WICHITA, Kan. (Dec. 29) – The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, AHL's San Jose Barracuda and powered by Toyota, returns to action tonight at 7:05 p.m. to start a three-game mini-series against Kansas City at INTRUST Bank Arena.
This is the sixth meeting of the season between the Thunder and the Mavericks. All-time, Wichita is 88-65-23 against Kansas City and 47-28-8 at home against the Mavericks.
Kansas City is one of the best road teams in the ECHL so far this season, going 11-2-0. Tonight is just the second meeting of the year between the two at INTRUST Bank Arena. The last four contests took place at Cable Dahmer Arena. Wichita won the last meeting in Independence, 6-4, just after Thanksgiving.
Both teams are coming off wins last weekend. The Thunder claimed a 4-3 victory on December 23 against Tulsa. The Mavericks are also coming off a win over the Oilers, claiming a 2-1 victory on December 22.
Wichita is tied in fourth place in the Mountain Division with 24 points. Kansas City is in second place with 41 points.
The Thunder will have to endure some changes to the lineup tonight. Defenseman Gannon Laroque was reassigned to the Barracuda on Thursday. Coming the other way was Connor MacEachern, who has been loaned to the Thunder.
Special teams has been a key factor so far in the season-series between the two teams. Wichita is 3-for-10 on the man advantage against the Mavericks, operating at a 30% clip against the Mavericks. Kansas City is 3-for-15 on the power play against the Thunder, good for a 20% rate.
THUNDERBOLTS...Jay Dickman is tied for 16th in scoring with 28 points...Xavier Pouliot is second among rookies with 49 penalty minutes...Kelly Bent is tied for second with five major penalties...Lleyton Moore is second in power play assists for rookies (8) and tied for fourth in power play points for rookies (10)...Ryan Finnegan is sixth in shooting percentage (26.3%)...Wichita is fifth on the power play at home (26.1%)...Wichita is 5-4-2 when scoring first...Wichita is 5-2-2 when leading after one...
MAVS NOTES – Max Andreev is tied for fourth in scoring (33), tied for second in assists (24) and leads all rookies in points...Cade Borchardt is fourth in assists (23) and eighth in points (31)...Patrick Curry is third in shots (111)...Nolan Walker is second in shooting percentage (32.6%)...Kansas City averages just 8.14 penalty minutes per game, which is third-lowest in the league...
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