RECAP: Out of Time
By Ruben Dominguez – Thunder staff writer
Thunder edged on Opening Night, Cornet’s buries lone Stockton goal
STOCKTON, Calif. -
STOCKTON, Calif. -J.F. Berube made 18 saves, enough for the Ontario Reign to send the Stockton Thunder (0-1-0, 0 points) to a 2-1 defeat before 5,635 fans at Stockton Arena on Friday.
Philippe Cornet, one of four players assigned to the Thunder via the Edmonton Oilers farm system, chipped in with the only Thunder goal in the second period. Colton Yellow Horn registered the eventual game winner.
“I liked us at times, for sure,” Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said. “You can tell we didn’t have a lot of chemistry. Other than [Gabriel] Levesque, [Philippe] Cornet, and [Toni] Rajala really making some plays, the other lines didn’t seem to gel much and connect. As a result, it didn’t create the offensive result we were hoping for.”
Stockton found itself down early in the first period. On a power play, Ontario’s Vincent LoVerde’s one-timer off a pass from Kyle Kraemer sailed past Thunder goaltender Tyler Bunz, giving the Reign a 1-0 lead just 2:19 into the opening period.
The Thunder evened the deficit early in the second period. Harrison Reed’s shot deflected off Berube. The deflection went right to Cornet, who put his shot into the goal.
Cornet’s first goal as a member of the Stockton Thunder came at 2:49 in the second. However, the Reign would regain the lead minutes later, as former Thunder player Colton Yellow Horn fired a shot past Bunz to put Ontario on top 2-1, 4:24 into the second frame.
Neither offense could get anything going in the final period, as both defenses asserted themselves. The Thunder had an opportunity to tie the game, as they went on the power play at 17:11 in the third period. However, they were unable to capitalize, and the Reign held on for the win.
After outshooting the Reign in the first period, the Thunder were outshot 18-11 in the final two frames.
“I’m not worried about [the offense],” Thomas said. “It’s something that is going to come. We need to be patient with it.”
Bunz made 23 saves in his pro debut and took the loss.
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Tony DeHart, Ryan Green, Jesse Fratkin, Evan Vossen and Shawn Boutin … Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden, a Stockton resident, was in attendance at the game … the Thunder cashed in at 1-of-5 on the power play … Reed earned an assist in his Thunder debut.
The Thunder returns to play tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at Ontario (1280 KWSX/StocktonThunder.com).
A two time recipient of the ECHL “Award of Excellence,” the Thunder led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the seventh consecutive season in 2011-12. Season Tickets, Group Tickets and Mini-Plans 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 www.StocktonThunder.com.
1. ONT – C. Yellow Horn
2. STK – P. Cornet
3. ONT – J. Berube