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Game Day Capsule: Wichita at Tulsa

Monday, February 1st
Game Day Capsule: Wichita at Tulsa

Tulsa, OK (Oct. 16th) - Wichita opens its second season tonight on the road against its longtime rival in the Tulsa Oilers. Get ready for the game with this Game Day Capsule:

TONIGHT'S MATCH-UPWichita at Tulsa - 7:05 p.m., BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

WICHITA 2014-15 RecordHOME: 16-16-0-4AWAY: 16-15-2-3OVERALL: 32-31-2-7

2014-15 LEADING SCORERSGauthier, 70 pts (30g, 40a)Lowe, 58 pts (20g, 38a)Wilson, 50 pts (13g, 37a)

TULSA 2014-15 RecordHOME: 18-16-1-1AWAY: 19-13-2-2OVERALL: 37-29-3-3

2014-15 LEADING SCORERSFisher, 77 pts (18g, 59a)Pleskach, 71 pts (41g, 30a)Jubinville, 63 pts (30g, 33a)

SEASON-SERIESOct. 16 BOK 7:05 p.m.Nov. 11 INTRUST 7:05 p.m.Nov. 27 BOK 7:05 p.m.Nov. 28 INTRUST 7:05 p.m.Dec. 18 BOK 7:05 p.m.Dec. 19 BOK 7:05 p.m.Dec. 26 INTRUST 7:05 p.m.Jan. 8 INTRUST 7:05 p.m.Jan. 9 BOK 7:05 p.m.Feb. 14 BOK 7:05 p.m.Apr. 6 INTRUST 7:05 p.m.Apr. 8 INTRUST 7:05 p.m.Apr. 9 BOK 7:05 p.m.

HEAD-TO-HEAD - This is the first meeting of the season between the Thunder and the Oilers. All-time, Wichita is 131-110-23 against Tulsa and 58-61-11 on the road in the series.

TODAY - Wichita and Tulsa both begin their second year as members of the ECHL. Tulsa outlasted the Thunder last season for the right to be the fourth seed in the playoffs. The two teams will once again be playing for the StoneWolf Casino Cup, which is awarded to the winner of regular season series. The Thunder kept its core from last year with Danick Gauthier, Ian Lowe, Kenton Miller and Todd Hosmer returning. During the off-season, the Oilers announced an affiliation with the Winnipeg Jets along with a new head coach as Bruce Ramsay took a position with Grand Rapids. In comes Jason Christie, who was the bench boss of the Ontario Reign for the last four years.

WELCOME BACK - Nine players return from last year's squad that just missed the postseason. Wichita's top four goal scorers are back (Gauthier, Lowe, Miller, Hosmer) while also adding some young forwards upfront. The only two returning defenseman are Dan Milan and Dalton Reum. Veteran Theo Peckham, who played 26 games for the Thunder, returns to Wichita after going overseas in late November of last year.

BROTHERLY LOVE - Michael Neal joins the Thunder after spending last year between Kalamazoo and Cincinnati. Neal's brother, James, plays for the Nashville Predators and is a former NHL Draft pick himself. He was selected in round 5 (#149 overall) by the Dallas Stars in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. In 328 career games in the ECHL, Neal has collected 158 points (65g, 93a).

YOUNG GUNS - Wichita will have a younger flavor this season, adding rookies Anthony Deluca, Mason Baptista and Cullen Bradshaw in the offseason. Deluca spent three seasons in the QMJHL with Rimouski Oceanic and had a career-high 91 points (44g, 47a) last year. Baptista and Bradshaw were teammates for four years at St. Norbert College, where they won two National Championships.

THUNDERBOLTS… Head Coach Kevin McClelland named Ian Lowe captain while giving the A to Dan Milan and Michael Neal...Ryan Ruikka and Grant Rollheiser were college teammates for two years at Boston University...Joey Sides, who appeared in just 12 games last season in Rapid City, had 40 points in 44 games with the Colorado Eagles in 2012-13...Brandon Martell attended AHL camp with the Lake Erie Monsters before returning to the ICT...Erick Lizon returns for his fifth season in Thunder blue and has finished with at least 75 penalty minutes each year...

TULSA NOTES - Kevin Carr returns after a solid year last season in net for the Oilers...Former Thunder blueliner Nathan Lutz is also back with Tulsa...Also back is Adam Pleskach, who finished with 71 points in 72 games last year...The Oilers traded for forward Brandon Wong, who split last season with Evansville and South Carolina finishing with 14 points in 19 games with the Stingrays...Phil Brewer, Brady Ramsay and Kyle Bochek are some of the familiar names back with the Oilers...

AROUND THE ECHL - There are 10 other games tonight in the ECHL. Brampton takes on Manchester. Adirondack goes to Elmira. Fort Wayne travels to Kalamazoo. Wheeling is at Norfolk. Atlanta goes to Forida. Toledo plays at Indy. Quad City flies to Allen. Utah is at Colorado. Rapid City heads to Idaho. Missouri takes on Alaska.

UP NEXT - Wichita opens up its home schedule against the Quad City Mallards at 7:05 p.m.

The Thunder open their second season in the ECHL tonight with a road game against longtime rival, Tulsa. The two teams will once again play for the StoneWolf Casino Cup, with the winner of the season-series grabbing bragging rights.

Opening Night is just around the corner against the Quad City Mallards! Join us for our Opening Night Block Party, brought to you by Toyota. Starting at 4 p.m., fans can congregate in front of Entrance A and B with all kinds of family fun activities.

The first 1,000 fans in the door that night will get a free voucher for a selfie stick, presented by Waste Connections. Fans who receive this voucher can pick up their prize on the way out of the arena.

Individual tickets for all games are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 855-755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com.

Season tickets are on sale now. Don't delay! Call the Wichita Thunder office and visit with a season ticket rep today to learn more. Stay up-to-date on all the news during the season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.

Follow along with us on our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter (@wichita_thunder), Snapchat (wichthunder), Instagram (Wichita_Thunder) and LinkedIn, presented by Wichita Brewing Company.

About the ECHL

The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 541 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 29 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.