Ottawa starts

eSports teams

OTTAWA — Ottawa University has announced the formation of college eSports teams to begin competition in the fall of 2019.

Ottawa will be a member of the National Association of Collegiate eSports and will compete in games such as “League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Hearthstone.”

The addition of an eSports team brings the Ottawa athletic department up to 30 teams.

"The world of eSports is exploding,” Ottawa University Chancellor Kevin Eichner said. “Rather than jumping into this immediately as some have done, we at Ottawa have chosen to be very deliberative in our approach. For us, eSports is not just about the competition and all that goes with that element, it is ensuring that our program meets all of the needs of our student participants. We will be paying as much attention to how each of our eSportsters is growing academically, socially, and in their personal values and belief systems as to their win-loss track records. That said, we expect to set a high bar for this program in relation to others in terms of coaching, facilities, and all the rest.”

NACE currently has about 80 schools as members with more than 1,500 students competing.

Ottawa joins Kansas Wesleyan and Saint Mary as NACE members from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Other NACE members in the state include Central Christian College, Pratt Community College and Wichita State.

Thunder snaps

losing streak

WICHITA — The Wichita Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Kansas City Mavericks Tuesday in ECHL play at INTRUST Bank Arena.

Tied 2-2, Wichita scored three unanswered goals in the third period.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie scored two goals with an assist to lead Wichita. Jakob Stukel, Mark MacMillan and Jeremy Beaudry each scored a goal. Steven Iacobellis had three assists while Ralph Cuddemi dished out two assists.

Darian Dziurzynski and David Dziurzynski each scored a goal for the Mavericks.

Stuart Skinner stopped 26 of 28 shots in goal for Wichita. Nick Schneider stopped 22 of 27 shots for Kansas City.

The Mavericks fall to 14-8-1-1, fifth place in the ECHL Mountain Division. Wichita is 11-11-3-2, sixth place in the division.

Wichita plays Friday at Rapid City.

THUNDER SIGNS VET DEFENSEMAN — The Wichita Thunder Tuesday signed veteran defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst.

Verpaelst is a fifth-year pro who has 23 goals with 67 assists in 269 games. He also has two goals and four assists in 23 playoff games.

He has played with Bakersfield, Norfold, Utah and Colorado of the ECHL and Stockton and San Antonio of the American Hockey League. He helped lead Colorado to the Kelly Cup title in 2018.

Before turning pro, he played four seasons with Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scoring 21 goals with 45 assists in 262 games. He also had six goals with 17 assists in 47 playoff games. He helped lead Baie-Comeau to the QMJHL finals in 2013 and 2014.