PREVIEW: Ready, Aim …

Tuesday, 12.04.12 / 12:00 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder vs. Las Vegas Wranglers
DATE: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
SITE: Stockton Arena
RADIO: (AmericaOne)
TICKETS: Click here

VIDEO: Toni Rajala morning skate interview from Stockton Arena


Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Las Vegas Wranglers: Independent


National Anthem Singer: Venture Academy
Public Address Announcer: John Taylor  
In-Arena Emcee: Alan Sanchez


Wednesday, Dec. 5 vs. Las Vegas Wranglers (7:00 p.m.)


The Thunder takes on the Las Vegas Wranglers for three consecutive games this week including two at Stockton Arena on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Thunder is 1-0-1 this season against the Wranglers and in the last matchup Stockton won 5-4 at Orleans Arena on Oct. 20. The games feature a reunion from the past for Matt Thomas (Stockton head coach) and Ryan Mougenel (Las Vegas head coach) – the two formerly coached together in Stockton and Fresno while Thomas coached Mougenel, a former forward, in Atlantic City.


• Ryan Constant is 1 game away from 300 in his ECHL career
• Ryan Constant is 4 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Mike Little is 12 games away from 100 in his ECHL career


The Thunder is 6-0-2 when leading after one period this season.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule:

Fri. Oct. 19 Stockton 2 at Las Vegas 3 (OT)
Sat. Oct. 20 Stockton 5 at Las Vegas 4
Tue. Dec. 4 Las Vegas 7:00 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 5 Las Vegas 7:00 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 8 at Las Vegas 7:05 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 29 Las Vegas 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 8 Las Vegas 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 9 Las Vegas 7:30 p.m.


BAK 5 – STK 5 (SO) (12/1/12): Battling back from a two goal deficit in the third period, the Stockton Thunder (11-5-3, 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 (8-4-3) made 30 saves for the Thunder.

ONT 5 – STK 4 (OT) (11/30/12): Colton Yellow Horn finished off a rally by the Ontario Reign with a game winning goal just 27 seconds into sudden death overtime, sending the Stockton Thunder (11-5-2, 24 points) to a 5-4 overtime loss at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Friday. The Thunder held a 3-1 lead in the third period and was paced by Yannick Riendeau’s three points and Harrison Reed’s pair of goals.

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.


Center Justin Maylan leads all Thunder rookies with 19 points in 17 games this season (T-2, ECHL rookies) and has collected nine points in the last seven games. Maylan collected a pair of assists in his last game on Saturday vs. Bakersfield.


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.


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.


Forward Toni Rajala returns to the Thunder after a stint in Oklahoma City (AHL) with an 11 game point scoring streak intact which began on Oct. 20. He earned Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week honors on Nov. 20, the same day he earned his first recall to the AHL. Rajala left the Thunder that day with 11 goals which was tied for the ECHL lead.


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.


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 263 games played.