PREVIEW: Trending With Vegas

Saturday, 12.08.12 / 12:18 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at Las Vegas Wranglers
DATE: Saturday, December 8, 2012
TIME: 7:05 p.m.
SITE: Orleans Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)
WATCH PARTY: Click here

VIDEO: Morning skate preview from Orleans Arena

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Las Vegas Wranglers: Independent

NEXT HOME GAME

Friday, Dec. 14 vs. Colorado Eagles (7:30 p.m.)
COATS FOR KIDS (presented by News10, KAT Country 103 and The Golden1 Credit Union)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP

The Thunder finishes a three game series tonight against the Las Vegas Wranglers at Orleans Arena, which marks the final time of the regular season that the two teams will meet in Las Vegas. The Thunder is 3-0-1 this season against the Wranglers won in the last matchup, 1-0 on Wednesday at Stockton Arena. 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. Las Vegas comes off a 6-3 defeat last night to Idaho.

UPCOMING MILESTONES


• Ryan Constant is 4 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Mike Little is 10 games away from 100 in his ECHL career

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder has a goal differential of +17 (82 goals scored, 65 goals allowed), ranking third in the ECHL.

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 1 at Stockton 3
Wed. Dec. 5 Las Vegas 0 at Stockton 1
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.

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 1 – LV 0 (12/5/12): Goaltender Cody Reichard (5-1-1), just one day after putting on his best performance of the season, upped the bar even higher by stopping all 38 shots he faced and posting the first shutout of his professional career Wednesday night. The Stockton Thunder (13-5-3, 29 points) needed all of his stops, as they pulled out a 1-0 victory at home over the Las Vegas Wranglers in front of 2,538 fans at Stockton Arena. Toni Rajala buried the game winning goal in the second period.

STK 3 – LV 1 (12/4/12): The Stockton Thunder (12-5-3, 27 points) snapped a four-game winless skid, using a three-goal second period to defeat the Las Vegas Wranglers 3-1 at Stockton Arena on Tuesday. Goaltender Cody Reichard (4-1-1) had his best start of the season, stopping 38 shots. In his return to the Thunder, forward Toni Rajala scored to continue his ECHL-leading scoring streak at 12 games. Centers Phil Mangan and Harrison Reed each found the net. Las Vegas’ Joe Fallon made 22 saves.

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.

TRENDING WITH VEGAS

The Thunder is 3-0-1 in the season series against Las Vegas and took three out of four possible points in back to back games in Las Vegas on Oct. 19-20. Dating back to last season, the Thunder is 8-4-2 against the Wranglers. The Thunder is 16-14-3 in the last five seasons against the Wranglers and trails their counterparts by a point in the head to head series during that span.

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan leads all Thunder rookies with 20 points in 19 games this season (T-2, ECHL rookies) and has collected ten points in the last nine games. Maylan has also posted six multi point games.

RAJALA RAGE

Forward Toni Rajala carries a 13 game point scoring streak which began on Oct. 20 and leads the ECHL for the longest current streak this season. 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.

DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE?

The Thunder announced on Dec. 4 that it will play in a game on Monday, Dec. 17 (7:30 p.m.) at HP Pavilion at San Jose (home of the San Jose Sharks since 1993) against the San Francisco Bulls. It will be the first game in Thunder history to be played on a current NHL ice surface. Tickets for the game are free and will be available to the general public beginning Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster.com (space permitting – season ticket holders of the San Jose Sharks and San Francisco Bulls will have first-priority for seating). Parking is free on a first-come, first-served basis in the HP Pavilion-controlled parking lots. A “Toys for Tots” toy drive will also be hosted at the North and South Entrances of the arena.

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.

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 3.9 goals per game this season, ranking fourth in the ECHL.

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 265 games played.