WICHITA, Kan. (Oct. 22) – Wichita begins season 31 tonight at home starting at 7:05 p.m. with one of its fiercest rivals, Allen.
The Thunder were off last night while the Americans lost to Tulsa , 4-3, at the BOK Center.
Wichita and Allen will get to know each other very well in the first portion of the season. The Thunder faces the Americans four times in the first five games of the season. Wichita heads to Allen next Saturday and Sunday for their first trip to the Credit Union of Texas Event Center. After the short mini-series, Wichita won't see Allen until mid-December.
Wichita is led by Jay Dickman, Brayden Watts and Stefan Fournier. Coming back for another season is Fournier, who will once again serve as the team’s Player/Assistant Coach. He netted back-to-back 40-point seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Last year, he began the season overseas before making his way back to the states. Dickman was the Thunder's leading scorer last year with a career-high 58 points. Watts returns to Wichita for a third season after tallying 46 points last year.
Over the summer, Wichita changed affiliations for the first time in five seasons. The Thunder have partnered with the San Jose Sharks and Barracuda for the 2022-23 campaign. San Jose sent the Thunder forwards Mark Liwiski, Mitchell Russell, Timur Ibragimov and Dillon Hamaliuk prior to training camp.
Evan Buitenhuis returns to Wichita for another season. He was voted to the All-Star Game last year after starting 16-straight games. Buitenhuis took over the Thunder record for consecutive starts in net for a Thunder goaltender. He was leading the league last year in minutes played and saves before heading to Europe in late February.
Wichita features some promising rookies this year. Quinn Preston was acquired in a trade with Toledo that completed a future considerations deal for Cam Clarke. Peter Bates was picked up from Atlanta that completed a future consideration trade for Jacob Graves.
Allen had a few big changes during the offseason. Hanging up his skates and taking over behind the bench is Chad Costello. He steps in for longtime Head Coach Steve Martinson, who didn't have his contract renewed.
The Americans also changed affiliations over the summer, partnering with the Ottawa Senators. In fact, the Thunder's first NHL affiliation was with Ottawa in 2017-18.
Allen returns a solid core which includes Spencer Asuchak, Jack Combs and Zach Pochiro.
Single game tickets are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets online here, at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena or by calling the Thunder office at 316-264-4625.
Season tickets for the 2022-23 campaign are still on sale. Fans can pay in full and receive 10% off. Lock in your seats for every game and enjoy all the benefits. Click here to learn more.