Wichita, KS (September 12th) – The Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League announced today that they have come to terms with forwards Matt Tassone, Ian Lowe and defenseman Jon Madden for the 2012-13 season.
Tassone, 22, spent last year with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. A sixth-round draft pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars, Tassone enters his third season as a pro. Last year, he tallied 13 points (5g, 8a) in 23 games with the Reign. He began his professional career in 2010-11 with the Idaho Steelheads, where he scored 10 points (7g, 3a) in 32 games.
“I am excited to get going in Wichita,” said Tassone. “It’s a fresh start for me. I have heard great things about Wichita and can’t wait to get started with the Thunder this season.”
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward had a terrific junior career, racking up 73 goals and 119 points in 187 games with the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. During the 2008-09 season, the St. Albert, Alberta native scored 55 points in his first 52 games.
Lowe, 26, comes to Wichita after playing his rookie season with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound center was third on the team with 12 assists and 19 points before being called up to the Texas Stars of the AHL in late December. Lowe finished the season with 26 assists and 36 points in 68 games with the Steelheads. He also earned the 2011-12 Idaho Steelheads Character and Leadership Award.
“I am excited to have the chance to play in Wichita and help them win a championship,” commented Lowe. “I have heard nothing but great things about the organization, city and area. I am excited to get to Wichita and get on the ice for the upcoming season.”
A native of Bradwardine, Manitoba, Lowe played four seasons at Bemidji State University. He tallied 37 goals and 79 points in his career with the Beavers, ranking him 11th on the school’s all-time Division I scoring list. During the 2009-10 season, he led the team in scoring with 21 goals. Prior to college, Lowe played four seasons for the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL and is the all-time leader in scoring for Swan Valley (308 points in 237 games) and second in goals (107).
Madden, 24, begins his rookie season after joining the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees last March for their playoff run. The Brighton, MI native spent four years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (NCAA DIII), where he was named to the U.S. College Hockey Online All-West Rookie Team. In his freshman season, he recorded 17 goals. The versatile 6-foot-2, 210-pounder was asked to switch positions for his senior season and became a physical presence on the blue line for the Pointers. Madden was a three-time NCHA Honorable Mention honoree. He finished his college career with 37 goals and 71 points.
“I am excited about the opportunity to play for a great organization like the Thunder,” said Madden. “They have a great fan base and it’s a great community to play hockey in. As a rookie, I feel like I couldn’t have found a better home.”
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.