By now you know, it is expected to be a stormy evening in the Wichita area. Thunder fans hope the expected rough weather is a good omen for their team as they set off on their final three games of the season.
In order to make the Kelly Cup Playoffs, Wichita must do something they have not done all year — beat the Oilers in two straight games. Bruce Ramsay’s club has absolutely owned Wichita this year, winning 10 of the 12 matchups in the season series. To go deeper, the Oilers have won four-straight wins over Wichita, by a combined score of 20-7.
Tulsa’s rookie goalie Kevin Carr has been dynamite against Wichita, going 10-1-1 with a 1.98 goals against average and a .935 save percentage in the series. Carr suffered an injury last week against the Allen Americans and it remains to be seen if he will play tonight against Wichita.
The Thunder are missing Nikita Kashirsky, who is out for the season with a lower-body injury, suffered the last time these two teams played at Intrust Bank Arena. Since Kashirsky’s absence, players like Danick Gauthier, Ian Lowe, Kenton Miller and Justin Bernhardt have picked up the slack. In each of the Thunder’s games this month, all four have collected points.
Grant Rollheiser has been solid in between the pipes for the Thunder. In 11 starts, he is 6-4-0-1 with a 2.36 goals against average and .918 save percentage.
“We like what we have in front of us to try to finish this off,” Thunder coach Kevin McClelland told the Wichita Eagle.
The odds of the Thunder making the playoffs are long. But if they are to do it, they will need to play with as much ferocity as the weather that could hit the Wichita area later today.