PREVIEW: Thunder-Alaska

Wednesday, 12.19.12 / 2:18 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at Alaska Aces
DATE: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
TIME: 8:15 p.m.
SITE: Sullivan Arena
RADIO: StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)
WATCH PARTY: Fat’s Grill

VIDEO: Morning skate report from Sullivan Arena

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers
Alaska Aces: Independent

NEXT HOME GAME

Saturday, Dec. 29 vs. Las Vegas Wranglers (7:30 p.m.)
MINI-THOR BOBBLEHEAD GIVEAWAY (presented by Pepsi and 97.7/98.3 KWIN)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP

The Thunder continues a six game road trip (the longest of the season) by visiting the Alaska Aces at Sullivan Arena. The two teams first square off Wednesday to begin a three game series. The Thunder is 28-26-14 against Alaska in the lifetime series. Alaska carries four players with NHL playing experience on their roster: forwards Scott Gomez, Brandon Dubinsky (21-day injured reserve list), Joey Crabb and Nate Thompson. The Thunder is 2-1-0 against Alaska this season and last faced the Aces on Nov. 28 in a 6-2 loss at Stockton Arena. Alaska comes off a 2-1 shootout win at Utah last Saturday.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder is 8-0-2 when leading after one period this season.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule: (2-1-0)

Sat. Nov. 3 Alaska 4 at Stockton 7
Sun. Nov. 4 Alaska 1 at Stockton 5
Wed. Nov. 28 Alaska 6 at Stockton 2
Wed. Dec. 19 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 21 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 22 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 4 Alaska 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 8 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 9 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 10 at Alaska 4:05 p.m.

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 6 – SF 4 (12/17/12): The Stockton Thunder (15-7-5, 35 points) squared off against the San Francisco Bulls at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, home of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. The spotlight brought out the best of the Thunder, as they defeated the Bulls for the first time this season in a wild 6-4 contest in front of 12,881 fans in San Jose.The Thunder received a stellar effort from forward Toni Rajala, who recorded the team’s first hat trick of the season and first in over a calendar year. Goaltender Cody Reichard (7-1-2) earned the win, stopping 25 shots.

COL 2 – STK 1 (12/15/12): Goaltender Adam Brown made 40 saves on 41 shots, holding off a furious rally from the Stockton Thunder (14-7-5, 33 points) to secure a 2-1 win for the Colorado Eagles in front of 5,291 fans at Stockton Arena on Saturday. The Thunder, who missed their two leading scorers (Harrison Reed and Toni Rajala) due to injuries, avoided a home shutout for the first time since falling to Ontario 4-0 on Dec. 2, 2011. Center Eric Hunter notched the lone Thunder goal late in the third period. Goaltender Tyler Bunz (8-6-3) recorded 31 stops for the Thunder.

STK 4 – COL 1 (12/14/12): 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 registered two assists in his seven multi-point game of the season. Colorado’s Kyle Jones made 30 stops in goal.

UPCOMING MILESTONES
• Ryan Constant is 4 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Mike Little is 4 games away from 100 in his ECHL career
• Yannick Riendeau is 17 assists away from 100 in his professional career

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan is tied for the ECHL rookie lead in scoring (26 points) and leads all Thunder rookies as well. He has collected six points in the last six games. Maylan has also posted seven multi point games and earned an assist Monday’s win over San Francisco.

ROLLING IN THE (RIEN)DEAU

Forward Yannick Riendeau has points in nine of the last 11 games and has posted seven multi point games this season. He earned an assist on Monday against San Francisco and is on a seven game assist streak at home.

PLAYING THE REICHARD

Thunder goaltender Cody Reichard became the 11th goaltender in Thunder history to earn the ECHL Goaltender of the Week award last week. Reichard was awarded the honor on Dec. 11 after he posted a record of 2-0-1, a 2.30 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage for the week of Dec. 3-9.

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 3.7 goals per game this season, tied for fourth in the ECHL (as of Tuesday).

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 270 games played.