RECAP: Shootout in Stockton

Saturday, 12.01.12 / 11:59 PM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

6,516 fans witness Thunder rally in third period, Condors escape in shootout

FINAL STATS: Box score
VIDEO: Highlights and postgame comments – Mangan, Thomas
AUDIO: Game Highlights – Thunder Replay

By Ruben Dominguez – Thunder staff writer

STOCKTON, Calif. – Battling back from a two goal deficit in the third period, the Stockton Thunder (11-5-2-1, 25 points) was forced to settle for one point as the Bakersfield Condors scored in all three shootout attempts for a 5-4 win before 6,516 fans at Stockton Arena on Saturday.

Center Phil Mangan led the Thunder with two goals. Forward Yannick Riendeau (one goal, one assist) and center Justin Maylan (two assists) each contributed two points as well. Goaltender Tyler Bunz (8-4-2) made 30 saves for the Thunder.

Yet, numerous chances for two points fell short after the Thunder gave up three power play goals and came up empty on a pair of 5-on-3 chances in the game.

“I’m not happy,” Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said. “We were just not focused. I was pretty embarrassed, to tell you the truth We turned it on and it finally clicked in. I’m usually talking between every timeout and every period. I wasn’t saying much. I don’t know what I need to do to motivate a guy to play hard in front of our fans on a Saturday night.”

The Thunder came out strong, earning a power play in the first two minutes. On that power play, Maylan slotted the puck through the Bakersfield defense to a wide open Mangan on the right side. Mangan buried the puck into the back of the net, giving the Thunder a 1-0 lead just 2:59 into the opening period.

The Condors returned the favor later on in the period. With the Thunder on a penalty kill, Trevor Hendrikx sent a shot to the Thunder goal. The puck deflected off Robby Dee, rolling past Bunz to tie the game at 1-1 13:41 into the first period.

Yannick Riendeau, who totaled a goal and an assist, was one of three Thunder players with two points on the night. (photo by Asvitt Photogrpahy)

“We definitely didn’t have the game we wanted to,” said Mangan. “We came out for the first ten minutes not too bad. The second ten minutes of the first period we got away from the game plan. We stopped forechecking and stopped moving our feet.”

Five minutes into the second frame, Bakersfield struck twice. First, a Condors power play led to Peter Boyd tapping in a rebound off a shot on goal, giving Bakersfield a 2-1 lead with 5:02 gone by. Then, Parker Stanfield sent the puck across goal to a waiting Alex Hudson, who converted to put the Thunder in a 3-1 hole 5:50 into the second period.

The Thunder response came on another power play. Above the left circle, center Harrison Reed found Maylan on his way to goal. Maylan swung the puck off Condors goaltender Scott Greenham to Mangan, who finished for his second goal of the game. It brought the Thunder to within a goal at 3-2, 15:57 into the second period.

Bakersfield regained their two goal advantage 5:39 into the third period after Dee’s shot was saved by Bunz. The rebound was collected by Stanfield, who tucked it in to put the Condors on top 4-2.

Midway through the third period, defenseman Tony DeHart sent a shot towards goal on a power play. The puck bounced off Greenham’s left pad directly to Riendeau, who put it away to cut the lead to 4-3 10:22 into the third period.

Just 2:03 later, center Gabriel Levesque connected with center Eric Hunter between the circles. Hunter, who played his first game with the Thunder since his stint with the Oklahoma City Barons, blasted the puck by Greenham, tying the game at 4-4.

After a scoreless overtime period, the game went into a shootout. Stockton’s Kristians Pelss, Reed, and Mangan could not convert on their attempts against Greenham. After Boyd and Dee converted for Bakersfield, Levi Nelson ended the contest with a shot that went by Bunz, giving the Condors the win.

“Anytime you play a team like Bakersfield you have to take it to then for sixty minutes,” said Mangan. “We just didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t deserve to win tonight.”

NOTES:The Thunder scratched Matt Reber, Kevin Noble, and Matt Bergland…the game was delayed for approximately fifteen minutes while paramedics tended to Bakersfield’s Olivier Dame-Malka, who was carted off the ice on a stretcher after a hit during the first period…Nathan Deck has seven points in the last seven games…the Thunder had two five-on-three opportunities in the second period…Justin Maylan has 19 points in 17 games this season…this was the second Stockton-Bakersfield game that has gone into overtime this season…

The Thunder will continue their three-game home stand with two back-to-back clashes against the Las Vegas Wranglers on Tuesday, Dec. 4 and Wednesday, Dec. 5. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.

A two time recipient of the ECHL “Award of Excellence,” the Thunder led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the seventh consecutive season in 2011-12. Season Tickets, Group Tickets and Mini-Plans for 2012-13 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit www.StocktonThunder.com

THREE STARS:
1. BAK – R. Dee
2. STK – P. Mangan
3. STK – Y. Riendeau

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