PREVIEW: Back on Black Friday

Friday, 11.23.12 / 12:01 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder vs. Bakersfield Condors
DATE: Friday, November 23, 2012
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
SITE: Stockton Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)
TICKETS: Click here

VIDEO: Yannick Riendeau morning skate interview from Stockton Arena

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Bakersfield Condors: Independent

HOME GAME PROMOTIONAL NOTES

Tonight’s Promotion: KIDS T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY (presented by Aramark, Pepsi and KAT Country 103)
National Anthem Singers: East Union High School Bella Choir
Public Address Announcer: Mike McKnight
In-Arena Emcee: DJ Walker

NEXT HOME GAME

Wednesday, Nov. 28 vs. Alaska Aces, 7:00 p.m.
FAMILY DAY (presented by Sutter Gould Medical Foundation with 99.3 KJOY)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP

The Stockton Thunder returns to play after the Thanksgiving break against the Bakersfield Condors, wrapping up a three game homestand. It will be the fourth of 11 meetings between both teams this season and the Thunder has dominated the series so far with a 3-0-0 record. They carry a record of 32-27-12 against Bakersfield and defeated the Condors in the last meeting 6-1 on Nov. 2 at Stockton Arena. It will also be a reunion between Thunder head coach Matt Thomas and Bakersfield counterpart Matt O’Dette – previously a Thunder defenseman, captain and assistant coach from 2008-11. Thomas has the upper hand in the matchup with a lifetime 11-5-0 record.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Sat. Oct. 27 Stockton 4 at Bakersfield 3
Sun. Oct. 28 Bakersfield 2 at Stockton 3 (OT)
Fri. Nov. 2 Bakersfield 1 at Stockton 6
Fri. Nov. 23 Bakersfield 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 1 Bakersfield 7:30 p.m.
Sun. Dec. 9 at Bakersfield 5:00 p.m.
Thur. Dec. 27 at Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 28 at Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.
Tue. Feb. 5 at Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.
Thur. Feb. 21 at Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 17 Bakersfield 4:00 p.m.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

• Ryan Constant is 6 games away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 8 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Harrison Reed is 2 games away from 300 in his professional career
• Yannick Riendeau is 1 point away from 100 in his ECHL career

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

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

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 4 – IDH 3 (11/18/12): The Stockton Thunder (10-3-1, 21 points) held off a late rally by the Idaho Steelheads to avenge Wednesday’s loss in a back-and-forth 4-3 victory in front of 4,601 fans at Stockton Arena on Sunday. Forward Toni Rajala led the Thunder with two goals, bringing his season total up to 11, good enough to be tied for the ECHL lead. Center Justin Maylan chipped in with two assists.

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.

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan leads all Thunder rookies with 13 points in 12 games this season (T-4, ECHL rookies) and has collected four points in the last four games. Maylan collected a pair of assists in his last game on Nov. 18 against Idaho.

AN OFFENSE DRESSED TO THE NINES

The Thunder tied a club record for most goals in a game (9) last 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 Wednesday).

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.

OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN

Garet Hunt was named the sixth captain in Thunder history on Oct. 12, taking the “C” for the first time in his career for full-time duty. Hunt served as an alternate captain for the Thunder last season and has helped guide the team to the playoffs for four straight seasons since his 2008-09 rookie campaign. Hunt is the Thunder all time leader with 258 games played.

TONI AWARD WINNER

On the same day he was recalled to the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons, RW Toni Rajala was named the first Thunder recipient of ECHL Player of the Week honors (Nov. 12-18) on Tuesday. He scored five goals and totaled 11 points in four games to help the Thunder improve to 10-3-1 and earn the top win percentage (.750) in the ECHL by the end of the week.

THE DECK IS STACKED

Defenseman Nathan Deck has points in nine of his last 11 games and leads all Thunder defensemen with 13 points in 14 games (T-6, ECHL defensemen as of Wednesday). Deck is in his second year with the Thunder and was named the team’s “Unsung Hero” at the end of last season.

COVERED WITH OIL

The Edmonton Oilers return as the NHL affiliate of the Thunder for the seventh straight season, helping advance eight players from the Thunder onto playing in the National Hockey League. The Thunder has also never missed the playoffs since first connecting with the Oilers in 2006-07. Edmonton has won five Stanley Cup championships and sent seven players onto induction in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Among the players assigned to Stockton, beginning this season, was LW Philippe Cornet, who made his NHL debut with Edmonton and led the AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons with 24 goals last season.

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