It had been a while since the Thunder had beaten Rapid City.
A long while. Which probably made Wichita's 8-3 win Wednesday at Intrust Bank Arena feel even better than it sounded.
The Thunder was 0-9 against Rapid City last season, and 3-15 all-time against the Rush. The win snaps a 10-game losing streak in the series. Wichita's last win against Rapid City was Feb. 28, 2009.
Starting with the first of Andrew Martens' two goals at the 8:40 mark of the first period, and ending with an Aaron Davis score with 7:21 to go in the third, the Thunder simply dominated.
"We were ready to play," Martens said. "We've had a good week of practice and I think we're getting our heads right.
"We've been playing pretty well and we just have to learn to finish games."
Martens' first goal came from the right side as his shot bounced off goalkeeper Danny Battochio's glove, dropped between his legs and slid into the goal. It took the Rush just 51 seconds to respond as Scott Wray knocked in a shot past Thunder goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas.
It was only time Rapid City (8-7-3) was able to stay close.
A Kory Scoran power-play goal with 4:58 left in the first period was the start of seven consecutive goals by the Thunder.
"You have to make sure you play 60 minutes and in the third we got a little sloppy there," Thunder coach Kevin McClelland said."We've got to make sure we play from the opening minute to the last minute. The result looks good, but still, we've got to make sure we close games out."
The Rush had an opportunity to take advantage with a 5-on-3 edge late in the first period. The Thunder kept Rapid City — the third most effiecient team in the league on the power play — from scoring.
"That was huge, that was probably the turning point in the game," McClelland said. "Our guys got in the shooting lanes and made it difficult, which was good. We got through that, and all of a sudden we found some legs and we got some goal scores in the second period."
Wichita (8-7-2) got its sixth and seventh goals in the third period 21 seconds apart when Troy Schwab and Matt Robinsonscored.
Rapid City scored two goals in the final 1:51 of the game.
"We just got to remember we have to play to the last buzzer," Martens said. "You can't give a team like that life. You don't want a team that's down to thinking they can just that next time they come here, or when we go up there."
The eight goals was the most for a Thunder team at Intrust Arena.
The Thunder will be at Friday against Turner Conference leader Colorado. The game starts at 7 p.m.
Rapid City1 0 2 — 3 Wichita2 3 3 — 8
Scoring— 1, Wichita, Martens (Bennefield, Hughes) 8:40. 2, Rapid City, Wray (Martin) 9:31. 3, Wichita, Scoran (Bennefield) (pp) 15:02. Penalties— Greene, W (slashing) :39; Grimson, RC, (hooking) 14:03; Tetrault, W (interference) 16:21; Hughes, W (tripping) 16:56; Harvey, RC (elbowing) 19:13.
Scoring —4, Wichita, Robinson (Davis) 6:18. 5, Wichita, Richards (Robinson, Davis) 9:15. 6, Wichita, Martens (Schwab, Bennefield) (pp) 17:21. Penalties— Richards, W (roughing) 6:57; Harvey, RC (slashing) 6:57; VanderVeeken, RC (holding) 11:43; Weselowski, RC (cross checking); Looby, W (interference) 18:58.
Scoring —7, Wichita, Schwab (Bennefield, Hughes) 9:18. 8, Wichita, Robinson (Davis) 9:39. 9, Wichita, Davis (Gale, Robinson) 12:39. 10, Rapid City, Reaney (Harvey) 18:11. 11, Rapid City, Hartinger (VanderVeeken) 18:57. Penalties— Bennefield, W (tripping) 14:26; Schwab, W (roughing) 17:23; LeBlanc, RC (roughing) 17:23.
Shots—Rapid City 6-13-17—36; Wichita—7-12-5—24. Saves— Rapid City, Battochio 16 shots, 12 saves, Spratt 8-4; Wichita, Gelinas 36-33. Powerplays— Rapid City 0-5, Wichita 2-4. Referee— Ryan Hersey. Linesman— Dennis Mercer, Kai Magnussen. Attendance— 6,107.