The Thunder let a two-goal lead slip away in the third period and lost to Tulsa 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday in Tulsa.
The teams were playing each other for the third time in three days. The Thunder won Friday and Saturday in Wichita, and seemed headed for another win Sunday.
Jon Madden and Matt Summers scored first-period goals three minutes apart in the first period to put Wichita on top. Jon Booras made it 3-0 with a shorthanded goal at 13:35 of the second period that left the Thunder firmly in control, but 24 seconds later — and five seconds after the teams returned to even strength — Tulsa got on the board with Blair Macaulay’s goal.
Wichita retained its two-goal edge until nearly midway through the third period. A goal from Nathan Lutz at 9:46 made it 3-2, and the Oilers tied the score with a shorthanded goal of their own from Michel Beausoleil at 13:11.
In the shootout, Tulsa led 2-0 after three rounds. Ian Lowe and RG Flath kept the Thunder alive by scoring on their attempts, but Macaulay scored by Thunder goalie Taylor Nelson in the fifth round to end the game.
The Thunder trails eighth-place Arizona by five points in the race for the final spot in the CHL playoffs. Wichita has seven games left on its schedule — the final three at Arizona on March 26, 28 and 29.
First period — 1, Wichita, Madden (Flath, Klempa), 10:43. 2, Wichita, Summers (Klempa, Flath), 13:39. Penalty — Pleskach, Tulsa (tripping), 19:55.
Second period — 3, Wichita, Booras, 13:35 (sh.). 4, Tulsa, Macaulay (Mohr, Beausoleil), 13:59. Penalties — Leblond, Tulsa (fighting major), 5:48; McParland, Wichita (fighting major), 5:48; Walker, Wichita (high sticking), 6:07; Pleskach, Tulsa (tripping), 7:45; Lutz, Tulsa (handling the puck), 8:46; Walker, Wichita (boarding). 11:54; Dudas, Wichita (roughing), 17:13; Beausoleil, Tulsa (roughing), 17:13; Bochek, Tulsa (roughing double minor), 17:13; Robinson, Wichita (roughing), 17:13.
Third period — 5, Tulsa, Lutz (Menei, Bochek), 9:46. 6, Tulsa, Beausoleil (Macaulay), 13:11 (sh). Penalties — Booras, Wichita (roughing), 11:05; Fisher, Tulsa (hooking), 11:38.
Shootout — Wichita (Robinson no, Summers no, Klempa no, Lowe yes, Flath yes), Tulsa (Beausoleil no, Menei yes, Fisher yes, Gordon no, Macaulay yes).
Power plays — Wichita 0-5, Tulsa 0-3.
Shots — Wichita 8-10-8-2-0—28; Tulsa 6-9-15-4-1—35.
Goalies — Wichita, Nelson 34 shots, 31 saves; Tulsa, Madolora 28-25.
A — 6,777.