RECAP: Power Outage
Thunder power play silenced, Beatty breaks tie with late second period goal
LOVELAND, Colo. –
LOVELAND, Colo. –Adam Brown made 22 saves in net and Jason Beatty’s late second period goal stood up as the eventual game winner to help the Colorado Eagles defeat the Stockton Thunder (19-13-7, 45 points), 4-1 at Budweiser Events Center on Friday.
The Thunder dropped their third loss in the last four road games and suffered through a night which saw their second ranked power play (ECHL) go 0-of-4 in the game.
“Tonight I thought we did a lot of good things on the power play and on the penalty kill – we just didn’t capitalize,” said Thunder forward Eric Hunter. “Their power play’s hot. Even when we’re playing well on the penalty kill, they found a way to beat us. At the end of the day, you can make excuses. But our power play’s got to get the job done.”
Colorado came into the game with the league’s top power play and went 2-for-6.
A.J. Hau’s first period goal at 4:27 was answered by a snipe from Yannick Riendeau, who fired a wrist shot through the Eagles defense in transition to tie the game at 1-1 with 2:55 left in the first period.
Both teams muscled and maneuvered their way through a tight checking second period and the shots were tied, 7-7 in the middle 20 minutes. Cody Reichard kept the Eagles at bay with a breakaway save on Kevin Ulanski, turning his forehand deke away with the right pad.
Yet, the Eagles collected a critical goal in the last minute after Riendeau was whistled for a four minute high sticking penalty. Off the end zone faceoff, Michael Forney drew the puck back to Beatty at the blueline.
Beatty fired a seemingly harmless wrist shot on net, but the puck slithered through a screen and past Reichard’s blocker for a 2-1 lead with 23.6 seconds left in the period.
Colorado extended their lead to 3-1 on Ulanski’s wrister from the slot with 13:32 left in regulation, set up on a centering pass by Trent Daavettila from the goal line.
Steve Haddon was credited for his second goal of the season to put the game out of reach with nine minutes remaining, after a loose puck slipped off a defending stick of the Thunder in the crease and under Reichard’s pads.
Reichard, who made 26 saves, took the loss in the game.
“What a game (Reichard) played,” said Hunter. “It’s a shame when he plays that well and we can’t bail him out. He stood on his head with those breakaway stops and on a couple of two on ones. We tried as hard as we could. But we’re struggling around the net.”
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Jesse Fratkin, Kevin Noble, Colten Hayes and Ryan Green … new forward Matt Ambroz made his Thunder debut and registered a shot on goal … Colorado won their ninth consecutive home game … the Thunder fell to 2-3-0 in the season series against the Eagles … Riendeau’s goal gave him ten points in the last ten games.
Both teams meet tomorrow at Budweiser Events Center in the final game of the series at 6:05 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. COL – S. Haddon
2. COL – A. Hau
3. COL – A. Brown