RECAP: Battle Royal
Thunder rallies from third period deficit, Syvret buries shootout winner
ANCHORAGE, Alaska –
ANCHORAGE, Alaska –Corey Syvret scored on a snap shot from the inside of the right circle in the bottom of the sixth round to help the Alaska Aces send the Stockton Thunder (15-7-6, 36 points) to a 4-3 shootout defeat before 3,581 fans at Sullivan Arena.
The Thunder, who moved to 1-0-1 on a six game road trip, fought back from a 3-2 deficit in the third period and collected goals by Yannick Riendeau, Mike Little and Justin Maylan.
Alexandre Imbeault stashed a rebound in the slot to lift Alaska to a 1-0 lead at 9:03 of the first period after goaltender Cody Reichard was handcuffed on Corey Syvret’s rising shot from the left point.
The Thunder responded on Yannick Riendeau’s power play goal just 1:42 later on a deflection from the left circle for a 1-1 tie.
Alaska regained the lead on Joey Crabb’s rebound goal with 3:14 left in the first period after Reichard stopped Kane Lafranchise’s one timer from the high slot.
With the goaltender pulled on a delayed penalty call, the Thunder came back to tie the game at 12:14 of the second period on Mike Little’s one timer, set up by Yannick Riendeau’s centering pass from the right corner.
But just 5:08 later, Alaska responded to claim the lead at 3-2 after Riendeau was called for a tripping penalty. Nick Mazzolini won the end zone faceoff and set up William Wrenn, who whipped a point to point pass to Kane Lafranchise at the right side.
Lafranchise boomed a one timer off Reichard’s glove for his fourth goal of the season.
After a cycle beneath the net, Justin Maylan emerged with a backhander in the slot to tie the game at 3-3 with 16:15 left in regulation after he beat Gerald Coleman over his blocker.
Toni Rajala threatened for a late go-ahead goal after he swiped the puck from Matt Robinson in the Alaska zone. With Coleman scrambling to square up in net, Rajala faked to Coleman’s blocker side but pounded a snap shot off the post.
The Thunder continued with furious pressure on the Aces net in overtime with a 6-0 shot advantage. Mike Little collected a loose puck during a power play late in the period, but Coleman stopped his wrist shot from the slot.
Back to back goals by the Thunder in the shootout were answered by three straight from Alaska. Maylan kept the game alive with a crafty backhanded deke over Coleman’s blocker in the fifth round. But after Coleman stopped Little’s bid, the Aces took the game on Syvret’s move from the right wing.
Reichard took the shootout loss with 25 saves. Coleman stopped 26 shots to pick up the victory.
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Matt Reber, Kevin Noble, and Ryan Constant … the Thunder moved to 5-4-5 on the road … the shots on goal finished at a 29-29 split … Riendeau now has 16 points in his last 12 games … Stockton moved to 2-1-1 in the series against Alaska this season.
The Thunder returns to play with a rematch on Friday against the Alaska Aces at Sullivan Arena, starting at 8:15 p.m. (StocktonThunder.com).
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
1. AK – K. Lafranchise
2. STK – Y. Riendeau
3. AK – N. Mazzolini