PREVIEW: The Finish Line

Saturday, 12.22.12 / 11:24 AM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

GAME: Stockton Thunder at Alaska Aces
DATE: Saturday, December 22, 2012
TIME: 8:15 p.m.
SITE: Sullivan Arena
RADIO: StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)
WATCH PARTY: Fat’s Grill

VIDEO: Game Day comments – Matt Thomas

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 with the finale of a three game series tonight against the Alaska Aces at Sullivan Arena. The Thunder is 28-27-15 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 2-2-1 against Alaska this season and last faced the Aces on Friday in a 5-1 loss at Sullivan Arena.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

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

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

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 Stockton 3 at Alaska 4 (SO)
Fri. Dec. 21 Stockton 1 at Alaska 5
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:

AK 5 – STK 1 (12/21/12): The Alaska Aces used multi point games from Scott Gomez, Kane Lafranchise and Alexandre Imbeault to send the Stockton Thunder (15-8-6, 36 points) to a 5-1 defeat before 4,889 fans at Sullivan Arena on Saturday. The Thunder, who nearly rallied out of a 3-0 deficit in the third period, collected a power play goal by Eric Hunter. Alaska followed up with consecutive goals by Gomez and Imbeault to put the game away. Gerald Coleman made 26 saves in net to earn the win.

AK 4 – STK 3 (SO) (12/19/12): 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 on Saturday. 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.

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.

UPCOMING MILESTONES
• Ryan Constant is 4 assists away from 100 in his professional career
• Mike Little is 2 games away from 100 in his ECHL career
• Yannick Riendeau is 13 assists away from 100 in his professional career

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan is tied for the ECHL rookie lead in scoring with 27 points this season in 27 games. He has collected seven points in the last eight games. Maylan has also posted seven multi point games and earned a goal in Wednesday’s game at Alaska.

ROLLING IN THE (RIEN)DEAU

Forward Yannick Riendeau has 17 points in the last 13 games and has posted eight multi point games this season. He earned a goal and an assist on Wednesday at Alaska 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 3.5 goals per game this season, ranking fifth 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 272 games played.

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