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Crinella, Schmitz Return to Wichita

Monday, August 9th
Crinella, Schmitz Return to Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (Aug. 9) - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers and American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors, announced the re-signing of forward Peter Crinella and defenseman Garrett Schmitz for the 2021-22 season.

"I'm delighted to have both of these quality young men coming back for a third season," commented Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. "Peter has some of the best hands in the league. He has turned into a reliable two-way player for us. I'm looking forward to seeing his progress. In regards to Garrett, he played out of position all last season and didn't complain once. He works as hard as any player we have and shows up every night."

Crinella, 24, returns for his third season in a Thunder uniform. A native of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, the 6-foot-2, 192-pound winger appeared in 66 games last season collecting 29 points (14g, 15a). He potted 32 points (19g, 13a) in 52 games during his rookie campaign in 2019-20 and was named the team's Rookie of the Year. 

"I'm very excited to be back with the Thunder this year," said Crinella. "Since joining the team two years ago, I've really felt like we've been building toward something great. I hope this year we can take another step in the right direction. I also love the fans and playing at INTRUST Bank Arena."

Prior to turning pro, he spent four seasons at College of the Holy Cross. Crinella appeared in 129 games for the Crusaders, notching 48 points (21g-27a). He had his highest goal total of his collegiate career during his senior campaign, scoring 15 points (7g-8a) in 35 games.

Schmitz, who turns 28 on September 2, begins his third season in Wichita. A native of Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound versatile blueliner played mostly upfront last season. He recorded 12 points (6g, 6a) in 50 games after tallying 20 points (7g, 13a) in 55 contests in 2019-20. 

"I'm super excited to sign back with Wichita for a third season," stated Schmitz. "I can't wait for everything to be back to normal and play in front of the best fans in the ECHL."

He played his rookie campaign in 2018-19 for the SPHL’s Birmingham Bulls and was named- to the SPHL All-Rookie Team and First All-Star Team. He led all defensemen with four game-winning goals and tied for third on the Bulls with a +15 rating. In 50 games, he recorded 33 points (10g, 23a) and added four points (1g, 3a) in eight playoff games. Schmitz also earned a call-up to the Indy Fuel where he appeared in two games.

Prior to turning pro, Schmitz played a four-year career at Hamline University (NCAA D-III). He collected 30 points (12g, 18a) in 99 career games.

The Thunder will open their home schedule on Friday, October 29 against the Utah Grizzlies and close home-opening weekend on Saturday, October 30 as the Wheeling Nailers make their first-ever trip to the Air Capital. 

Season tickets for the 2021-22 season are on sale now. October is not far away and the schedule has been announced. Join Thunder Nation today and lock in your seat(s) for all 36 home games at INTRUST Bank Arena. For more information, click HERE.

FloSports is the official provider for ECHL TV for the 2021-22 season. Watch live events across all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromecast. To become a subscriber, click here.

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