling 7-3 Wednesday in Allen.
“We didn’t change anything (from Wednesday),” Wichita coach Malcolm Cameron said. “We had three to one chances against them the other night. It just seemed like any kind of mistake we made wound up in the back of the net. Tonight, for the first two periods, we had way better chances than they did. They only had 15 shots. Then there was a shift there, I don’t know who was keeping the shot totals, but we certainly had more than one in the third period. There was a wrap-around chance and a couple others. I thought we played a heck of a hockey game. We just made one mistake in front of our own net with five minutes to go in the game. It was a rookie mistake. It hurts right now because it seems so reminiscent of a couple of games in this stretch.”
Wichita scored just 66 seconds into the game when Mark MacMillan converted from Kevin Dufour and Ralph Cuddemi. Allen answered midway in the period on a power-play goal by Bryan Moore from Colby McAuley. With 16.3 left in the first perios, Travis Ewanyk scored with assists from Dufour and Beaudry. The goal came after the Thunder killed a penalty.
Allen tied the game late in the second period on a rush by Alex Guptill with assists from Connor Reilly and Marcus Basara.
Wichita held a 24-23 advantage in shots, but the Thunder was outshot 8-1 in the third period. Allen was one of three on the power play, while Wichita was scoreless in four chances.
Stephon Williams had 22 saves in goal for Allem. Joel Rempel had 20 saves for Wichita.
“I thought we shot the puck way more tonight,” Cameron said. “… You can’t say we didn’t have our chances to score. Ralph Cuddemi had five or six Grade A chances tonight. It was disappointing that one of our goals didn’t count because the net came off. That one should have counted. You can’t feel sorry for yourself because we have to go again tomorrow.”
Cameron said the team’s shift from the first 20 games to the last 10 games has been because of personnel changes up front.
“We’ve only got four forwards who were with us opening weekend,” Cameron said. “That makes a big difference. Our D corps and our goaltenders have been pretty much the same.”
Wichita falls to 18-10-2-0, while Allen improves to 18-7-0-4. Wichita drops to fourth place in the Mountain Division, while Allen is in second place, five points behind leader Colorado. The teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. today in Wichita and 4:05 p.m. Sunday in Allen.
FIRST PERIOD — Scoring: 1. W MacMillan (13) (Dufour, Cuddemi) 1:06, 2. A Moore (McAuley) 12:24-pp, 3. W Ewanyk (10) (Dufour, Beaudry) 19:44. Penalties: W Polei (interference) 2:28, A Schoenborn double minor (high sticking) 5:04, W Lepine (cross checking) 10:34, W Merasty (tripping) 17:06.
SECOND PERIOD — Scoring: 4. A Guptill (9) (Reilly, Basara) 13:37. Penalties: A Moore (hooking) 8:06.
THIRD PERIOD — Scoring: 5. A Hall (2) (Chouinard) 15:03. Penalties: W Stevenson (roughing) 8:14, A McAuley (roughing) 8:14, A Guptill major (fighting) 10:40, W Boutet major (fighting) 10:40, A Thrower misconduct (inciting) 10:40, A Moore misconduct (unsportsmanlike conduct) 11:55, W Polei misconduct (unsportsmanlike conduct) 11:55, A bench (served by Barasa, too many men on the ice) 11:55.
Shots on goal — Allen 10-5-8—23, Wichita 11-12-1—24. Saves — Allen: Williams (W, 7-5-2) 9-12-1-22. Wichita: Rumple (L, 10-6-0-0, 58:43) 9-4-10—23.
Power plays — Allen 1 of 3, Wichita 0 of 4. Penalties-minutes — Allen 7-35, Wichita 6-23.
Referee — MacFarlane. Linesmen — Brush, Williams. Attendance — 5,007.