Thunder splits another weekend
RIVERKINGS GET REVENGE- A week after the Thunder handed Memphis their worst loss of the season, Memphis turned the tables, rolling to a 6-2 home win on Friday. Derek Landmesser led Memphis with four assists, as the RiverKings outshot the Thunder 47-15. Wichita managed just one first period shot, tying a franchise-record. Kris Wiebe and Jeremy Koning scored Wichita's goals.
THUNDER SURVIVES MUDBUG ATTACK- Joe Blaznek's breakaway goal, off a beautiful pass from George Halkidis, gave the Thunder a much-needed 3-2 overtime victory over Bossier-Shreveport on Saturday night at the Kansas Coliseum. The Thunder built a 2-0 lead on goals by Jeremy Koning and Halkidis, only to see the Mudbugs tie the game with two goals on 23 third period shots. Goaltender Sebastien Laplante held the Mudbugs at bay, however; making 54 saves for his seventh victory of the season.
DÃJÃ VU?- Wichita's overtime home victory over the Mudbugs was a bit familiar. On Saturday, December 20th, 2003, a struggling Thunder team, with a record of just 10-13-4, beat Bossier-Shreveport at home in overtime, beginning one of the greatest runs in CHL history. From that day on, Wichita went 24-11-1 and cruised into the second round of the CHL playoffs.
.500 STREAK COMES TO AN END- With Friday night's loss, the Thunder saw their record dip below .500 for the first time in nearly three years. Wichita had not been below .500 since January 8, 2004 - a streak of 172 games - when they had a mark of 15-16-4. Oklahoma City now holds the mark for consecutive games above .500, at 69 games.
WELCOME BACK GEORGE- Defenseman George Halkidis played a huge role in Saturday's win, scoring a power play goal and assisting on the game-winner. Halkidis had returned to the lineup the night prior, after missing 16 games with mononucleosis. Still, Wichita played two men short both Friday and Saturday and have had a full 18-man lineup only six times this season. Defenseman Darren McMillan missed both games this weekend and hopes to return to the lineup this week. Forward Dave Starenky missed Saturday's game and also hopes to return to the lineup.
MILESTONES- Joe Blaznek's overtime game-winner was the 100th goal of his Thunder career, making him just the fourth Thunder player to reach the 100-goal plateau. With 447, veteran Travis Clayton needs one assist to pass Brett Seguin for fourth place on the all-time CHL assists list. With 289, Clayton is also just one goal shy of tying Don Parsons for fourth place in CHL history for goals scored. With 928, Clayton and Ryan McLean both passed Sean O'Reilly for second on the all-time Thunder penalty minute list.
THUNDERBOLTS- Sebastien Laplante ranks sixth in the CHL with a .925 save percentage...Wichita still ranks third among 52 "AA" hockey teams in North America, averaging 6,498 fans per game...Wichita leads the CHL in penalty minutes (801), minors (243) and is second for majors (33)...Matt Coughlin (119) and Steve Dix (115) rank third and fourth respectively in the CHL for penalty minutes...The Thunder are 9-1-2 in games decided by two goals or less...1-10-0 in games decided by more than two goals...Wichita has scored just 15 third period goals and is averaging a CHL-low 30.2 shots per game.
PROMOTIONS- The Thunder set a new-franchise record Saturday for the fifth annual Bank of the West Teddy Bear Toss Night, collecting 1231 new teddy bears. The old record was 1148, set last season. This Saturday's game is sponsored by Moonwalks For Fun.
THIS WEEK'S GAMES:
Wednesday, December 20- Wichita at Colorado 8:05 PM 1410 AM
Friday, December 22- Wichita at Tulsa 7:35 PM 1410 AM
Saturday, December 23- Memphis at Wichita 7:05 PM 1410 AM
LAST WEEK'S GAMES:
Friday, December 15- Wichita 2 at Memphis 6 Loss
Saturday, December 16- Bossier-Shreveport 2 at Wichita 3 Win (OT)
PRACTICE SCHEDULE: None (Out of Town)
METAL BLADE RECORDS PLAYER OF THE WEEK-
Goaltender Sebastien Laplante 1 GP, 1-0-0, 54 Saves
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