RECAP: Aces Turn A Trick
Imbeault picks up natural hat trick, Bunz collects career high 41 saves
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alexandre Imbeault collected a natural hat trick and the Alaska Aces completed a three game weekend sweep, sending the Stockton Thunder (24-20-9, 57 points) to a 3-1 defeat before 3,379 fans at Sullivan Arena on Sunday.
Just like the previous two evenings, the Thunder and Aces battled to a scoreless tie in the opening period. Tyler Bunz registered a key save on Chris Clackson’s one timer in the middle of the period, while Mark Guggenberger faced the biggest amount of pressure by the Thunder late in the period.
He came up with a key save in the last two minutes on a bid by Mike Little, after the Aces turned the puck over.
The power play took over for both teams in the second period and Alaska assumed a 2-1 lead. The Thunder struck first on Ryan Constant’s wrister from the left circle that beat Guggenberger under the crossbar with 7:16 elapsed.
Alaska answered with back to back tallies on the power play by Imbeault, who stashed a loose puck in the crease during a scramble with 10:10 left for a 1-1 tie. Imbeault then buried a rebound with 6:14 left for his second goal of the game after Bunz stopped Bobby Hughes from the right circle.
Imbeault notched the hat trick goal with 3:25 into the third period on a centering pass by Zach Harrison at the left circle.
Guggenberger made 21 saves for the win. Bunz took the loss with a career high 41 stops.
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Jesse Fratkin, Ryan Green and Justin Maylan … the Thunder power play has capitalized with a goal in 12 of the last 14 games … Alaska outshot the Thunder 44-22 … the Aces won eight of the last ten games in the season series … Little had an assist in his second straight game after going through eight games without a point.
The Thunder returns to play on Friday, Feb. 15 with a 7:30 p.m. (1280 KWSX/StocktonThunder.com) home game against the Ontario Reign at Stockton Arena, opening Military Appreciation Weekend.
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 – A. Imbeault
2. AK – M. Guggenberger
3. STK – R. Constant