RECAP: Out of Time

Sunday, 02.26.12 / 7:55 PM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

Thunder draw in 6,323 fans, score first goal of the game, take second straight loss

FINAL STATS: Box score
VIDEO: Highlights and postgame comments from the locker room
AUDIO: Game Highlights – Thunder Replay

STOCKTON, Calif. – Ian McKenzie scored a goal and added an assist to lead another four unanswered goal rally by the Bakersfield Condors, who sent the Stockton Thunder (27-23-5, 59 points) to a 5-2 defeat before a crowd of 6,323 at Stockton Arena on Sunday.

Bakersfield, entering the game with the worst record in the ECHL, authored its victory in the same fashion as Saturday night with four goals after the Thunder assumed a 1-0 lead in the first period. Stockton benefited from goals by Chris Doyle and Jordan Fulton and fell to 7-4-0 in the head to head series against its Pacific Division rival.

“Our players are professionals and grown men – they know when they don’t play well,” said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. “I expect them to bring a good effort this week in practice to get ourselves ready for this weekend. We got outworked tonight. It’s unacceptable at this time of year.”

Matt Keetley earned the win in net with 32 saves.

Jordan Fulton sparked a Thunder comeback attempt in the third period with his 10th goal of the season. (photo by Sean Blair)

After Bakersfield was nailed for a too many men on the ice penalty, Doyle’s 17th goal of the season lifted the Thunder to a 1-0 lead on the ensuing power play, when he ripped a wrist shot past Keetley from the left circle with 12:11 left in the first period.

Bakersfield then began its run with 1:48 left in the first period on Casey Pierro-Zabotel’s fifth goal of the season, leveling the score at 1-1 when he finished off a 2-on-1 rush at the left post.

McKenzie’s fifth goal of the season gave the Condors a 2-1 edge at 5:48 of the second period when he converted a rebound at the left post after Thomas Heemskerk stopped Parker Stanfield’s shot from the right circle.

A wrist shot from the high slot by Tyson Gimblett, which seared its way through a screen, extended the Bakersfield lead to 3-1 with 12:59 left after he converted a pass from Tyler Helfrich.

Kyle Calder then converted off a deflection at the goal mouth for a 4-1 edge with 3:37 left in the period, scoring his fifth goal of the year.

Fulton ignited a Thunder comeback attempt with 8:04 left in regulation, after Robbie Dee was injured on a shot block attempt. Jody Pederson collected a loose puck at the left circle and whipped a cross ice pass to Fulton at the right circle, whose wrist shot beat Keetley’s five hole for his 10th goal of the season.

The Thunder followed up with a flurry of scoring chances in attempt to cut the deficit to a goal, but Keetley preserved the 4-2 score with a series of saves including a stop on Mike Little’s redirection from between the circles.

Dee came back into the game and took a slashing penalty with 3:29 left, setting up a 6-on-4 Thunder power play with Heemskerk pulled for an extra attacker. Bakersfield spoiled the attempt on Peter Boyd’s empty net goal from the Condors zone with 2:46 remaining.

Heemskerk took the loss with 42 saves.

NOTES: Scratched for the game were Tony DeHart (injured, day to day), Sebastian Owuya (injured reserve), Gabriel Levesque (injured reserve) and Cameron Abney (injured reserve) … Bakersfield earned the lead in shots at 47-34 … Stockton fell to 9-2-1 in the last 12 home games … Foy’s assist on Fulton’s goal was his seventh point in the last six games … the crowd in attendance was the 13th this season of over 6,000 at Stockton Arena.

The Thunder returns to play on Friday for a three game series against the Alaska Aces, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Stockton Arena. The game will be carried on radio at 1280 AM KWSX and online for viewing (pay-per-view video charge) and listening (free of charge) at www.StocktonThunder.com, courtesy of AmericaOne.

A two-time recipient of the ECHL “Award of Excellence,” Thunder was voted “Best Local Sports Team” by readers of the San Joaquin Magazine, led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the sixth consecutive season in 2010-11. Season Tickets for 2012-13 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit http://www.stocktonthunder.com/.

THREE STARS
1. BAK – 27 Ian McKenzie
2. BAK – 12 Tyler Helfrich
3. STK – 18 Jordan Fulton

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