WICHITA, KS – Ahead of a pivotal pair of road games against their division rival Allen Americans, the Wichita Thunder will have some reinforcement in between the pipes.
Thursday morning, the Bakersfield Condors announced they had reassigned netminder Nick Ellis to the Thunder from the Condors.
This season, the 24-year-old native of Millersville, MD is 8-8-1-0 with the Condors this season, with a 3.06 goals against average, a .902 save percentage and a shutout. Additionally, he received a call-up to the National Hockey League in early December when Oilers’ netminder Cam Talbot went down with an injury but did not play during his stint with the big club. Ellis has never played in the ECHL, so if/when he plays, it will be his first ECHL action.
Last season with the Condors, Ellis posted a 16-12-1 record with a 2.69 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Making his way west is rookie forward Evan Polei. The power forward is having significant success with the Thunder this season, potting 17 points (8G, 9A) in 32 games and piling up 79 penalty minutes. Before his call-up, Polei had collected points in seven of his last eight games (3G, 5A).
“He has really matured and embraced what he is as a player,” says Thunder head coach Malcolm Cameron. “It’s an adjustment from juniors and it took a while, but he has been a really solid 200-foot player the last seven or eight weeks.”
Earlier this week, the Thunder placed Travis Ewanyk on the 21-day injured reserve retroactive to January 19. It is still not clear if the Thunder will have team captain Dyson Stevenson in the fold this weekend. Stevenson has been was placed on reserve ahead of last Saturday night’s game against the Colorado Eagles.
The Thunder defense will have their “shutdown” pair back this weekend, as Guillaume Lepine returns to the lineup after serving a seven-game suspension following the pregame brawl with the Americans on December 31.
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