With the regular season winding down the phrase "every game counts" begins to ring more true.
Standing on the brink of playoff elimination, the Rush had a difficult task of taking on the top team in the CHL for a 2-game weekend series.
Last night Rapid City was firing on all cylinders en route to a 5-3 victory but tonight the momentum seemed to lay with the visiting Thunder.
Wichita got on the board first at 5:56 when Matt Summers (Travis Wight, RG Flath) knocked the puck passed a sprawled out Tim Boron, who was unable to get anything on the puck.
It was Wichita's first lead in the weekend series.
The Thunder had a chance to add to it at 16:22 but Boron stonewalled the penalty shot by Chris Greene to the jubilation of the nearly 5,000 in attendance.
The 1-0 lead for the Thunder would carry into the middle frame.
The Rush captain, Scott Wray, had an opportunity to tie the game as he emerged from the "sin bin" at 13:31 and had a breakaway but Hogan denied him.
Instead the Thunder would double their lead when Matt Robinson (Jarred Mohr) got a 4-on-4 goal when he beat Boron glove-side at 16:14.
Rapid City may have been down 2-0 heading into the 2nd intermission, but they were far from out.
The Rush finally capitalized on a scoring opportunity when Les Reaney (Shawn Limpright, Andrew Smale) got a rebound shot off and slammed it past Hogan just 3:48 into the final period.
A roughing call on Matt Robinson at 17:23 gave Rapid City a chance to pull Tim for almost two minutes to try and tie the game. But the puck just never bounced right.
Fresh out of the "sin bin", Matt Robinson scored an unassisted emptynetter with Dave Grimson hot on the puck's trail to try and prevent it.
But just like Dave, the Rush's chance to steal sole possession of 3rd place came up just short.
The Rush next travel to face the Allen Americans on Tuesday. Their next home game is next Friday and Saturday for a weekend series against the Evansville Icemen. The puck is set to drop at 7:05pm for both of those contests.
The staff at Free Sports Press would like to send out our best wishes, thoughts, and prayers to the little girl in Section R tonight that took a puck to the head. We heard she was being taken to the hospital for stitches. We hope everything went well and that she gets better soon.