The Thunder let a four-goal lead disappear in the third period, then lost 5-4 in a shootout to the Komets on Friday night in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Wichita got two goals in each of the first two periods to build a 4-0 lead. Fort Wayne got its first goal 2:43 into the third period, then pulled within 4-2 on a power-play goal at 12:10.
The Thunder protected its two-goal edge into the final minute, when Fort Wayne's Sean O'Connor scored a sixth-attacker goal with 40 seconds left, then Tab Lardner got the tying goal with 8.6 seconds to play.
After a scoreless overtime, the Thunder's first four shots against Nick Boucher in the shootout were unsuccessful. Fort Wayne's Artem Podshendyalov and Guy Dupuis scored against Thunder goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas.
Wichita2 2 0 0 0— 4 Fort Wayne0 0 4 0 1— 5
First Period—1, Wichita, Robinson (Martens, Gale), 15:43(pp). 2, Wichita, Greene (Donaghy, Kaunisto), 17:23. Penalties— Bennefield, Wich (slashing), 6:54; Schrock, FW (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:54; Rodger, FW (interference), 14:32; Molle (hooking), 19:48.
Second Period—3, Wichita, Galbraith (Bennefield), 5:02. 4, Wichita, Bennefield (penalty shot), 15:56. Penalties— Bennefield, Wich (hooking), 5:51; Galbraith, Wich (tripping), 9:55; Dupuis, FW (hooking), 10:50.
Third Period—5, Fort Wayne, Phillips, 2:43. 6, Fort Wayne, Lardner (Patrosso), 12:10 (pp). 7, O'Connor (Drouin, Chaulk), 19:20 (ea). 8, Fort Wayne, Lardner (Drouin), 19:52 (ea). Penalties— Robinson, Wich (delay) 0:00; Lapointe, FW (interference), 2:46; Looby, Wich (slashing), 8:07; Goulet, Wich (tripping), 10:18; Phillips, FW (roughing), 12:20; Greene, Wich (roughing), 12:20; Tetrault, Wich (holding), 13:27; Davis, Wich (tripping), 16:29.
Overtime—None. Penalties— Chaulk, FW (high sticking), :16; Cesco, FW (roughing), 1:52; Martens, Wich (roughing), 1:52; Chaulk, FW (roughing), 1:52; Bennefield, Wich (roughing), 1:52.
Shootout—Wichita, Robinson (n), Davis (n), Bennefield (n), Gale (n). Fort Wayne, Podshendyalov (y), Lardner (n), Dupuis (y), Patrosso (n).
Shots on Goal—Wichita 18-3-4-0-0—27. Fort Wayne 10-15-15-2-1—43.
Power-play opportunities—Wichita 1 of 5; Fort Wayne 1 of 7.
Goalies—Wichita, Gelinas (42 shots-38 saves). Fort Wayne, Boucher (25-21).