Sunday, December 27, 2009

Insider Preview - Texas Brahmas vs. Wichita Thunder

First meeting of season at NYTEX today

Now in their 17th season, the Wichita Thunder has never had to suffer through a season like this. With a record of 3-21-3 and 9 points, they are mired at the bottom of the Central Hockey League standings. I can go on an on about the tribulations of the Thunder, but I won't because I think the whole situation stinks and I hate to see any team going through all the things they are going through.

There are no cake walks in professional hockey and although one might think today's game was a given, sometimes it's the teams that you least expect, that pull out the win. You can be sure Dan Wildfong is telling his boys that today is not the day to take off.

The Brahmas are 8-4-0 at home. The Thunder are 1-10-1 on the road.

The Brahmas are coming off last night's 3-2 overtime road loss against the Allen Americans. They have won seven of their last 10 games. The Thunder are coming off a 6-2 road loss to Missouri (last night). They have not won a game since November 20th at home against Arizona. That's 14 straight losses. 'Nuff said.

Wichita's top three scorers include Glenn DeTulleo (C) with 22 points (4 G, 18 A, -4), Marc Belanger (F) with 15 points (9 G, 6 A, -2) and Jim Jorgensen (D) with 12 points (4 G, 8 A, -3). Jorgensen is also their leading defensive scorer. DeTulleo is their leading road warrior with leads the home ice scoring with 11 points (2 G, 9 A, +2).

Allen’s top goons are defensemen Chris McAllister (100 PIM) Chris Kovalcik (72 PIM).

On special teams, the Thunder have the worst power play with a 9.21 percentage (worst on the road at 6.60%) and the worst penalty kill with an 78.29 percentage (worst on the road at 72.0%). They have scored three short-handed goals this season.

Scott Campbell (2-13-1) is expected in net for Wichita.

The Brahmas top three scorers are Jordan Cameron (F) with 29 points (8 G, 21 A, +4), Grant Jacobsen (F) with 20 points (13 G, 7 A, +1) and Kevin McLeod (D) with 19 points (10 G, 9 A, 0). McLeod is the Brahmas' leading defensive scorer.

On special teams, the Brahmas remain are ranked 13th in the league with a 11.70 percentage and eighth on the penalty kill with an 83.43 percentage. They are second in the league in short handed goals with eight.

I'm unsure as to who will start in net for the Brahmas. Joe Palmer (7-3-3-1) played last night. He is ranked fifth in the league with a 2.54 GAA and sixth with a .913 save percentage. Brett Jaeger (7-7-1) is ranked 11th in the league with a 3.05 GAA and 17th with a .892 save percentage.

As of this writing, left wing/coach Jason Duda is not expected to play.

For the Brahmas, Kevin McLeod and Lee Jubinville remain out on Injured Reserve.

The game begins at 4:05pm and will be broadcast on CHL-TV if you can't be there.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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