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Thunder bolsters offense, defense with key additions

WICHITA, KS- The Wichita Thunder today announced the re-signing of defenseman Travis Wight, as well as the additions of forwards Thomas Beauregard, Tim Kraus, Matt Summers and goaltender Ryan MacDonald.

A sixth-year pro out of Fannystelle, Manitoba, Wight returns to the Thunder for a second season.  A durable, stay-at-home defenseman, Wight notched 13 points last season, while appearing in all 66 games.

Prior to joining the Thunder, Wight played three seasons for the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, where he was a member of the 2007 ECHL Champions.  Before turning pro, Wight played four years of college hockey at NCAA powerhouse the University of Maine.
           
Perhaps Wichita’s biggest off-season acquisition, Beauregard brings his high-scoring exploits to Wichita after spending his entire pro career in the ECHL and the AHL.  Following a 71-goal, 124-point season with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Beauregard turned pro in 2007 with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones and promptly tallied 31 goals and 65 points in his rookie season.
           
This past season, Beauregard notched 39 goals and 67 points, splitting time between the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers and Elmira Jackals.  He also appeared in two games for the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.  In 165 career games, Beauregard has amassed 87 goals and 164 points.  His older brother David was named the 1998 CHL Rookie of the Year while playing for the Thunder.

Another ECHL alumni, Kraus is entering his fourth pro season.  Following an impressive junior career in the Western Hockey League, Kraus turned pro in 2008 with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign, notching 15 goals and 48 points as a rookie.  He followed that performance up with a 16-goal, 53-point season the following year in Ontario.  Kraus split this past season between Ontario, the Victoria Salmon Kings and the Las Vegas Wranglers.
           
Summers joins the Thunder from the Mississippi RiverKings where he has spent the last three seasons.  He recorded career-highs a year ago with 28 goals and 52 points.  Summers has spent his entire four-year pro career in the CHL, scoring 69 goals and 178 points in 233 games.

A sixth-year pro, MacDonald joins the Thunder from the Lausitzer Foxes in Germany, where he has notched six shutouts and a 3.05 goals against average over the last three seasons.
           
Prior to turning pro, MacDonald enjoyed a stellar junior career playing in the Ontario Hockey League.  In 2005 – his final junior season - he picked up 35 wins for the Guelph Storm, including four shutouts and a 2.57 goals against average.  He turned pro in 2006 with the ECHL’s Fresno Falcons, recording 16 wins, four shutouts and a stellar .925 save percentage.

The Wichita Thunder will open their 20th CHL season on Friday, October 21 versus the Rapid City Rush and tickets are expected to go on sale September 14.  Tickets for Wichita’s exhibition games on October 14 and 15 versus the Tulsa Oilers are on sale now and can be purchased at the Thunder office, located at 505 W. Maple at the Wichita Ice Center.  For more information or to order season tickets, call the Thunder office at (316) 264-GOAL or visit us online at www.wichitathunder.com.

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