WICHITA, Kan. – After a very busy four-game slate the week prior, the Wichita Thunder played the Kansas City Mavericks last week for a three-game mini-series.

We’ll look back at that games, plus get you caught up on all the Thunder news and notes.

Let’s get started, shall we!

Game #11 — Tuesday at Kansas City @ Silverstein Eye Centers Arena

Playing their second kids’ day game in six days, the Wichita Thunder traveled to Independence to take on 5,800 screaming kids and the Kansas City Mavericks at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Dyson Stevenson led the way with a goal and an assist. Jared Wilson and Travis Brown each found the net in the losing effort.

The Mavericks didn’t waste any time to get on the board as Greg Betzold put back a rebound at 2:25 of the first period to make it 1-0. Brown tied the game at 17:34 as he fired a slap shot from the deep slot past Ben Halford.

In the second, Wilson tallied his first as a pro at 8:14 to give Wichita a 2-1 lead. He caught a pass across the slot from PC Labrie and beat Halford from the left face-off dot.

Kansas City scored four unanswered starting at 13:45 of the second frame. During a power play chance, Rocco Carzo found his own rebound and popped it over Dylan Wells to tie the game and scored his sixth of the year. At 18:08, Mike Panowyk found the net to give the Mavericks the lead for good. Wichita got caught on a change at their bench and Panowyk capitalized during a two-on-none break.

Jared VanWormer made it 4-2 at 2:40 of the third period, adding another power-play tally for the Mavericks. Darian Dziurzynski recorded his fourth of the season at 3:36 to make it 5-2 with Kansas City’s third power play goal of the contest. Stevenson cut the lead to 5-3 with 25 seconds left, but time would run out and the Mavericks skated away with the win.

Game #12 — Friday vs. Kansas City @ INTRUST Bank Arena

With some new faces in the lineup, the Thunder played about as perfect of a game as you can get at this level, shutting out the Kansas City Mavericks 4-0.

Stuart Skinner recorded his first professional shutout and his fifth win of the season.

Game #13 — Saturday vs. Kansas City @ INTRUST Bank Arena

In a see-saw battle, it was the Kansas City Mavericks that got the final word Saturday night.

Steven Iacobellis stayed red hot with the first goal of the game at 4:42 of the opening period. During a power play, he caught a pass from Brown and fired a shot through traffic that got through Mason McDonald to make it 1-0.

Kansas City answered at 11:29 as David Dziurzynski beat Stuart Skinner with a wrist shot on a breakaway for his sixth of the season.

In the second, Nolan Vesey tallied his first goal as a professional at 4:48 to make it 2-1. The Thunder slowed down an odd-man rush and Vesey carried the other way on a three-on-two break.


Ryan Van Stralen increased the lead to 3-1 at 3:19 of the third period as he got to a rebound and found a wide-open cage.

The Mavericks clawed back into the game and cut the lead to one with a goal from Jared VanWormer at 5:34. Darian Dziurzynski tied the game at three at 16:43, finding a loose puck near the crease and recording his fifth of the year. For the second time in the season-series, the two teams headed into overtime, but neither side could connect.

In the shootout, Mark Cooper and David Dziurzynski were successful while Steven Iacobellis scored for Wichita. McDonald stopped Van Stralen at the bottom of round four and the game ended with Kansas City taking a 4-3 win.

Major Stats Through Six Weeks of the Thunder Season:

 

Team Storylines:

Yak: Steven Iacobellis has been piling up the for the Thunder since the calendar turned to November. The 24-year-old centerman has points in seven straight contests (5G, 5A) and had three goals over the weekend against Kansas City.  He is also tied for the team lead in points (12) with Labrie.

Dyce: The Wichita captain is starting to heat back up again offensively. In the three-game set with Kansas City last week, he piled up four points (1G, 3A). Not on the scoresheet were all the blocked shots he had, especially on Friday night. In the first period alone, Stevenson had four blocked shots, including one that saw him go to the bench in a heap.

“THAT’S WHAT HE DOES. HE SETS THE TONE EVERY NIGHT. WHETHER IT’S A BIG HIT, FIGHT, BLOCKED SHOT…HE DOES ALL THAT AND IT TUMBLES TO THE REST OF THE GUYS ON THE BENCH,” CAMERON SAID.

Brownie Points: After a slow start to the season, defenseman Travis Brown has started to pile up the points again for Wichita. The fourth-year defenseman saw his four-game point streak come to an end Friday night but rebounded Saturday with a pair of assists. For the year, Brown has eight points (4G, 4A) in 13 games.

Shoring Up the ‘D’: After seeing three defensemen go down with injuries in consecutive games, the defensive group for the Thunder is starting to get healthy. Tyler Elbrecht returned to the lineup Friday night after missing three-plus weeks with an upper-body injury. Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin and Dylan Labbe are still out with injuries and their timetables for return is not known.

Last Thursday, the Thunder acquired Eric Roy from the Allen Americans in exchange for forwards Greg Chase and Mitch Maloney. Roy has played in 172 regular-season games and piled up 101 points (42G, 59A), including three straight 30-point seasons. In the Kelly Cup Playoffs, Roy has posted 28 points (6G, 22A) in 41 games, including 21 points (5G, 16A) in 23 Kelly Cup playoff games in 2016. In his career, 47 of Roy’s 101 points have come on the power-play (19G, 28A).

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:

Allen: 3-1-0-0
Kansas City: 1-1-1-1
Tulsa: 0-0-1-0
TOTAL: 4-2-2-1

They Said It: 

When discussing what went into Thursday’s trade for Roy, Malcolm Cameron explained how the Thunder were dealing from a position of strength:

“When you have that many forwards, it’s hard to keep everyone happy,” Cameron remarked. “It’s also hard to keep the same lineup every night because you’re trying to get guys in the lineup that you haven’t played a lot and I wanted some more continuity with the lineup. To get something, you have to give something good up. And d-men are a hot commodity and there aren’t as many experienced d-men out there as forwards.”

Cameron went on to remark that the market had been set earlier in the week, when Idaho traded for Colton Saucerman.

Comings and Goings:

Here’s a breakdown of the player movement over the last week for Wichita:

DATE: TRANSACTION:
Nov 12 (F) John McFarland assigned to Wichita by Bakersfield
Nov 13 NONE
Nov 14 NONE
Nov 15 Traded (F’s) Greg Chase & Mitch Maloney to Allen for (D) Eric Roy
Nov 16 Added (D) Eric Roy to roster, activated (D) Tyler Elbrecht & (F) Ryan Van Stralen from 14-day IR
Nov 17 NONE
Nov 18 NONE

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 Tuesday, November 20 7:05 pm CT BOK Center
Tulsa Oilers Wednesday, November 21 7:05 pm CT INTRUST Bank Arena
Kansas City Mavericks Friday, November 23 7:05 pm CT Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Tulsa Oilers Saturday, November 24 7:05 pm CT BOK Center
Kansas City Mavericks Tuesday, November 27 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 (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!

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