RECAP: Working Their Magic
Thunder continues mastery over division rival with wire to wire win
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. –
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. –Eric Hunter and Justin Maylan each buried two goals while goaltender Tyler Bunz made 21 saves to lift the Stockton Thunder (17-9-6, 40 points) to a 6-3 victory over the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena on Friday.
The Thunder, who led wire to wire in the game and improved to 6-1-1 this season over their division rivals, buried a pair of power play goals and collected multi point games from Teigan Zahn and Yannick Riendeau as well.
The Thunder controlled the first period and led in shots, 12-8 to claim a 1-0 lead. Maylan got them on the board with his 11th goal of the season off the rush, converting a centering pass by Garet Hunt with 5:41 elapsed.
Both teams combined for six goals in a wild second period as the Thunder assumed a commanding 5-2 lead. After Tyson Gimblett was whistled for an illegal check to the head and given a five minute major and match penalty, the Thunder cashed in on a pair of power play goals.
Hunter blasted a one timer to the back of the net from the right point at 3:53 and Maylan parked a rebound from Mike Little’s blueline shot at 5:09 for a 3-0 edge.
The Condors got on the board with Daniel Koger’s shorthanded goal, a one timer at the right circle with 7:31 elapsed but the Thunder answered on Zahn’s bomb from the left point for a 4-1 lead at 11:35.
Evan Trupp fed Levi Nelson with a tape to tape pass for Nelson’s tenth goal of the season to cut the deficit to 4-2 with 8:10 left in the period, but the duo of Toni Rajala and Riendeau answered on the next shift with Rajala’s nifty pass at the net, converted by Riendeau’s backhander under the crossbar for a 5-2 lead at 13:54.
Hunter then blew the lead up to 6-2 just 54 seconds into the third period, converting on an outnumbered break with a snap shot at the right circle. Cameron Abney and Matt Bergland set up the play with a quick re-direction from the left wing, which found a wide open Hunter.
Olivier Malka finished the scoring with a power play goal with 16.9 seconds left in regulation.
Scott Greenham took the loss for the Condors with 31 stops.
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Matt Reber, Kevin Noble, and Ryan Constant … the Thunder are guaranteed a season series win over the Condors … Riendeau’s two points gave him 21 points in the last 16 games … the Thunder went 2-of-5 on the power play and outshot the Condors 37-24 … the Thunder scored the first goal of the game for the first time since Dec. 14 vs. Colorado.
The Thunder wraps up a stretch of three games in three days tomorrow, hosting the Las Vegas Wranglers at 7:30 p.m. (1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com) at Stockton Arena.
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. STK – J. Maylan
2. STK – E. Hunter
3. BAK – L. Nelson