Thunder Wins One, Drops Two
The Wichita Thunder went 1-2-0 last week, playing three games in three nights. Wichita fell 5-3 to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Friday night at home, allowing three shorthanded goals. The Thunder twice pulled within one goal in the third period, but were unable to tie the game. Troy Schwab, Matt Robinson, and Mike Looby all scored with Andrew Martens and Lance Galbraith each chipping in two assists. Marc-Antoine Gelinas saved 12 of 17 in the loss. The crowd of 10,114 at the INTRUST Bank Arena was the second-largest in the Thunder's 19-year history.
The Thunder earned a dramatic 4-3 overtime win versus Bloomington on Saturday night. Wichita overcame a 3-0 deficit, including a game-tying goal from Lance Galbraith with 47.3 seconds left in regulation. Aaron Davis scored the game-winner in overtime during a Thunder power play. Jesse Bennefield netted two goals, while Troy Schwab and Galbraith finished with three points each. Kevin Beech stopped 22 of 25 in the win in his Thunder debut. It was the Thunder's first home overtime victory since Jason Tessier beat Odessa in OT on February 7th, 2009 at the Kansas Coliseum.
The Thunder closed out the weekend with a 4-1 loss at Mississippi on Sunday. Daniel Tetrault tied the game at 1-1 in the third, but the RiverKings struck twice within 10 seconds shortly thereafter to re-gain the lead for good. Marc-Antoine Gelinas, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday, had a strong game, making 30 saves on 33 shots.
Wichita ranks second in the league at 3.80 goals per game.
The Thunder has allowed the fourth fewest shots in the league per game at 28.46.
Penalty Shot Bonanza
The Thunder has taken seven penalty shots this season, breaking the team's previous record of five set during the 2005-06 campaign. Wichita is 2 for 7 in their chances this year. Jesse Bennefield has been awarded a team-leading four penalty shots, going 2 for 4.
Gale Having Stellar Year
Right wing A.J. Gale had a 10-game point streak snapped on Sunday at Mississippi. It was Gale's third point streak this season of seven or more games. Gale was named the CHL's Player of the Month for December and has 45 points over his last 31 games and ranks tied for 14th in the league with 52 points for the season.
Bennefield Among League's Best
Right wing Jesse Bennefield is having a third consecutive all-star year in the CHL. Bennefield is tied for ninth in the league with 58 points and tied for eighth with 26 goals. Bennefield has 188 points in 160 CHL games over the last three seasons with Wichita and Rio Grande Valley.
Robinson Lighting the Lamp
Left wing Matt Robinson is tied for third in the league with 29 goals and 12th with 56 points. Robinson has scored 28 of his goals in just 37 games with the Thunder. Robinson had a seven-game point streak broken on Sunday afternoon.
Defenseman Andrew Martens is tied for third among CHL blue liners with 38 points and tied for first with 12 goals. Martens had a seven-game point streak snapped on Sunday in which he totaled four goals and eight assists.
Center Bobby Hughes is on the 10-Day IR. Center Matt Hubbauer is on the 30-Day IR. Left wing Brent Cullaton is on team suspension. Robin Richards, Jason Goulet, and Marty Magers have all served out their suspensions resulting from the February 5th game at Fort Wayne.
Catch the Thunder All Season
All 66 Thunder games are broadcast on either 93.5 FM KWME or 1550 AM KKLE. You can also listen to each game on the internet at www.kleyam.com Emerson Biggin's West (located at 21st and Maize) is the Thunder's official watch party sponsor of all road games. Thunder food and drink specials will be offered throughout the season.
The Thunder plays their lone game this season against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. at the Century Tel Center.
The Thunder returns home on Friday to host the Mississippi RiverKings at 7:05 p.m. for Alefs Harley Davidson Night.
Saturday, the Thunder hosts the Tulsa Oilers at 7:35 p.m. Prior to the regularly scheduled contest, the Thunder and Oilers will play their first ever alumni game at 5:30 at the INTRUST Bank Arena, presented by 104.5 The Fox. The gates open for the alumni game at 5:00 p.m. Fans can use their regular game ticket to gain admission to the event.
Saturday is also Jonathan Blank Benefit Night, in conjunction with Thankful American Citizens, The American Legion, American Legion Riders, Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Proceeds from the game will benefit Jonathan Blank, a US Marine Corps Sgt. and native of Augusta, KS, who injured in combat while in Afghanistan last October. More information about how to get involved can be found here: http://www.wichitathunder.com/jonathonblankbenefitnight.html
For tickets to next weekend's games, call the arena box office at (316) 755-SEAT or visit the Thunder's official website at www.wichitathunder.com.
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