RECAP: Soaring in Stockton

Friday, 12.14.12 / 11:04 PM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

Reed, Reichard, Riendeau roll as Thunder trounces Eagles at home

FINAL STATS: Box score
VIDEO: (COMING SOON) Highlights and postgame comments from the locker room
AUDIO: Game highlights – Thunder Replay
MORE: Matt Thomas full postgame media transcript

By Ruben Dominguez – Thunder staff writer

STOCKTON, Calif. – In the first meeting between these two teams since the first round of last season’s Kelly Cup playoffs, the Stockton Thunder (14-6-3-2, 33 points) proved it still carries the momentum, rolling past the Colorado Eagles 4-1 at Stockton Arena on Friday.

Goaltender Cody Reichard posted his third stellar performance at home, recording 25 saves on 26 shots. Center Harrison Reed recorded two goals, while forward Yannick Riendeau registered two assists in his seven multi-point game of the season. Colorado’s Kyle Jones made 30 stops in goal.

“I thought the guys played a strong game,” Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said. “The one thing we didn’t do is that we didn’t fuel the other team. We’ve been fueling the other teams we’ve played recently. There was a pretty strong commitment to playing a simple game and getting through neutral ice.”

After both teams had shots hit the pipes, the Thunder got on the board 16:59 into the first period. Taking advantage of a five-on-three power play, center Justin Maylan faked a shot in the left circle before finding Reed in between the circles. Reed blasted a slap shot past Jones’ glove to put the Thunder up 1-0.

The Thunder doubled their lead thanks to another power play goal in the second period. A deflection in front of goal bounced back between the circles and was collected by defenseman Mike Little. Little threaded a shot that found the bottom left corner of the net, scoring his first goal of the season, which put the Thunder up 2-0 10:54 into the second period.

With his two goals tonight, Harrison Reed now leads all Thunder players in points on the season. (photo by Asvitt Photogrpahy)

Just 2:41 later, Riendeau battled behind the Colorado goal to work the puck to center Eric Hunter. Hunter’s wrap-around shot bounced off Jones’ pad, but the rebound went right to forward Matt Bergland, who put it away from the left post to increase the Thunder lead to 3-0.

The Thunder added to their total early into the final frame. Fighting for the puck on the boards behind the Eagles goal, captain Garet Hunt sent a backhanded pass to the front of goal, where a charging Reed met it at full speed. Reed’s shot soared into the net for his second goal of the game, putting the Thunder up 4-0 just 3:25 into the third period.

Reichard came just 4:23 short of a second consecutive home shutout. His chance was ended by Jack Combs, who put away a pass from Trent Daavettila to cut the Thunder lead to 4-1.

“Everybody’s got to be aware,” said Little. “When everybody plays the same way, it makes it a lot more difficult for them. They don’t have any time or space to work with. You have to be physical with those kinds of guys. It was a great team effort. Reichard played great too, and it helped us a lot.”

NOTES: The Thunder scratched Matt Reber, Kevin Noble, and Toni Rajala…Cody Reichard went 127:56 without allowing a goal at Stockton Arena, shutting out opponents in seven of the last nine periods at home…Harrison Reed now leads the Thunder with 26 points on the season…Justin Maylan is now tied for the most points (25) by a ECHL rookie this season…Yannick Riendeau has recorded a point in six of the last eight games…Harrison Reed left in the third period due to an injury.

These two teams will finish off their two-game series tomorrow night at Stockton Arena. The puck will drop for this Saturday, Dec. 15 matchup at 7:30 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. STK – H. Reed
2. STK – C. Reichard
3. STK – M. Bergland