PREVIEW: Day in The Bay

Saturday, 11.24.12 / 10:34 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at San Francisco Bulls
DATE: Saturday, November 24, 2012
TIME: 7:15 p.m.
SITE: Cow Palace
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)/iHeartRadio
WATCH PARTY: Fat’s Grill

VIDEO: Morning skate comments from Stockton Arena – Levesque, Hunt, Reed

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
San Francisco Bulls: San Jose Sharks

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 the road against the San Francisco Bulls, an expansion team to the ECHL’s Pacific Division. Tonight’s game will be the second of 13 meetings between the two teams this season and in the last matchup, San Francisco defeated the Thunder 4-1 on Nov. 9. The Bulls play at the 71-year old Cow Palace and are an affiliate of the San Jose Sharks. The Thunder is 11-2-0 in the last 13 games and is in first place in the Pacific Division.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Fri. Nov. 9 Stockton 1 at San Francisco 4
Sat. Nov. 24 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.
Thur. Dec. 13 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 16 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 18 San Francisco 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 19 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.
Sun. Jan. 20 San Francisco 4:00 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 30 San Francisco 7:00 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 16 San Francisco 7:30 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 17 at San Francisco 2:15 p.m.
Wed. Mar. 13 San Francisco 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 22 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 23 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder leads the ECHL in goal differential at +23 (65 goals scored and 42 goals against).

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 6 – BAK 3 (11/23/12): The Stockton Thunder (11-3-1, 23 points) did not miss a beat, rolling over the Bakersfield Condors 6-3 in front of 5,616 fans at Stockton Arena on Friday. Center Gabriel Levesque stepped up for the Thunder, recording three points (one goal, two assists). Six different players scored for the Thunder, providing goaltender Cody Reichard (3-1-0) with plenty of offensive support. Reichard recorded 22 saves, while Bakersfield’s Brian Stewart stopped 44 shots. The Thunder improved to 4-0-0 against the Condors and seized first place in the Pacific Division.

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.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

• Ryan Constant is 5 games away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 7assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Harrison Reed is 1 game away from 300 in his professional 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.

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan leads all Thunder rookies with 14 points in 13 games this season (T-3, ECHL rookies) and has collected five points in the last five games. Maylan collected a goal in last night’s win over Bakersfield.

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 4.3 goals per game this season, ranking third in the ECHL.

THE DECK IS STACKED

Defenseman Nathan Deck has points in ten of his last 12 games and leads all Thunder defensemen with 15 points in 15 games (T-4, ECHL defensemen). Deck is in his second year with the Thunder and was named the team’s “Unsung Hero” at the end of last season.

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.