THUNDER CAPTAIN INJURED
Wichita Thunder captain Daniel Tetrault is going on 10-day injured reserve with a leg injury.
Coach Kevin McClelland, who received the MRI results Wednesday, said Tetrault was injured during the team's victory on Sunday at Tulsa.
"We lose our captain, and the word 'captain' means a lot in my book," McClelland said. "He's a leader in the dressing room, on the ice. He's got a great work ethic. There's a lot we're gonna miss with him out."
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To help offset the loss of Tetrault, who has two assists, the Thunder has added defenseman Mike Looby. The Thunder will be the fifth Central Hockey League team for the 6-foot Looby, who had nine goals and 29 points for the Laredo Bucks last year. He also played on the Bucks' 2006 championship team.
"He's a good defenseman with a lot of offensive upside," McClelland said. "He's an experienced guy who we expect a lot from."
* McClelland doesn't divulge much information about his goalie plans, but it would make sense that Marc-Antoine Gelinas starts one game this weekend, given that he shut out Tulsa and only has two games left on his five-game contract. And Marty Magers has been hot, winning games on Friday and Saturday. That would leave Ian Keserich, who started the season as the presumed No. 1, the odd man out.
* Gelinas (2.01) and Magers (2.36) rank in the top 10 in goals against in the CHL.
* The Thunder pounded Tulsa 8-0 on Sunday. While discussing that blowout, McClelland recalled a lopsided loss he suffered while a member of the Edmonton Oilers. On Feb. 12, 1984, the Hartford Whalers beat the Oilers 11-0. Not surprisingly, Wayne Gretzky missed the game with an injury. Also of note from the game, McClelland, a fiery and physical player, "KO'd Sylvain Turgeon with an elbow at 8:29," according to the Hartford Courant. McClelland said that Turgeon had just taken a shot and had his head down, adding that he didn't deserve the five-minute major he received.
"I always tried to play the game pretty clean and honest," McClelland said. "I wasn't trying to hurt him. I was just finishing my check and making him pay the price."
Rookie defenseman Steven Kaunisto leads the league with a plus-10.
Doug Groenestege is coming to town on Friday, and that usually means bad news for the Thunder. The Arizona goalie is 11-0 against the Thunder.
TAP OF THE STICK
McClelland passed post-game interview duties to assistant Jason Duda after Saturday's win. It surprised me and Duda both, but I like the move. It shows McClelland's respect for Duda's opinion, adds to Duda's responsibilities, and provides a different perspective for the millions of Thunder fans who read my stories.
The Thunder's Spirit Cam is generally a cool feature. During lulls in the game, the Intrust Bank Arena giant video board shows pictures of fans, who mug dutifully for the camera. But on Saturday, the Spirit Cam locked in on Thunder goalie Ian Keserich, who was inactive and sitting in the stands for the second straight game. Good-guy Keserich did his best, waving once he realized he was on screen. Still awkward.
Number of goals the Thunder scored in the shutout of Tulsa. The Thunder hadn't scored that many goals in a game since beating Memphis 8-3 on Dec. 8, 2006. Duda had five assists that day.
HE SAID IT
"It's given me gray hairs."
—Goalie Marty Magers after the Thunder had to kill a penalty in the final minutes before holding on to win Saturday