With music blaring in the dressing room and a dramatic, draining game only 10 minutes old, conditions weren't ideal for total recall, but Troy Schwab couldn't immediately remember ever scoring a shootout goal prior to Tuesday night.
A quick check of the stats proved it: He was zero for seven on shootout attempts in two professional seasons, with three of the misfires coming this season in Wichita.
Even so, Schwab certainly looked confident as he skated hard toward the goalie, faked him off his feet and then slid the puck in the net — a game-changing goal in the Thunder's upset of the Colorado Eagles.
Aaron Davis, the team's fourth shooter, also scored, clinching the 7-6 shootout victory in front of 4,815 fans at Intrust Bank Arena.
Despite blowing leads of 4-2 and 6-3, the Thunder (27-20-6) made the big plays when it mattered to stop a four-game losing streak and snap a four-game win streak for Colorado (33-18-4).
"You never want to give up leads like that, but give them credit — they're a top-flight team for a reason," said Schwab, who finished the game with three points. "They've got a good club over there. They've got a high-powered offense and they can put up six goals in a hurry.
"Last two games, we've taken three out of four points from them. You've got to be pretty happy with that."
Like Schwab, Thunder goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas had struggled in shootouts, going 1-3 before Tuesday.
The rookie said he made an effort to stay calmer in the net, and it proved effective as he stopped all four of Colorado's shooters: Kevin Ulanski, Adam Chorneyko, Scott May and Daymen Rycroft.
Gelinas, who finished with 26 saves, improved to 22-10-5. He outplayed his Colorado counterpart, Kyle Jones, who entered leading the Central Hockey League in wins with 24.
"I just really wanted this one badly — for everyone and for me," Gelinas said.
Schwab's shootout goal gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead after two rounds, putting pressure on the Eagles and giving Gelinas a much-needed lift.
"We got that one and I felt really confident and I think they were maybe a little stressed."
The Thunder had several offensive stars. Dustin Donaghy had two goals and an assist, and Jesse Bennefield chipped in a goal and an assist.
The Thunder was playing without coach Kevin McClelland, who missed the game to handle family matters, according to the team. He is also expected to miss the next two games at Rapid City.
Colorado 2 2 2 0 0 — 6 Wichita 4 2 0 0 1 — 7
Scoring—1. Colorado, Rycroft 26 (Schneekloth, Jones) 1:17 pp; 2. Wichita, Kaunisto 5 (Greene, Richards) 1:42; 3. Colorado, Nelson 32 (Ulanski, Schneekloth) 10:39 pp; 4. Wichita, Galbraith 14 (Davis, Martens) 12:24 pp; 5. Wichita, Bennefield 31 (Schwab, Hughes) 7:05 pp; 6. Wichita, Donaghy 10 (Greene, Wight) 17:06. Penalties— Wichita, Robinson (hooking) :34; Colorado, Grimaldi (slashing) 1:53; Wichita, Bennefield (holding) 5:04; Wichita, Wight (interference) 10:30; Colorado, Penner (spearing major, game misconduct) 11:42; Colorado, Hogg (roughing) 17:34.
Scoring—7. Colorado, Sullivan 10 (Chorneyko, Nelson) 3:59; 8. Wichita, Donaghy 11 (Schwab, Bennefield) 11:59; 9. Wichita, Scoran 10 (Robinson, Davis) 15:32 pp; 10. Colorado, Rycroft 27 (May, Ulanski) 19:52. Penalties— Colorado, Rycroft (holding) 4:35; Colorado, Ulanski (interference) 15:19.
Scoring—11. Colorado, Rycroft 28 (Beatty) 4:17 pp; 12. Colorado, Ulanski 27 (May, Nelson) 13:53. Penalties— Wichita, Richards (roughing) 2:53; Colorado, Peto (high sticking) 4:34; Colorado, Grimaldi (hooking) 9:00; Wichita, Davis (hooking) 12:24; Colorado, Rycroft (roughing) 19:32; Wichita, Robinson (tripping) 19:53.
Scoring—none. Penalties—Colorado, Peto (interference) 2:51.
Colorado—Ulanski NG, Chorneyko NG, May NG, Rycroft NG.
Wichita—Robinson NG, Schwab G, Kaunisto NG, Davis G.
Shots on goal—Colorado 7-9-12-4-0—32, Wichita 14-13-8-5-1—41
Power play—Colorado 4-6, Wichita 3-9.
Goaltenders—Colorado, Jones 34 saves on 40 shots. Wichita, Gelinas 26 saves on 32 shots.