PREVIEW: Shooting For More

Saturday, 11.17.12 / 1:16 PM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder vs. Idaho Steelheads
DATE: Sunday, November 18, 2012
TIME: 4:00 p.m.
SITE: Stockton Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/ (AmericaOne)/92.5 FM (inside Stockton Arena)
TICKETS: Click here
FAMILY DAY TICKETS: Click here – four tickets, hot dogs, soft drinks for $34

VIDEO: Mike Benton’s game day preview from Stockton Arena


Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Idaho Steelheads: Dallas Stars


Game Day Promotions: TEAM PHOTO GIVEAWAY (presented by In Shape Health Clubs, Ripon Powerplay Sports Arena, KHOP 95.1 and KAT Country 103)
FAMILY DAY (presented by Sutter Gould Medical Foundation with 99.3 KJOY)
National Anthem Singer: Farrah Lynn Bonocan
Public Address Announcer: Mike McKnight
In-Arena Emcee: “Hot Rod”


Friday, Nov. 23 vs. Bakersfield Condors, 7:30 p.m.


The Stockton Thunder battles the Idaho Steelheads for the second of five meetings this season. 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 Wednesday, when Idaho defeated the Thunder 4-2 at Century Link Arena in Boise. The Thunder is 5-1-0 at home this season and has won eight of the last ten games.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Wed. Nov. 14 Stockton 2 at Idaho 4
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.


The Thunder has scored five goals or more in four consecutive home games.


STK 6 – UTA 2 (11/16/12): The Stockton Thunder (9-3-1, 20 points) brought the offense back home to Stockton Arena, as the Thunder connected for four straight goals in a 6-2 win over the Grizzlies in front of 5,373 fans on Friday. Forwards Philippe Cornet (2 goals, 1 assist) and Toni Rajala (1 goal, 2 assists) paced the Thunder with three points apiece. Rajala’s effort made it the tenth-consecutive game in which he has registered a point. In goal, Tyler Bunz (7-2-1) recorded 25 saves for the win, while Utah’s Grant Rollheiser stopped 36 shots.

IDH 4 – STK 2 (11/14/12): 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. Ryan Constant and Toni Rajala chipped in with goals for the Thunder, who battled back from a 2-0 deficit. Tyler Beskorowany earned the win in net with 28 saves.

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.


The Thunder tied a club record for most goals in a game (9) on Monday in a 9-6 victory at Utah, matching the record previously set on Dec. 10, 2011 against Bakersfield. The Thunder also notched a season high for most goals (5) in a period, accomplishing the feat in the second period at Maverik Center. The Thunder is averaging 4.2 goals per game this season, ranking second in the ECHL (as of Saturday).


• Ryan Constant is 7 games away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 9 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Harrison Reed is 3 games away from 300 in his professional career
• Yannick Riendeau is 1 point away from 100 in his ECHL career


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.


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.


Following Friday’s win over Utah, Thunder forward Toni Rajala continued his ascension up the ECHL scoring charts, leading all rookies and ranking seventh in the ECHL with 20 points in 13 games. He registered a season high four point effort (1g-3a) against Utah on Monday and is on a ten game scoring streak (longest in the ECHL this season as of Saturday).


Defenseman Nathan Deck has points in eight of his last ten games and leads all Thunder defensemen with 12 points in 13 games (T-6, ECHL defensemen after Friday’s win). Deck is in his second year with the Thunder and was named the team’s “Unsung Hero” at the end of last season.


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.