Wichita Thunder

Thunder rout Tulsa to avoid 0-3 start

The evening started with Wichita Thunder general manager Joel Lomurno sweating it out in the press box over the health of No. 1 goalie Tim Boron.

A text message arrived with good news just before the first puck was dropped: Boron doesn't have mono.

The evening ended with Lomurno in another tough situation: picking the stars of the game with too many deserving Thunder players to choose from.

It was a good problem to have, of course, especially given how the Thunder started the season.

Rebounding from a dismal opening weekend, the Thunder dominated Tulsa 5-1 on Friday night in the Kansas Coliseum.

The victory, which came on the strength of two power-play goals and one short-handed goal, kept Wichita from starting 0-3 for the second straight season.

And Lomurno finally settled on the stars.

No. 3 was rookie goalie Scott Campbell, who stopped 25 of 26 shots for his first professional victory. He lost the shutout when Tulsa scored a shorthanded goal 12:56 left.

"When you limit Tulsa, with an offense like they have, to one goal, you've done a good job," coach Brent Bilodeau said.

Marc Belanger had a power play goal and two assists, earning star No. 2 honors. He has four points in two games.

And the No. 1 star of the game went to new defenseman Jim Jorgensen, who had a goal and two assists.

"We needed to have a big offensive outburst — it's good to see a lot of guys on the score sheet," Belanger said. "We know it's a bit of a process, learning the systems. We almost have a completely new team — not a lot of guys back from last year — so learning the systems and getting them down took a little longer than expected, but we're getting a handle on it now."

Deserving candidates, but left off the star-of-the-game list, were Jason Duda, who had a goal and an assist to move past Doug Lawrence and into third place on the Central Hockey League career scoring list, and Mike Batovanja, who fought twice and scored a goal.

"I thought the guys were ready to go tonight," Bilodeau said. "Guys went to the net, made the simple plays. There are still some things we need to work on, but definitely pleased with the effort."

Notes — Bilodeau said Boron "still isn't feeling 100 percent." His status for games tonight and Sunday is uncertain.... Duda has 876 career points.... Mark Adamek, Wichita's 6-foot-4 defenseman, won "glass rattler" honors with a huge open ice hit.... As Tulsa's Rick Kozak left the ice after a game misconduct in the second period he exchanged words with injured Thunder defenseman Chris Kovalcik, who was in the tunnel area. It looked as if Kozak feigned a limp — an apparent shot at Kovalcik, who is out with an injured knee.... The Thunder's Chris McAllister picked up a roughing penalty when he dropped Kozak with a left hand as the two were skating up the ice.... New Thunder defenseman Jason Woll made his debut.... Tulsa goalie Ryan Ludzik, who replaced starter Kevin Armstrong at the start of the third period, is the son of Steve Ludzik, who played nine seasons in the NHL.... Tulsa has two shorthanded goals, but none on the power play.

Tulsa0 0 1 — 1 Wichita2 3 0 — 5

First period

Scoring—1. Wichita, Duda 2 (Jorgensen) 2:12; 2. Wichita, Belanger 2 (Detulleo, Jorgensen) 10:10 pp. Penalties— Tulsa, Eastman (fighting) 2:23; Wichita, Batovanja (fighting) 2:23; Tulsa, Caig (hooking) 3:11; Wichita, McAllister (hooking) 5:26; Tulsa, Standish (cross checking) 9:10; Tulsa, Eastman (interference) 18:31.

Second period

Scoring—3. Wichita, Ofukany 1 (Surma, Ottmann) 6:07; 4. Wichita, Jorgensen 1 (Belanger, Duda) 12:13 pp; 5. Wichita, Batovanja 1 (Ofukany) 17:12 sh. Penalties— Tulsa, Kozak (fighting) 6:49; Wichita, Beauchamp (fighting) 6:49; Tulsa, Beausoleil (slashing) 8:32; Tulsa, Hisey (interference) 11:24; Wichita, McAllister (roughing)13:42; Wichita, Detulleo (hooking) 15:31; Tulsa, Kozak (instigator, fighting, game misconduct) ; Tulsa, Davis (game misconduct, second altercation) 17:12; Wichita, Batovanja (fighting) 17:12; Wichita, Ofukany (game misconduct, second altercation) 17:12.

Third period

Scoring—6. Tulsa, Standish (Eastman, Steward) 7:04 sh. Penalties—Wichita, Belanger (interference) 3:56; Tulsa, Beausoleil (interference) 5:20; Wichita, Beauchamp (tripping) 13:20.

Power play—Tulsa 0-5; Wichita 2-7.

Shots on goal—Tulsa 5-12-9—26; Wichita 5-10-7—22.

Goaltenders—Tulsa, Armstrong 10 saves on 15 shots; Ludzik 7 saves on 7 shots; Wichita, Campbell 25 saves on 26 shots.

Att—4,242.

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