PREVIEW: Thunder-Alaska

Wednesday, 11.28.12 / 12:00 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder vs. Alaska Aces
DATE: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
SITE: Stockton Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)
TICKETS: Click here
FAMILY DAY TICKETS: A $34 pack of four – tickets, sodas and hot dogs

UPDATE: Center Eric Hunter recalled to Oklahoma City
VIDEO: Teigan Zahn morning skate comments from Stockton Arena

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Alaska Aces: Independent

NEXT HOME GAME

Saturday, Dec. 1 vs. Bakersfield Condors (7:30 p.m.)
FLEECE BLANKET GIVEAWAY (presented by The Record, Angelina’s Spaghetti House and 104.1 The Hawk)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP

The Thunder returns home for a Wednesday game against the Alaska Aces at Stockton Arena. The Thunder is 28-25-14 against Alaska in the lifetime series. Alaska carries four players with NHL playing experience on their roster: forwards Scott Gomez, Brandon Dubinsky (21-day injured reserve list), Joey Crabb and Nate Thompson. The Thunder is 2-0-0 against Alaska this season and last faced the Aces on Nov. 4 in a 5-1 victory at Stockton Arena. The Thunder enters the week with a win percentage of .875 at home which is tied for the ECHL lead.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder leads the ECHL in goal differential at +20 (68 goals scored and 48 goals against).

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Sat. Nov. 3 Alaska 4 at Stockton 7
Sun. Nov. 4 Alaska 1 at Stockton 5
Wed. Nov. 28 Alaska 7:00 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 19 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 21 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 22 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 4 Alaska 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 8 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 9 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 10 at Alaska 4:05 p.m.

LAST THREE GAMES:

SF 6 – STK 3 (11/24/12): Dean Ouellet collected a hat trick and goaltender Thomas Heemskerk made 34 saves to help the San Francisco Bulls send the Stockton Thunder (11-4-1, 23 points) to a 6-3 defeat before 3,389 fans at the Cow Palace on Saturday. The Thunder had its three game winning streak snapped and lost for only the third time in 13 games. Stockton led the game in shots at 37-24.

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.

UPCOMING MILESTONES
• Ryan Constant is 4 games away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 6 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Eric Hunter is 6 games away from 100 in his professional career
• Mike Little is 15 games away from 100 in his ECHL career

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan leads all Thunder rookies with 16 points in 14 games this season (3rd, ECHL rookies) and has collected sixpoints in the last four games. Maylan collected a goal and an assist last Saturday at San Francisco.

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 on Nov. 12. The Thunder is averaging 4.2 goals per game this season, ranking second in the ECHL.

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.

THE DECK IS STACKED

Defenseman Nathan Deck has five points in the last four games and leads all Thunder defensemen with 15 points in 16 games (T-5, 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.

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.

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 260 games played.