WICHITA, KS – The Wichita Thunder hit the road for the first time during the 2016-17 season last week, playing the South Carolina Stingrays and Atlanta Gladiators.

The team’s four-game road trip was cut short due to a major malfunction with the ice plant at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, where the Thunder were scheduled to play the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. So far, the team’s have not announced whether the games will be made up or if different opponents will make up the games.

Photo Courtesy: Wichita Thunder
Photo Courtesy: Wichita Thunder

In the first game, against the South Carolina Stingrays, Matt DeBlouw scored the go-ahead goal at the 11-minute mark and rookie netminder Drew Owsley held the fort for his first professional victory, making 32 saves.

Then, in their first morning start as members of the ECHL, the Thunder spotted the Gladiators two goals but stormed back with four unanswered goals in the game’s final thirty minutes to secure a 4-2 victory. Louick Marcotte led the way with a goal and an assist and Alex Krushelnyski added two more helpers.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN: 

Home: 1-1-0-0
Road: 2-0-0-0
Overall: 3-1-0-0
Division Rank: 6th in the ECHL’s Central Division (6 points)
Leading Scorer: Alex Krushelnyski with 6 points (2G, 4A)
Goals: Krushelnyski, Alexis Loiseau, Jack Rodewald, Matt DeBlouw, Chris Rumble with 2 each
Assists: Krushelnyski — 4
Plus/Minus: +7 — Chris Rumble
Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 8
Power Play: 1-8 (12.5% conversion rate, 20th in ECHL)
Penalty Kill: 15-15 (100% kill rate, 1st in ECHL)
Goaltending: Scott Greenham 2-1-0, 2.35 GAA, .933 save percentage
                  Drew Owsley 1-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .970 save percentage

NEXT FIVE GAMES: 

Opponent Date & Game Start Time* Venue
Utah Grizzlies Friday, November 4 7:05pm CT INTRUST Bank Arena
Utah Grizzlies Saturday, November 5 7:05pm CT INTRUST Bank Arena
Tulsa Oilers Friday, November 11 7:05pm CT INTRUST Bank Arena
Tulsa Oilers Saturday, November 12 7:05pm CT BOK Center
Fort Wayne Komets Sunday, November 13 4:05pm CT INTRUST Bank Arena

*=> All times local
Home games are denoted in bold italics

Join Zach Courter and me before every Wichita Thunder home game this season beginning at 6:20pm for The Sin Bin/Wichita Thunder pregame show! You can tune in on ECHL TV, on mixlr.com or on the MixLr app for Apple & Android devices, just search Wichita Thunder.

TEAM HEADLINES:

ON THE MOVE – According to Tuesday morning’s AHL transaction wire, defenseman Chris Rumble and veteran forward Triston Grant have been called up to the Binghamton Senators. It is possible that Rumble and Grant’s call-ups could be short-lived, as Guillaume Lepine and Vincent Dunn were each suspended by the AHL on Tuesday.

GREENHAM GONE – Goaltender Scott Greenham is likely to be in Binghamton for a while due to a combination of injuries in net and personal issues within the Ottawa Senators team. Read more on the situation, here: http://thesinbin.net/goaltending-depth-in-senators-organization-being-tested/

CARDIAC KIDS – In all three of the team’s wins, the Thunder trailed in the game at some point. Wichita trailed 1-0 to both Missouri and South Carolina and fell behind 2-0 to Atlanta before finding a way to win. Wichita is 1-0-0-0 when trailing after one and 2-1-0-0 when trailing after two.

LIGHTNING ROD – Alexis Loiseau sparked the Thunder to both of their victories last week. He scored the game-tying goal in both games and also added a pair of assists. Both of his goals were of the highlight variety, weaving his way through traffic against South Carolina and banging in a rebound from his knees against Atlanta. The second-year forward finished the week with four points (2g, 2a).

RUM SAUCE – Chris Rumble recorded his second goal of the season on Thursday, which proved to be the game-winner at Atlanta. The Buffalo, New York native has points in all three games since being assigned by Binghamton and leads the team with a +7 rating. Rumble is six points shy of 50 for his career (13g, 31a).

FIRSTS – Gabriel Gagne scored a beautiful breakaway goal last Thursday to help give the Thunder a two-goal cushion against Atlanta. It was the 19-year old’s first professional goal and also led the team with seven shots on net. Gagne was selected #36 overall by the Ottawa Senators during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He has points in back-to-back games, assisting on the team’s game-winning goal on Tuesday night.

THE ROAD TO “21” – During the season preview podcast, I mentioned a magic number for Thunder fans to follow is “21,” which represents the number of wins the team would likely need against Tulsa, Missouri and Allen to be significant contenders for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Here is a breakdown of the team’s record against the Thunder’s three foes, who they will face 42 times during the season:

Allen: 0-0-0 (14 games remaining; 7H, 7A)
Missouri: 1-0-0 (13 games remaining; 5H, 8A)
Tulsa: 0-1-0 (13 games remaining; 6H, 7A)
TOTAL: 1-1-0

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