WICHITA, Kan. – The second week of the Wichita Thunder season featured a home-and-home set and conclusion of a three-game series with the Allen Americans.
Let’s get started, shall we!
Game #3 — Friday vs. Allen at INTRUST Bank Arena
To say this game was played “wide-open,” would be an understatement. On this night, Wichita and Allen combined for 11 goals — including eight in the second period — but the Thunder had the last word, winning 6-5 in a shootout.
Ralph Cuddemi got on the scoresheet for the first time this season, firing a low blocker-side shot by C.J. Motte to give Wichita a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Braylon Shmyr (three times) and Dante Salituro netted goals for the Americans; while Dyson Stevenson (twice), Tyler Elbrecht, and Hayden Hodgson got on the scoreboard for Wichita. By the end of the period, a 1-0 Wichita lead became a 5-4 Thunder advantage.
Alex Breton would level the score at 5-5 for Allen in the mid stages of the third period, but for the second week in a row, Colin Jacobs scored the game-winning goal for the Thunder in the shootout.
Game #4 — Saturday @ Allen at Allen Event Center
One night after a shootout on the scoreboard, the Thunder and Americans decided to let the fists fly in the Americans’ home opener.
For the second straight game, the Wichita captain potted two goals as the Thunder took the final game of the three-game set between the two teams, 4-1.
Tempers started to flare with two minutes to go in the second when two separate fights broke out as Stevenson tangled with Josh Atkinson, while Tyler Elbrecht went with Zach Pochiro. The rough stuff continued into the third period when P.C. Labrie and Josh Thrower went at it. After knocking out Josh, his brother, Dalton, got involved and another melee ensued. Dalton Thrower was assessed 27 penalty minutes and sent to the dressing room.
When the dust settled, Wichita and Allen combined for 112 penalty minutes, the most in an ECHL game so far this season.
I shared some impressions from the three-game set, here: https://thesinbin.net/initial-impressions-from-the-wichita-allen-three-game-series/
All the Stats:
Overall: 3-1-0-0 (6 pts)
Division Rank: 2nd in Mountain Division/3rd in Western Conference
Leading Scorer: Stevenson — 5 pts
Goals: Stevenson — 4
Assists: Colin Larkin and Jared Wilson — 3 each
Plus/Minus: Two at +2 — Larkin and Matt Schmalz
Goals For: 13
Goals Against: 12
Power Play: 1-22 (4.5% conversion rate, 25th in ECHL)
Penalty Kill: 20-20 (100% kill rate, T-1st in ECHL)
Penalty Minutes: 24 — P.C. Labrie
Goaltending: Stuart Skinner 3-0-0, 2.53 GAA, .928 save percentage
Dylan Wells, 0-1-0, 4.00 GAA, .882 save percentage
Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun: Wichita Thunder captain Dyson Stevenson added a much-needed scoring punch to the lineup this past weekend. The four goals in two games by Stevenson mark the first time in his career he’s had back-to-back multi-goal games.
Up the Charts: Malcolm Cameron continued his climb up the ECHL wins list this past weekend, passing Allen head coach Steve Martinson for fifth on the ECHL wins list, with 375. Martinson and Cameron have combined for 749 career regular-season wins.
Early Returns: When scoring the first goal this season, Wichita is 3-0-0-0. When scoring first last season, Wichita was 22-9-1-1.
Mixed Reviews: The power-play continued to struggle for Wichita this past weekend, but was able to get it’s first marker of the season — on their 22nd chance — thanks to Jakob Stukel. In each of the games this weekend, the power-play units looked more in sync with each other and moved the puck better than opening weekend.
On the flip side, Wichita is one of six teams in the league that hasn’t allowed a power-play goal through the first weekend. Kansas City, Jacksonville, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, and Atlanta are the others.
The Road to “25”: A magic number for Thunder fans to follow is “25,” which represents the number of wins the team would likely need against Tulsa, Kansas City, and Allen to be significant contenders for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Last season, Wichita went 15-12-2-0 against those three teams. This season, Wichita played those three teams 40 times (Allen and Tulsa 14 times each, Kansas City 12 times.) Here is a breakdown of the team’s record against the Thunder’s three foes:
Kansas City: No Record
Tulsa: No Record
Comings and Goings:
Here’s a breakdown of the player movement over the last week for Wichita:
|Oct 18||Placed (F) Ryan Van Stralen on 14-day IR retroactive to October 14|
|Oct 20||(D) Jake Kulevich recalled by Bakersfield, place (F) John McFarland and (F) Colin Jacobs on reserve, activated (D) Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin from reserve|
The Next Five:
Here’s a look at the next five opponents for the Wichita Thunder. Home games are in bold italics and all times Central.
|Opponent||Date & Game Start Time||Venue|
|Tulsa Oilers||Saturday, October 27 7:05 pm CT||BOK Center|
|Kansas City Mavericks||Friday, November 2 7:05 pm CT||Silverstein Eye Centers Arena|
|Utah Grizzlies||Sunday, November 4 4:05 pm CT||INTRUST Bank Arena|
|Utah Grizzlies||Wednesday, November 7 10:30 am CT||INTRUST Bank Arena|
|Utah Grizzlies||Friday, November 9 7:05 pm CT||INTRUST Bank Arena|
Join Matthew Will and me for The Sin Bin Pregame show before every Wichita Thunder game this season! Home pregame shows begin at 6:30 pm, with road pregame shows starting 20 minutes before puck drop! You can tune in on ECHL TV, on mixlr.com, or by downloading The Sin Bin app for Apple & Android devices!