RECAP: A Comeback Brand

Friday, 02.15.13 / 11:39 PM
By Stockton Thunder Staff

Additions spark Thunder in clutch rally past Ontario before 5,145 fans

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

By Ruben Dominguez – Thunder staff writer

STOCKTON, Calif. – Defenseman Brandon Davidson, making his ECHL debut, scored two clutch goals in the third period and sudden death overtime to lift the Stockton Thunder (25-20-9, 59 points) to a thrilling 2-1 comeback victory in overtime over the Ontario Reign before 5,145 fans at Stockton Arena on Friday.

Davidson, playing in only his third game since recovering from cancer, collected the first two goals of his professional career beginning with 5:23 left in regulation. He followed up with a power play goal at 3:03 of overtime for Stockton’s second comeback win this season when trailing after two periods.

Returning to the Thunder after his “Rookie of the Year” campaign last season, goaltender Olivier Roy (1-0-0) made 29 saves in victory with teammates clad in black, white and silver camouflage jerseys for “Military Appreciation Weekend.” Ontario’s Dustin Carlson (1-1-2) stopped 18 shots.

“Thank God for both [Davidson and Roy],” Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said, “[Roy] needed to be very good from the opening shift, and he was good.”

Forwards Matt Reber and Maxime Boisclair earned assists on Davidson’s goals.

After a scoreless first period, which saw Ontario outshoot Stockton 15-6, the Reign got on the board in the second when Brodie Sheahan took the pass from Matthew Clune and launched a shot from the point. The puck sailed through traffic and by Roy into the goal, putting Ontario up 1-0 11:07 into the middle frame.

Defenseman Brandon Davidson (making his ECHL debut) tied the game with five minutes left before burying the winner in overtime. (photo by Asvitt Photography)

With the third period winding down, the Thunder evened the score thanks to the new defenseman. He began his shift with a booming hit in the defensive zone. The Thunder moved the puck up ice and from the point, Reber found Davidson at the top of the crease.

Davidson fired a screamer that flew by Carlson to tie the game at 1-1 at 14:37 into the third period.

In overtime, the Thunder capitalized on a power play after Boisclair swung the puck to Davidson at the center point. Davidson launched a one timer to the net for his second goal of the game, which brought fans to their feet for the game-winner.

“What can you say [about Davidson]?” said Thomas, “I’m just proud of a guy like that, going through treatment. His hair hasn’t grown back; his head’s still bald from the chemo treatments. To come in and do what he did, it was great. It was great to see.”

NOTES: The Thunder scratched Ryan Green, Jesse Fratkin, Cody Crichton, Matt Ambroz, Justin Maylan, and Cody Reichard…forward Shawn Weller made his Thunder debut after being acquired from South Carolina via trade…the Thunder only managed three shots on goal in the second period, tied for fewest in a regulation period this season (Nov. 2 against Bakersfield)…all but one Stockton-Ontario contest this season has been decided by one goal…the Reign outshot the Thunder 30-20…all three of the Thunder’s extra time wins this season have come at home

The Thunder will now begin a home-and-home series with the San Francisco Bulls, beginning Saturday, Feb. 16 at Stockton Arena with the puck drop set for 7:30 pm (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 – B. Davidson
2. STK – O. Roy
3. ONT – D. Carlson