WICHITA, Kan. – Following a dormant week for Wichita, a pair of reshuffled games due to COVID-19 and the unofficial Christmas break, the Wichita Thunder and the ECHL return to action Saturday night.
The Past Week:
- Wichita did not play this week, taking time to make changes to the squad, including bringing back a couple members of last years’ team.
Who’s In, Who’s Out:
- Wichita released goalie Daniel Urbani on December 18th.
- On the 19th, the Thunder announced the re-signing of Evan Weninger. Weninger was acquired by Wichita last year in a trade with the Allen Americans. His first game with Wichita was a 3-2 overtime win in Allen against his former team. Weninger brings some solid goaltending play to back up Mitch Gillam.
- Wichita announced they had released defenseman Dalton Skelly on the 22nd, the same day they announced that defenseman Riley Weselowski had been cleared to leave the Commissioner’s Exempt List (you can read more about this list under the “What is the ECHL’s COVID Testing Strategy” section here). The veteran defenseman was placed on reserve after being activated from the exempt list.
- Highlighting the week of movement was the re-signing of Wichita’s points leader in 2019-20, defenseman Patrik Parkkonen. Parkkonen was third among league defenseman in scoring last season, second in defenseman assists and 12th in defenseman points per game. Parkkonen immediately brings some much needed veteran strength to the blue line and will be a major factor in the continued development of young pairing Sean Allen and Jacob Graves.
The Coming Week:
Return to Action:
- The Thunder (1-0-0-0) continues their 2020-21 campaign on Saturday, December 26th, after a 14-day lay off. The break gave head coach Bruce Ramsay time to look at the squad and make necessary changes.
“Obviously I’ve got more players than I’m allowed to have in our lineup so I’ve got to make some decisions on who is going to play and who is not.” Ramsay said in an interview on the Thunder’s social medias on December 22nd. “We’ll be ready to go, the guys are definitely biting at the bit to play in a game situation.”
- Wichita travels to take on the Kansas City Mavericks (0-0-1-1) on Saturday night before traveling to Allen (2-1-0-0) for their New Year’s Eve showdown with the Americans. Wichita then hosts Allen on January 1st and 2nd to begin 2021.
Around the ECHL:
- There are five games scheduled for Saturday night, with Tulsa @ Allen being the only other Mountain division clash taking place. The games Saturday begin a nine-day streak of games in the ECHL with the Florida teams playing hockey through the beginning of next week.
From all of us here at The Sin Bin, we wish you happy holidays! We hope you enjoy time with family and friends, whether in person or virtually.