PREVIEW: Thunder-Utah

Monday, 11.12.12 / 12:52 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at Utah Grizzlies
DATE: Monday, November 12, 2012
TIME: 6:05 p.m.
SITE: Maverik Center
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)/iHeartRadio
WATCH PARTY: Fat’s Grill

VIDEO: Morning skate preview from Maverik Center

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Utah Grizzlies: Calgary Flames

NEXT HOME GAME

Friday, Nov. 16 vs. Utah Grizzlies, 7:30 p.m.

TODAY’S MATCHUP

The Stockton Thunder takes on the Utah Grizzlies tonight at Maverik Center for the first of seven meetings this season between the two teams. The Thunder holds a lifetime record of 24-26-6 against Utah and last faced the Grizzlies on Mar. 18, 2012 in a 4-2 Thunder victory at Stockton Arena. The Thunder is 6-1-0 in the last seven games and carries a 3-1-1 record on the road this season.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Mon. Nov. 12 at Utah 6:05 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 16 Utah 7:30 p.m.
Mon. Dec. 31 at Utah 5:05 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 2, 2013 at Utah 6:05 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 25 Utah 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 26 Utah 7:30 p.m.
Sun. Jan. 27 Utah 4:00 p.m.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder carries a goal differential of +14 (38 goals scored, 24 goals allowed) which ranks tied for third in the ECHL this season.

LAST THREE GAMES:

SF 4 – STK 1 (11/9/12): The Stockton Thunder (7-2-1, 15 points) saw their six-game win streak and eight-game unbeaten streak end at the hands of the San Francisco Bulls who used a three-goal third period to down the Thunder 4-1 Friday night at the Cow Palace. The loss was the Thunder’s first regulation loss since a 2-1 defeat to Ontario on Opening Night at Stockton Arena. In goal for Stockton, Cody Reichard (2-1-0) made 27 saves, while San Francisco’s Thomas Heemskerk (2-5-1) stopped 31 shots.

STK 5 – AK 1 (11/4/12): The Stockton Thunder (7-1-1, 15 points) enjoyed goal scoring from five different players and ended Thunder Goes Pink VII victorious in a 5-1 rout over the Alaska Aces (5-4-0, 10 points) in front of 4,194 fans on Sunday at Stockton Arena. The win completes a three-game weekend sweep, as well as back to back wins over the Aces. In victory, Thunder goaltender Tyler Bunz (5-1-1) made 31 saves on 32 shots. Center Harrison Reed collected three points (1 goal, 2 assists) to lead the Thunder offense.

STK 7 – AK 4 (11/3/12): Philippe Cornet had a four point night while Toni Rajala posted two goals and an assist to lead the Stockton Thunder (6-1-1, 13 points) offense in a 7-4 blowout win over the Alaska Aces before a crowd of 8,018 at Stockton Arena on Saturday. Goaltender Tyler Bunz earned the win in net with 28 saves while all but five Thunder skaters registered a point in the game.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

• Ryan Constant is 10 games away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 10 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Harrison Reed is 6 games away from 300 in his professional career
• Yannick Riendeau is 2 points away from 100 in his ECHL career

BOLTING OUT OF THE GATE

The Thunder’s 7-1-1 record was its best nine game stretch to begin the season since 2006-07, when the Thunder and Edmonton Oilers were in the first season of their affiliation agreement. During that stretch, the Thunder offense earned six occasions where they produced four goals or more in a game.

THUNDER CROWDS ROLL IN

The Thunder has drawn over 200,000 fans for seven straight seasons to Stockton Arena, totaling over 1.5 million through the turnstiles since opening in 2005-06. There have been 17 sellouts at Stockton Arena in Thunder history and last season, there were seven crowds of 7,000 or more at Thunder home games. The Thunder drew a club record 244,085 fans to Stockton Arena in 2006-07. Last season, the Thunder ranked third in ECHL attendance.

BUNZ ON A ROLL

Goaltender Tyler Bunz ranks third in the ECHL with a 2.12 goals against average this season. He is 5-0-1 in his last six appearances and made a season high 30 saves in his last appearance on Nov. 4 against Alaska (5-1 win).

THE DECK IS STACKED

Defenseman Nathan Deck has points in six of his last seven games and leads all Thunder defensemen with eight points in 10 games. Deck is in his second year with the Thunder and was named the team’s “Unsung Hero” at the end of last season.

NEARLY A TONI AWARD WINNER

Thunder rookie forward Toni Rajala was named runner up for Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week last Tuesday, narrowly finishing behind Michael Forney of Colorado. Rajala earned seven points and was +3 in three games to help the Thunder go 3-0-0 against Alaska and Bakersfield from Nov. 2-4. Rajala is on a seven game scoring streak, posting 12 points in that span.

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