An eight-day layoff didn’t seem to hurt the Thunder, which beat Utah 6-2 on Friday night at Intrust Bank Arena with six players each scoring one goal.
The Thunder, which had two games postponed last weekend in Greenville, S.C., has won four in a row since a season-opening loss.
Gerrad Grant’s goal 14 seconds into the third period was the first of three straight scores for Wichita, breaking open a tight game. Mitch Holmberg scored at 6:09 of the third, and Alexis Vanier added a power-play goal at 12:05.
Alexis Louiseau scored in the final minute of the first period, sending the Thunder to the locker room with a 1-0 lead. The Grizzlies tied the score early in the second period, but Wichita went back on top 92 seconds later with a goal from Louick Marcotte, Jack Rodewald made it 3-1 at 12:44 of the second, but Utah scored 14 seconds later to pull within 3-2.
The teams meet again Saturday night at the Arena.
First period–1, Wichita, Loiseau 3 (Erkamps, Rodewald), 19:21 (PP). Penalties-Eick Uta (holding the stick), 9:29; Melindy Wic (roughing), 9:29; Brassard Uta (high-sticking), 10:26; Rodewald Wic (bench - too many men), 11:21; Stoflet Uta (slashing ), 11:38; DeBlouw Wic (slashing ), 11:38; Nelson Wic (illegal check to head), 14:49; Pietroniro Uta (tripping), 17:21.
Second period–2, Utah, Daly 2 (Carrier, Helgesen), 1:42. 3, Wichita, Marcotte 2 3:14. 4, Wichita, Rodewald 3 (Loiseau, Oslanski), 12:44. 5, Utah, Brassard 3 (Eick), 12:58. Penalties-McNally Uta (roughing), 8:19; Melindy Wic (roughing), 8:19; Oslanski Wic (roughing), 8:19.
Third period–6, Wichita, Grant 1 (Tatchell, Nelson), 0:14. 7, Wichita, Holmberg 1 (Tatchell, Marcotte), 6:09. 8, Wichita, Vanier 1 (Melindy, Krushelnyski), 12:05 (PP). Penalties-Helgesen Uta (interference), 10:29; Gagne Wic (slashing ), 10:29; Aubin Uta (slashing ), 11:20; Daly Uta (interference on the goalkeeper), 11:20; Oslanski Wic (slashing ), 11:20; McNally Uta (roughing, game misconduct - other infraction), 19:23; Tesink Wic (tripping, roughing), 19:23.
Shots–Utah 9-14-11-34. Wichita 9-12-11-32. Power play–Utah 0-3; Wichita 2-4.
Goalies–Utah, Boyle 32 shots-26 saves. Wichita, Owsley 34-32.