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Thunder signs key players

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, July 15, 2011, at 12:32 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, August 9, 2011, at 2:36 p.m.

Always a quick worker in the off-season, coach Kevin McClelland says he has 18 players signed for his second year with the Wichita Thunder.

McClelland gave fans something to talk about on Thursday, releasing the names of two key returners: high-scoring forward Matt Robinson and captain Daniel Tetrault.

Robinson, the team's leading goal scorer, and Tetrault, who played his best hockey in the playoffs, were important players for McClelland, who returned the franchise to Central Hockey League relevance in his first season.

McClelland guided the team to a 34-26-6 record and into the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Robinson, who had 39 goals and 66 points in 57 games in Wichita, was a CHL All Star.

"He had some opportunities over in Europe and he'll go to an American League camp," McClelland said. "This might be the last year we have him, so I hope fans enjoy him. With the way the hockey team is built this year, we need him to score a lot of goals."

Tetrault, a veteran defenseman, will serve as captain again, McClelland said.

"He was a stud for us in the playoffs," McClelland said. "He gives his heart and soul. Some guys are leaders in the dressing room, some guys are leaders on the ice. Tetrault's both."

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