Thunder Takes One of Three
The Wichita Thunder went went 1-2-0 during the holiday weekend. Wichita was edged 6-5 by the Tulsa Oilers on Christmas evening at the BOK Center. The Thunder battled back from three different two-goal deficits to tie the game at 5-5 in the third, but Chad Costello scored on the power play at 11:22 for the game-winner. A.J. Gale scored two goals with an assist, while Matt Robinson, Jesse Bennefield, and Bobby Hughes also had multi-point games.
Wichita bounced back Sunday at home with a 7-4 win over the Missouri Mavericks. The Thunder overcame a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period, highlighted by two goals from Jesse Bennefield. Bennefield scored the game-winner at 12:06 and added another goal on a penalty shot at 16:31. Four defensemen scored for Wichita, including Daniel Tetrault, Andrew Martens, Kory Scoran, and Travis Wight. Marc-Antoine Gelinas saved 15 of 19 for the win.
The Mavericks shutout the Thunder 2-0 on Monday night at the INTRUST Bank Arena. Mavs' goaltender Rob Nolan worked a 31-save shutout. Wichita outshot Missouri 31 to 21, but goals from Mike Berry and Bill Vandermeer proved enough for the Mavericks. Marc-Antoine Gelinas took the tough loss, saving 19 of 21.
Wichita ranks fourth in the CHL in offense at 3.70 goals per game. Wichita has scored at least four goals in 15 of 27 games, and five or more in eight of them.
Bennefield Among League's Best
Jesse Bennefield is seventh in the league in scoring with 36 points in 27 games played. Bennefield is also tied for sixth with 15 goals.
Robinson Lighting the Lamp
Matt Robinson is tied for sixth in the CHL with 15 goals. The left winger has potted 14 of them in just 18 games since joining the Thunder. Robinson scored 31 goals last season in the ECHL between Johnstown and Stockton.
Offense on Defense
Defensive partners Kory Scoran and Andrew Martens are among the best at their position in the CHL. Scoran is tied for seventh among blue liners with 18 points, and tied for first with nine goals. Scoran's seven power play goals are also tied for first in the entire league. Martens is tied for ninth among defensemen with 17 points and tied for seventh with six goals.
Gale on Fire
Second-year forward A.J. Gale had a seven-game point streak snapped on Monday night. Gale has 21 points in his last 13 contests.
The Thunder is enduring one of its toughest stretches of games this season. Dating back to last Saturday at Tulsa, the Thunder will play six games in eight days by the end of this weekend. The final three games are on the road.
Goaltender Marty Magers has been activated from Goaltender IR. Magers is 3-2-0 with a 3.18 goals against average and .891 save percentage. Magers last played on November 26th at Colorado. Rookie goaltender Peter Delmas was recalled by the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs.
Center Matt Hubbauer and defenseman Jason Goulet are on the 30-Day IR.
The Thunder plays their inaugural game against Quad City on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Wichita then heads to Rapid City for a two-game series at Rapid City on Friday and Saturday. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m.
The Thunder next plays at home on Friday, January 7th when they host the Missouri Mavericks at 7:05 p.m. For tickets, call the arena box office at (316) 755-SEAT or visit the Thunder's official website at www.wichitathunder.com.
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