TULSA, OK — A late-game comeback wasn’t meant to be as the Wichita Thunder beat the first-place Tulsa Oilers 5-3 on Friday night in Wichita, Kansas.

Wichita’s Mitch Holmberg opened the scoring with a top shelf goal from the top of the circles. Holmberg’s four-on-four goal came at 16:45 in the first period and was assisted by Logan Nelson and Nick Trecapelli. Adam Pleskach would score his seventh goal of the season just over a minute later after he batted a loose puck into the net. Ben Murphy and Tyson Wilson assisted Pleskach’s team-leading seventh goal.

Holmberg scored his second goal of the game to give the Thunder a one-goal lead 4:30 into the second period. Alexis Loiseau and Blake Tactchell assisted the goal.

Wichita’s Loiseau would extend the Thunder’s lead at the 8:04 mark when he scored his fourth of the season. Nick Trecapelli gave the Thunder their biggest lead of the night at the 13:44 mark. Holmberg and DeBlouw had the assists. Adam Pleskach scored his eight goal of the season and his second of the game at 15:48 in the third period. His shorthanded goal was unassisted and cut Wichita’s lead to just two. Shawn Bates would score another shorthanded goal seconds later to bring the game within one. Losieau would put the game out of reach when he found his way on to the score sheet again with just 1:31 remaining.

Tulsa and Wichita will rematch on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the BOK Center. Saturday’s game will be the third of 14 this season. The team with the best record will take home the Stone Wolf Casino Cup.