Wichita, KS (July 26th) – The Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League announced today the release of the 2013-14 regular season schedule, which will begin on Friday, October 18th.
Wichita is coming off another successful season in which the team finished second in the league in points and went to the CHL Finals for the second year in a row. The Thunder will begin the season with a pair of home games on opening weekend, hosting the Rapid City Rush on Friday, October 18th and the Allen Americans on Saturday, October 19th. The team will then travel to Allen on Sunday, October 20th to close out opening weekend.
The CHL's 10 member teams will all play in the Berry Conference with the other participating teams made up of the Allen Americans, Arizona Sundogs, Brampton Beast, Denver Cutthroats, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush, St. Charles Chill, and Tulsa Oilers.
Wichita will renew their close rivalry with the Missouri Mavericks as the two teams will see each other 10 times with the first two meetings in a home-and-home series on Friday, November 8th at the Independence Event Center and Saturday, November 9th at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Thunder will also take on rival, Tulsa, 14 times this season including seven of those meetings at home. Wichita and Tulsa are both entering their 22nd CHL seasons and are two of the oldest franchises in all of minor league hockey.
The Thunder home schedule will feature 29 weekend games, including 12 games on a Friday and 10 games on a Saturday. Wichita will also host seven Sunday games as well as a home game on the night before Thanksgiving. The Thunder will finish the season in Prescott Valley, Arizona for a three-game set against the Sundogs beginning on Wednesday, March 26th, which extends the regular season by one week.
The Thunder will begin the season with a heavy dose of home-ice, playing 11 of its first 18 games at INTRUST Bank Arena. Wichita led the league with 25 wins at home last season and will have a chance to get off to a fast start once again. During that stretch, Wichita will have its longest home-stand (six games) from Friday, November 22nd to Friday, November 29th. The Thunder will also welcome two new teams to INTRUST for the first time as the Brampton Beast make their debut on Friday, November 1st while the St. Charles Chill visit the ICT for a two-game set on Saturday, December 28th and Sunday, December 29th.
Each of the CHL's clubs will play a 66-game schedule with 33 home games and 33 road games. Weekends comprise a large majority of the schedule as 74% of the games will be played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (245 of the 330 games will occur over the weekends) and 64% of the games are played on the prime nights of Fridays and Saturdays.
The CHL Playoffs this season will feature the top eight point-getting teams and three rounds, all of which will be a best-of-seven format.
Individual tickets for all home games will go on sale in September. Season tickets are still available. A $50 dollar non-refundable deposit is required for all season tickets. Contact the Wichita Thunder Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at (316) 264-4625 if you are interested in season tickets. Stay up-to-date on all the news this off-season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.
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