The Wichita Thunder beat the Mississippi RiverKings 5-2 at the INTRUST Bank Arena on Friday night.
Jesse Bennefield led the offense with Wichita's fifth hat trick of the season, helping the Thunder beat the RiverKings for the first time in four tries this year.
A.J. Gale capped off a defensive-minded first period with a goal at the 19:24 mark. Aaron Davis led a three-on-one rush down the left side before making a centering pass to Gale. Gale's one-timer went through the five-hole of RiverKings' goaltender Larry Sterling, hit the left post, and then bounced off the back of Sterling's pad and into the net.
Bennefield increased Wichita's lead to 2-0 at 2:02 in the second, deflecting Mike Looby's shot from the high slot over Sterling's left shoulder. The Thunder scored in the final minute of play for a second straight period when Troy Schwab lifted a backhander from the right faceoff circle past Sterling's right with 27 seconds left on the clock.