RECAP: The Thunder Strikes Back

Saturday, 02.02.13 / 11:32 PM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

Thunder strikes back for win over Steelheads in front of sellout crowd

FINAL STATS: Box score
VIDEO: Highlights, postgame comments
AUDIO: Game highlights – Thunder Replay

By Ruben Dominguez – Thunder staff writer

STOCKTON, Calif. – The Stockton Thunder (24-17-5-3, 56 points) ripped off three unanswered goals in the second period, enough to hold off the Idaho Steelheads in a 3-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 8,919 at Stockton Arena on Saturday.

“After losing last night, we needed to come back and win.” Center Harrison Reed said afterwards, “It was a must-win for us. You could feel it in the room. The guys really wanted it, and we were able to accomplish that.”

The Thunder closed out a season long seven game homestand with the win during a special “Star Wars Night” promotion with two goals by Reed, who capped off a wild five-goal second period by both teams. Forward Justin Maylan also found the back of the net for the Thunder.

Goaltender Cody Reichard (13-7-5) made 30 saves, while Josh Robinson stopped 29 shots for the Steelheads.

After a scoreless first period, the Steelheads got on the board to start a wild second. David de Kastrozza sent in a shot from the point that made it through traffic and into the goal, putting Idaho up 1-0 with 4:02 gone by in the second period.

Goaltender Cody Reichard stopped 30 shots in the Thunder's win over Idaho on Saturday. (photo by Asvitt Photography)

Just 17 seconds (less than 12 parsecs) later, forward Matt Reber launched a shot from the right circle that rocketed off Robinson’s pads. The rebound went right to Reed, who was waiting in the crease. Reed blasted a shot by Robinson to tie the game at 1-1.

Two minutes later, defenseman Shawn Boutin found forward Yannick Riendeau at the right post. Riendeau sent a pass across goal to Maylan at the left circle. Maylan wove around a defender and launched a shot that found the back of the net and gave the Thunder a 2-1 lead 6:34 into the second period.

The Thunder completed its trilogy of goals in the period at the 8:08 mark. Skating along the right side, forward Garet Hunt sent a behind-the-back pass across the ice to Reed, who sent a laser into the Idaho net. Reed’s second goal of the game increased the Thunder lead to 3-1.

Idaho got a goal back before the end of the period. On a power play, Sam Carrick worked the puck to Tyler Gron in front of goal. Gron poked the puck by Reichard to cut the Thunder lead to 3-2 12:36 into the middle frame.

Reichard made big saves in the final minute of the game, with Robinson pulled for an extra attacker. The Thunder were able to clear the puck into the Steelheads’ zone to secure the win.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to the guys for getting the job done,” Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said, “We found a way. We had some really good plays at the end. It was nice that the last thirty seconds weren’t as frantic as they probably could have been, or that they’ve been in the last few games. It’s a big win at home.”

NOTES: The Thunder scratched Teigan Zahn, Ryan Green, Jesse Fratkin, and Cameron Abney…the 8,919 fans in attendance contributed to the 18th sellout in Stockton Thunder history…Harrison Reed has scored eight goals in the last nine games…both the Thunder and Steelheads each had 32 shots on goal…all but one matchup between Stockton and Idaho has been decided by a single goal…the Thunder went 3-3-1 in its seven-game home stand.

With the team’s seven-game home stand concluded, the Thunder will move on to a date with the Bakersfield Condors Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Rabobank Arena at 7 p.m. (1280 AM KWSX/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

THREE STARS:
1. STK – H. Reed
2. STK – J. Maylan
3. STK – C. Reichard