WICHITA, Kan. – Welcome to the lightest portion of the Wichita Thunder schedule for the entire 2018-19 season. Between October 21 and November 3 (14 days,) the team will play just two games, one of which came on Saturday night at the BOK Center in Tulsa.
Let’s look back at that game, and get you caught up on all the Thunder news and notes.
Game #5 — Saturday @ Tulsa at BOK Center
In the first of 14 meetings between the long-time foes, the Thunder forwards and defense looked extremely sluggish, while netminder Shane Starrett put up an all-world performance, stopping 52 Tulsa Oiler shots.
Despite being horribly outshot in the first period, it was P.C. Labrie who opened the scoring, potting the Thunder’s first shorthanded goal of the season late in the first period.
In the second, Jared Thomas scored to tie the game during a delayed penalty. He fired a long-range shot from the blue line that got through traffic and beat Starrett to even things up.
Wichita had some good pressure in the third with three-straight shifts with some good scoring opportunities. Both goalies stood tall and overtime was needed.
Fifteen seconds into the overtime period, Chris Forney went coast-to-coast, fired a backhand pass over to Charlie Sampair, who slid it just inside the glove-side post to end the contest.
The loss was Wichita’s first past regulation this season and the first loss sustained when scoring the first goal in a game.
Major stats through three weeks of the Thunder season:
Well-Rounded: Veteran forward P.C. Labrie is fitting into the ECHL quite well. In five contests, Labrie has three points (2G, 1A) in five games with the Thunder. He’s also “put on the foil” when needed this season, collecting a pair of fighting majors and is third in the ECHL with seven minor penalties.
Early Returns: Wichita scored the first goal in Saturday night’s contest, marking the fourth time this season that has happened. With the loss, Wichita’s record when scoring the first goal is 3-0-1-0. When scoring first last season, Wichita was 22-9-1-1.
Mixed Reviews: The power-play continued to struggle for Wichita this past weekend, going 0-2 on the man-advantage. Contrary to the previous weekend against Allen, the power-play looked discombobulated at times, thanks in part, to Tulsa’s forecheck.
On the flip side, Wichita the only team in the league not to allow a power-play goal through the first three weekends. The Thunder have killed off 26 straight penalties to start the season.
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
Comings and Goings:
Here’s a breakdown of the player movement over the last week for Wichita:
|Oct 23||Stuart Skinner (G) recalled by Edmonton to Bakersfield
Jared Wilson (D) recalled by Bakersfield
|Oct 24||Shane Starrett (G) assigned from Bakersfield by Edmonton|
|Oct 26||John McFarland (F) activated from reserve; Lane Bauer (F) placed on reserve|
|Oct 28||Shane Starrett (G) recalled to Bakersfield|
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|
|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|
|Allen Americans||Sunday, November 11 4:05 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 (3:30 pm CT on Sundays,) 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!