The Wichita Thunder continues a grueling portion of its schedule tonight when Central Hockey League power Colorado visits Intrust Bank Arena.
After the current home-and-home with Colorado, which began Friday night with Wichita's loss in Loveland, the Thunder plays host to Rapid City, the CHL's defending champion, on Wednesday.
"When I looked at the schedule at the beginning of the year, I knew this would be our toughest stretch," McClelland said. "It's brutal, you know? You're not gonna get a tougher slate on your schedule than this."
Colorado , brings definite star power to town.
Kevin Ulanski was the league scoring champ (109 points) and most valuable player last season. In the league's Best of the Best poll, Riley Nelson was voted best overall player, and Aaron Schneekloth was chosen the outstanding defenseman.
Ulanski and Nelson padded their stats against the Thunder last season; Ulanski scored 17 points in eight games against Wichita, while Nelson had 14.
A Thunder player to watch is playmaker Aaron Davis. Last season in Tulsa, he had success against Colorado, scoring seven points in five games.
Colorado 7, Wichita 5 — The Thunder chased the Eagles all night Friday, but never caught up.
Colorado took a 3-0 lead in the first period. The Thunder pulled within 3-2 in the second period before allowing two goals later in the period. Third-period power-play goals by Davis and Mike Looby made it 6-5, but Colorado locked up the game with an empty-netter in the final minute.
The Eagles were 5 for 5 on the power play.
Notes — Colorado is third in the league in goals for (3.50) and goals against (2.57).... The Eagles are uncharacteristically below average on the power play, 13th in the CHL at 15.19.... In two of their three losses, the Eagles have given up the first goal.
Wichita0 2 3 — 2 Colorado3 2 2 — 7
Scoring—1, Colorado, Ulansky (Beatty) 3:56. 2, Colorado, Ulanski (Hogg, Rycroft) (pp) 13:03. 3, Colorado, Hogg (Desmet, Ulanski) (pp) 15:08. Penalties— Glasser, C (hooking) 6:37; Stanley, C (high sticking) 6:47; Wight, W (tripping) 12:51; Wight, W (interference) 13:31; Magers, W (holding stick) 13:39.
Scoring—4, Wichita, Gale (Robinson, Galbraith) 7:30. 5, Wichita, Robinson (Davis, Looby) 9:55. 6, Colorado, Peto (Glasser, Beatty) (pp) 15:44. 7, Colorado, Glasser (Schneekloth, Stanley) (pp) 17:56. Penalties— Scoran, W (board checking), 13:49; Richards, W (fighting) 19:11; Hau, C (fighting) 19:11; Hand, W (fighting) 20:00; Thurston, C (fighting) 20:00.
Scoring—8, Wichita, Scoran (Robinson), 1:34. 9, Colorado, Ulanski (Nelson, Stanley), 6:43 (pp). 10, Wichita, Davis (Kaunisto, Gale), 10:25 (pp). 11, Wichita, Looby (Bennefield), 15:21 (pp). 12, Colorado, Hogg, 19:07 (en). Penalties— Greene, W (too many men), 6:36; Hau, C (board checking), 9:41; Glasser, C (too man men), 11:23; Pete, C (interference), 14:50.
Shots—Wichita 12-12-13—37; Colorado 14-13-11—38. Saves—Wichita, Magers 37 shots, 21 saves; Colorado, Jones 37-32. Power plays—Wichita 2-6; Colorado 5-5. Referee—Peter Friesema. Linesmen—Seth Mukai and Chris Wilson. Attendance—5,289.