PREVIEW: Booming Again

Wednesday, 11.14.12 / 12:00 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at Idaho Steelheads
DATE: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
TIME: 6:10 p.m.
SITE: Century Link Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)/iHeartRadio
WATCH PARTY: Fat’s Grill

VIDEO: Rajala, Deck morning skate comments from Century Link Arena

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Idaho Steelheads: Dallas Stars

NEXT HOME GAME

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

TODAY’S MATCHUP

The Stockton Thunder battles the Idaho Steelheads tonight for the first of five meetings this season. Tonight’s game is the only time in 2012-13 that the Thunder will take on the Steelheads at Century Link Arena. The Thunder is 15-12-4 at home in the last five seasons against the Steelheads and has also faced Idaho twice in the Kelly Cup Playoffs (2007, 2010). The last time the two teams met was on Mar. 31, 2012 and the Thunder was defeated by Idaho, 4-3 in Boise. The Thunder carries the top win percentage in the Western Conference (.773) and stands a point behind the top record in the Conference, shared by Idaho and the Ontario Reign.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Wed. Nov. 14 at Idaho 6:10 p.m.
Sun. Nov. 18 Idaho 4:00 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 1 Idaho 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 2 Idaho 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 30 Idaho 7:30 p.m.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder carries a goal differential of +17 (47 goals scored, 30 goals allowed) which leads the ECHL.

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 9 – UTA 6 (11/12/12): Forwards Toni Rajala and Philippe Cornet combined for seven points and the Stockton Thunder (8-2-1, 17 points) tied a club record for most goals in a game, pummeling the Utah Grizzlies in a 9-6 victory before 5,659 fans at Maverik Center on Monday. The Thunder buried five goals in the second period and tied the single game record for most goals, set originally on Dec. 10, 2011 against Bakersfield. Six Thunder players registered multi point games while the power play capitalized on a 3-for-6 effort in the game.

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.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

• Ryan Constant is 9 games away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 10 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Harrison Reed is 5 games away from 300 in his professional career
• Yannick Riendeau is 1 point 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.

RAJALA RAGE

Thunder forward Toni Rajala has assumed the lead among all ECHL rookie scorers with 16 points in 11 games. He is fresh off a season high four point effort (1g-3a) against Utah on Monday and is on an eight game scoring streak.

THE DECK IS STACKED

Defenseman Nathan Deck has points in seven of his last eight games and leads all Thunder defensemen with 10 points in 11 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.

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