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Those pesky fans cited again

March 8, 2007 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Wichita Thunder News Release

WICHITA, KS- The Central Hockey League today released their annual "Best of the Best" poll, based on voting among CHL players, coaches and operational staff from all 17 teams.

For the fourth year in a row, Thunder fans were voted the CHL's Most Annoying. The only CHL arena with low glass behind the players' benches, visiting teams get an earful every trip to the Kansas Coliseum. Thunder fans keep it clean and all in good fun, though numerous CHL players, coaches and training staff have found the going quite rough.

Wichita's loyal fans have locked the Thunder into the second best attendance in the CHL, at an average of exactly 6,000 per game. The Thunder have already recorded one sellout this season and expect to set a new single-game, franchise attendance record on Saturday, March 17th - Pack the House Night - when the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs come to town. Of the 52 "AA" hockey teams in North America, only the CHL's Oklahoma City Blazers, the UHL's Fort Wayne Komets and the ECHL's Stockton Thunder and Florida Everblades average more fans per game.

The Thunder were honored in several other "Best of the Best" categories, led by all-star forward Joe Blaznek, who for the second straight season was voted the CHL's Hardest Shooter. Blaznek, who is tied for the CHL-lead with eight game-winning goals, was also voted the CHL's second Best Skater.

Defensively, the Thunder received two honors, as Sebastien Laplante was voted the CHL's third Best Goaltender. Laplante still leads the CHL with a .928 save percentage, despite missing the last nine games due to injury. Defenseman Daniel Tetrault finished second in the voting for the CHL's Best Body Checker.

Team captain Jason Duda, who joined teammate Travis Clayton last week as a member of the CHL's 300-goal club, finished third in the voting for the CHL's Most Gentlemanly Player. Ironically, Duda has recorded a career-high 96 penalty minutes this season.

In the non-player categories, Wichita came away with two other honors. Matt Brokaw and staff have guided the Thunder to a second place finish in the Best On Ice Promotions department, while the Thunder Booster Club, "The Storm", finished third in the voting for CHL's Best Booster Club.

With 18 days left in the regular season, the Thunder now leads the Tulsa Oilers by six points for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Northern Conference, thanks to last night's 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Eagles. The Thunder will try and win three straight games - for the first time this season - when they battle the Rocky Mountain Rage tonight at 8:05 p.m. Central Time in Colorado. For tickets to Wichita's remaining four home games, or for more information, call the Thunder office at 264-GOAL or visit our website at

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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