RECAP: As Good As Gold
Season high crowd of 9,398 enjoys Roy’s record breaking shutout effort in “Golden Goalie” jersey
FINAL STATS: Box score
STOCKTON, Calif. –
AUDIO: Game Highlights – Thunder Replay
VIDEO: Highlights and postgame reaction from the locker room
FINAL STATS: Box score
STOCKTON, Calif. –Goaltender Olivier Roy made 36 saves and broke a Stockton Thunder (28-24-5, 61 points) record with his fourth shutout of the season, helping the Thunder sink the Alaska Aces in a 4-0 victory before a season high crowd of 9,398 at Stockton Arena on Saturday.
With Roy sporting the ECHL’s “Golden Goalie” jersey in lieu of the All-Star Game this season, the Thunder reduced its magic number to eight for a clinch of a Kelly Cup Playoff berth and Kevin Baker – wearing a special designed Thunder crest on his jersey as a “Silver Skater” – paced the offense with a three points (2g-1a).
Jordan Fulton and Chris D’Alvise each chipped in with a goal while Gabriel Levesque earned an assist in his first game back from injury.
“It’s hard to single out guys in a game where the whole team plays well as a whole, but Garet Hunt did what Garet Hunt does,” said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. “It’s that All Star recognition. Those guys got the Silver Skaters. Baker scored two and Olivier gets a shutout. Those three guys really got us going the right way, but everyone played well.”
Hunt – who wore the other metallic crest as a fan voted Silver Skater – put up two shots on goal and tussled with Alaska’s Matt Ambroz just 2:48 into the game.
The Thunder played off the energy and scored first on Baker’s 23rd goal of the season just six minutes into the game. He pounced on an Alaska turnover in the offensive zone and buried a wrist shot over James Reid’s glove.
Baker extended the lead to 2-0 with 6:30 left in the second on his second goal of the game when he converted a rebound at the goal mouth, seconds after Reid denied Mike Little’s bid on a delayed penalty.
Matt Foy then sprung Fulton on the rush with 2:12 left in the second period, who followed by pounding a slapshot past Reid from the left circle to hoist the Thunder to a 3-0 advantage.
Roy faced his busiest workload in the third period, where he made 15 saves including a desperation poke check on the Aces’ Brian Swanson, who nearly escaped the Thunder defense for a clean breakaway.
D’Alvise put the game out of reach with his fourth goal of the season on the power play with 4:54 left in regulation, hiking the lead to 4-0 on a rebound at the left post after Reid made a save on Baker’s one timer from the slot. Levesque earned an assist on the play with a pass to Baker from the right corner.
Reid took the loss with 22 stops.
NOTES: Scratched for the game were Tony DeHart (injured reserve), Sebastian Owuya (injured reserve), Ian O’Connor (healthy), Chris Doyle (healthy) and Cameron Abney (injured reserve) … Stockton improved to 4-5-0 in the series and 10-3-1 in the last 14 home games … Wes Goldie, who is two goals away from tying Rod Taylor’s all time ECHL record, was held scoreless on two shots on goal … the Thunder converted at a 1-of-3 clip on the power play.
The Thunder returns to play on tomorrow, wrapping up a three game series against the Aces, starting at 4:00 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/.
1. STK – 31 Olivier Roy
2. STK – 71 Kevin Baker
3. STK – 10 Chris D’Alvise