RECAP: In Too Deep

Wednesday, 03.21.12 / 11:06 PM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

FINAL STATS: Box score
AUDIO: Game Highlights – Thunder Replay

Thunder drops series finale in Southern California, Fulton nets lone Thunder goal

ONTARIO, Calif. – Goaltender J.F. Berube made 37 saves and defenseman Pat Bowen registered two assists to spearhead a wire to wire effort by the Ontario Reign, who sent the Stockton Thunder (32-30-5, 69 points) to a 4-1 defeat at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Wednesday.

Shane Madolora made 28 saves in his professional debut, battling J.F. Berube nearly save for save in the first two periods. (photo by Lee Calkins)

The Thunder dropped the head to head finale, finishing 5-5-2 against the Reign this season in spite of holding a 38-32 shots advantage.

Bill Bagron put Ontario up, 1-0 on a shorthanded goal at the 3:55 mark of the second period when he stole the puck at the Thunder blueline and snuck a wrist shot over the shoulder of Shane Madolora.

Berube kept the Thunder scoreless with 22 saves through two periods.

Ontario earned a critical goal at 1:39 mark of the third period when Tristan King converted off a broken play with a wrist shot between the circles for a 2-0 advantage.

Bowen then hit Everett Sheen with a breakaway pass and Sheen converted blocker side on Madolora with 13:05 left in regulation to hike the Ontario edge to 3-0.

Under a minute later, the Thunder finally got on the board when Matt Reber used his speed to drive wide of the Ontario net and set up Jordan Fulton on a centering feed from the left corner. Fulton’s 15th goal of the season cut the deficit to 3-1 at 7:41 of the third period.

Cameron Burt’s first goal in a Reign uniform put the game out of reach with 6:54 left in the game when he converted on a backdoor feed by Bowen from the left circle.

Madolora took the loss with 28 saves.

NOTES: Scratched for the game were Tony DeHart (injured reserve), Cameron Brodie (injured reserve), Nathan Deck (injured, day to day) and Brock Matheson (injured, day to day) … Bagron’s shorthanded goal was the ninth for Ontario this season … Madolora was making his professional debut on the same day he signed an amateur tryout contract … Thunder defenseman Matthew Clune also made his pro debut and registered three shots, a +1 rating and a fight in the third period with Jason Beeman.

The Thunder returns home for its next game on Friday, hosting the Bakersfield Condors at 7:30 p.m. 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. ONT – 35 Jean-Francois Berube
2. ONT – 4 Pat Bowen
3. ONT – 9 Tristan King