RECAP: Thunder Upended in Boise
Thunder drops second regulation loss in nine games, returns home Friday
BOISE, Idaho –
BOISE, Idaho –Kael Mouillierat broke a 2-2 tie with his second goal of the night early in the third period, topped off by an empty net goal to help the Idaho Steelheads send the Stockton Thunder (8-3-1, 17 points) to a 4-2 defeat before a crowd of 2,746 at Century Link Arena on Wednesday.
The Thunder, who finished a three game road trip at 1-2-0, now heads home facing seven of its next nine games in the confines of Stockton Arena where they have a record of 4-1-0 this season. Ryan Constant and Toni Rajala chipped in with goals for the Thunder, who battled back from a 2-0 deficit.
“I don’t think we made a ton of mistakes – we weren’t able to capitalize on ours,” Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said. “I really liked how we played in the last 40 minutes. We came out a little sluggish in the first 20 and really picked it up. It was just one of those games where we couldn’t find another goal.”
Tyler Beskorowany earned the win in net with 28 saves.
Idaho produced the opening marker with 12:27 left in the first period when Mouillierat deflected a pass to the goal mouth, and the puck rolled through two players and past Tyler Bunz’s glove.
Idaho earned the edge in shots, 8-5 after one period.
Adrian Foster’s rebound goal expanded the Steelheads lead to 2-0 just 19 seconds into the second period, but it didn’t take long for the Thunder to respond. Constant took advantage of a fallen Idaho defenseman at the blueline and raced away for a breakaway goal at the 1:04 mark, beating Beskorowany through his five hole to slice the deficit to 2-1.
Rajala followed with a rebound goal at the left post for a 2-2 tie with 10:45 left in the second period after Philippe Cornet produced a loose puck with a wrist shot from the right circle.
Idaho then snapped the tie with 15:53 remaining in regulation after the Thunder gave the puck away deep in its own zone. Mouillierat converted on a wrist shot from the base of the right circle for his tenth goal of the season.
The Thunder pounded Idaho’s net with 12 shots in the final period and nearly found the equalizer on a pair of Harrison Reed snap shots at the left circle while late in the game, but Beskorowany turned them away with successive kick saves.
Bunz was lifted for an extra attacker with less than two minutes in regulation while the Thunder cycled with pressure in Idaho’s zone. Matt Case then flipped a desperate clearing attempt off the glass which ricocheted off a partition. The loose puck went right to the stick of Neil Graham at center ice, who raced away for an empty net goal that sealed the game with 1:07 left.
Bunz made 17 saves, taking his first loss in regulation since Opening Night (Oct. 12).
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Mike Little, Cameron Brodie, Jesse Fratkin, Yannick Riendeau, Gabriel Levesque and Evan Vossen … both teams went 0-of-3 on the power play … it was the only game where the Thunder visited the Idaho Steelheads in Boise this season … Rajala extended his scoring streak to nine consecutive games … Thunder defenseman Dan Ringwald had an assist – the game was his ECHL season debut.
The Thunder returns home on Friday, hosting the Utah Grizzlies beginning at 7:30 p.m. (StocktonThunder.com) at Stockton Arena.
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. IDH – K. Mouillierat
2. IDH – A. Foster
3. IDH – T. Beskorowany