Thunder Battle Back in Third, Lose in Shootout
The Thunder failed to finish their comeback bid as they fell to the Bakersfield Condors in a shootout by a final score of 4-3. Bakersfield’s Jordan Knackstedt was the only shooter to score in the skills competition.
The Thunder struggled to build on any offensive chances in the first and second periods while allowing the Condors to outshoot the home side Thunder 26 – 17. Chris Collins was able to capitalize on his second and third goals of the season as he gave Bakersfield the 2-0 lead.
The Thunder, trailing by two going into the third period, stormed back with 3 straight goals to take the lead. It took only 3 minutes into the third frame to get on the board as Captain Garet Hunt received a pass from Andrew Clark to set up new Thunder forward Greg Miller for the power play tally. For Miller, playing his second game in a Thunder uniform, it was his first professional goal after spending 9 games without points this season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
“It was a sense of relief,” said Miller. “I’m happy that I can finally contribute to the team. I’m supposed to be a point guy, and while there are many ways to help the team, I’m glad to do it on the scoresheet.”
Forward Corey Trivino then tied the contest when he knocked home a rebound off a shot from defenseman Nathan Deck. The puck was blocked in front of Bakersfield goaltender Chet Pickard, but Trivino was able to find it in the defenseman’s skates and pop it in the net.
Stockton then took the 3-2 lead when right winger Ryan Hayes was able to score off a missed shot from Landon Oslanski. Oslanski pushed the one-timer wide and Trivino was on the doorstep to put the puck back toward the net where Hayes would capitalize and go top shelf on the Condors keeper.
“In the third period we were able to get pucks in deep and it paid off for us,” said Head Coach Rich Kromm, “we were able to gain some momentum and played a lot harder and smarter. Having said that we get to a point where we get the lead and we have to learn how to shut teams down.”
With 3:30 remaining, Bakersfield tied the game up when center Chase Schaber was able to sneak the puck past Thunder goalkeeper Brian Foster.
“It was just a weird bounce,” Foster said. “The guy turned and [took a shot] but the puck deflected off someone as it was going across the crease and went short side. It was just a weird bounce.”
At the end of regulation the Condors got a 5 on 3 power play advantage thanks to two penalties, one on defenseman Oslanski and the other by Deck. The Thunder were able to kill the power-play, forcing overtime.
“It was hectic, 5 on 3’s always are,” Foster said. “You just try to get in the way of shots and we all did a good job of killing it off.”
Foster ended the night surrendering 3 goals on 40 shots faced but also allowed the lone goal in the shoot-out when right winger Jordan Knackstedt beat him through the legs. Despite the shootout loss, Foster made some brilliant saves that kept the Thunder in the game and gave them a chance for the comeback.
Thunder fans can purchase the special “Thunder Pride Pack” ahead of Wednesday’s game against the San Francisco Bulls slated to start at 7:00 p.m. Fans can get four tickets in the Upper End Zone, four hot dogs and four sodas for just $38 at the Stockton Arena Box Office. Fans can also receive a free Thunder hat at no extra charge by purchasing their tickets in advance through StocktonThunder.com. In addition, the team will be hosting “College Night” where you are encouraged to bring your fraternity, sorority, alumni association, sports team, or club to take advantage a discounted group ticket rate. For more information or to sign your organization up, call 209-373-1500.
1st Star – Jordan Knackstedt, BAK – Shootout Game Winner
2nd Star – Ryan Hayes, STK – 1 goal and 1 assist
3rd Star – Chase Schaber, BAK – Game Tying Goal and 1 assist