PREVIEW: Thunder-Ontario

Friday, 11.30.12 / 12:00 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at Ontario Reign
DATE: Friday, November 30, 2012
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
SITE: Citizens Business Bank Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)
WATCH PARTY: Fat’s Grill

VIDEO: Morning skate preview from Citizens Business Bank Arena

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Ontario Reign: Los Angeles Kings

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 lone road game of the week awaits the Thunder at Citizens Business Bank Arena in the third matchup of the season against the Ontario Reign. The Thunder and Reign are separated by three point for first place in the Pacific Division and are tied in the season series at 1-1-0. In the last matchup, the Thunder won 4-0 in Ontario’s home opener on Oct. 13 and was paced by Tyler Bunz’s first career shutout. The Thunder leads the all time series over Ontario with a record of 24-14-5.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder is 6-0-1 when leading after one period this season.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Fri. Oct. 12 Ontario 2 at Stockton 1
Sat. Oct. 13 Stockton 4 at Ontario 0
Fri. Nov. 30 at Ontario 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 15 Ontario 7:30 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 20 at Ontario 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 22 at Ontario 7:00 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 24 Ontario 4:00 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 2 at Ontario 6:00 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 3 Ontario 4:00 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 10 Ontario 4:00 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 15 at Ontario 7:00 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 16 Ontario 7:30 p.m.

LAST THREE GAMES:

AK 6 – STK 2 (11/28/12): The Stockton Thunder (11-5-1, 23 points) saw their seven-game home winning streak ended in front of 3,316 fans at Stockton Arena, falling to the Alaska Aces 6-2 on Wednesday. Defenseman Ryan Constant led the Thunder with a goal and assist while Tyler Bunz (8-4-1) recorded 27 saves. The loss marks the first losing streak the Thunder have had all season and it was their first on home ice since Oct. 12.

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.

UPCOMING MILESTONES
• Ryan Constant is 3 games away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 5 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Mike Little is 14 games away from 100 in his ECHL career

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan leads all Thunder rookies with 16 points in 15 games this season (4th, ECHL rookies as of Thursday) and has collected six points in the last five 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) on Nov. 12 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 4.1 goals per game this season, ranking second in the ECHL (as of Thursday).

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 five games and leads all Thunder defensemen with 15 points in 17 games (T-5, ECHL defensemen as of Thursday). 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 261 games played.

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