The Wichita Thunder ended its season 27-30-9. After playing in two consecutive championships, this year they fell short of the postseason.
"Guys that have been here through the last two runs to the championship finals know that it's tough to get back there," said head coach Kevin McClelland. "When the season was over we had a lot of proud guys in that locker room that were disappointed with the season obviously."
In the locker room after the Thunder's final loss to Arizona, McClelland said you could hear a pin drop.
"It was quiet," he said. "I've never seen it that quiet and you know we had been talking about it all week and wanted to conduct ourselves in the right way and go out with a good feeling and know that guys are competing for jobs next year."
The Thunder may lose a few key players but mainly forward Matt Robinson, a four-year Thunder veteran and eight-year pro veteran, said he is announcing his retirement from the CHL.
"I kind of made up my mind before the season even happened," Robinson said. "You know the body gets banged up from playing so long and I don't think it hit me until that final buzzer in Arizona and it was definitely a sad feeling knowing that there are no more bus rides, road trips or just hanging out with the guys. Maybe I can convince my wife to let me come back just one more year but we will see."
The team held an end of the season gathering at the Wichita Ice Center to recognize the Thunder's fan support and wrap up a tough season on the ice.
"Our fans give us so much support and they are at every game," said goalie Taylor Nelson . "They were voted the most annoying fans in the league and they travel real well too. We had quite a number of fans in Arizona which isn't a short trip so to have fans that are willing to come all that way and support us is great."