WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita Thunder will close the first half of the ECHL regular season tonight, playing their final road game this month against the Kansas City Mavericks.

Looking Back…

The Wichita Thunder got a pair of healthy bodies back in the lineup Friday night and the additions paid immediate dividends, as they helped Wichita to a 4-0 win.

Read Matthew Will’s recap of the game: https://thesinbin.net/wichita-rides-two-early-goals-to-shutout-win/

Tonight’s Specifics

Venue: Silverstein Eye Centers Arena – Independence, MO.
First Face-off: 7:05 pm
How to Listen: The Sin Bin app/ECHL.TV
Pregame show starts at 6:40, game broadcast at 7 pm
Interact with Us During the Game: @SinBinThunder
Referee:
Liam Sewell
Linesmen: Chris Provost & Addison Brush

Overall Stats

  • Wichita leads the season series is tied 5-2-2-0
  • In the last five seasons, Kansas City is 33-22-2-1 against Wichita. But in the last two seasons, the series has tightened up, with Wichita earning a 10-4-4-1 record against the Mavericks.
  • With a win tonight, Wichita can move into fourth place (in points) in the Mountain Division.
    • Entering Saturday, Kansas City still holds three major tiebreakers: wins (19 to 16,) non-shootout wins (18 to 13), and goal differential (+3 to -13)

Thunder Notes

  • Steven Iacobellis has points in six of his last seven games. During the run, the rookie forward piled up 11 points (4G, 7A).
  • Jakob Stukel has five points in his last four games (1G, 4A)
  • Cam Reid has six points in his last six games (3G, 3A)
  • Gabriel Verpaelst registered an assist in his first game in a Thunder uniform
  • Dylan Wells returned to Wichita after spending more than a month with AHL Bakersfield. In his last six games with Wichita, he allowed eight goals on 193 shots faced (1.33 goals against average and a .958 save percentage)
  • Wichita’s power play snapped a 0-for-16 drought on the power play last night, going 1-for-4 on the man-advantage.
  • After struggling on the penalty-kill against Allen last weekend, the Thunder went 9-9 on the penalty kill last night.
  • This season against Kansas City, the Thunder power play is 11-for-30 (36.7% efficiency,) while the penalty kill has allowed nine goals in 46 times shorthanded (80.4% kill rate).
Possible Wichita Scratches:
  • Dyson Stevenson – injured reserve
  • Travis Brown – injured reserve
  • Lane Bauer – injured reserve
  • Additional scratches will be revealed closer to game time

Mavericks Notes

  • Mavs leading scorer, Mark Cooper, has signed a player tryout contract with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
  • Jared VanWormer rejoins the Mavs after a stint with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL). VanWormer leads the Mavericks with five goals against Wichita this season.
  • David and Darian Dziurzynski have combined for 13 points (7G, 6A) in nine games against Wichita. On the flip side, the brothers Dziurzynski are a combined -8.
Possible Kansas City Scratches:
  • Mark Cooper – AHL (San Antonio)
  • Cliff Watson – AHL (Utica Comets)
  • Brett Beauvais – has not played since January 4
  • Mason McDonald – has not played since December 21
  • Additional scratches will be revealed closer to game time

What to Watch For

Wichita will have some more roster stability entering tonight’s game, with PC Labrie and Cam Reid returning to the lineup after night’s off on Friday. Combined with the added injection of energy Stefan Fournier brought to the lineup on Friday, it should continue to give Wichita good boost. For the Thunder to have success against Kansas City tonight, they’ll need to continue to play tight defensively in front of Dylan Wells, while being opportunistic on the power play.

For Kansas City, the recipe to their success against Wichita this season has been a dogged puck pursuit and pressure on the forecheck, which causes Thunder puck-handlers to turn the puck over. The Mavs also have an impressive home-ice advantage, thanks to their crowd, look for them to play a much tighter game on home-ice.

Cruisin’ the Mountain

 

Up the Chain

AHL: Bakersfield travels to San Diego tonight at 7:00 pm PT/9 pm CT

NHL: Edmonton hosts Calgary at 7:00 pm MT/9 pm CT. It is the NHL.com free game.

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