Thunder Look to Get on Track vs Condors
The Stockton Thunder embark on a five game road trip starting today as the team heads down California 99 to take on the Bakersfield Condors at 7:00 p.m.
Fans can head over to the official watch party at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel to watch the coverage on AmericaOne beginning at 6:00 p.m. Others can tune in on StocktonThunder.com or Spreaker.com to listen to live audio.
The Thunder close out a very busy November today as they begin this season long five-game road trip. This will be the 16th game of November, and in spite of virtually no off days, the team has had a strong month going 9-4-0-2 in the 15 previous November matchups. That record also includes two wins over the Condors in Bakersfield, including a 2-1 win on November 10th and a 6-2 win on the morning of November 14th. The only other game against Bakersfield was at Stockton Arena on the 17th when the Condors upset the Thunder in a shootout, 4-3.
While the Thunder fell in that game, it was the start of a six game point streak that would come to an end last night at home as the Ontario Reign continued to shine in Stockton Arena.
After the Thunder played a complete game in Ontario on Wednesday but fell in the shootout, things did not go as planned on home ice. The Thunder were shut down by the Reign in a 4-1 loss. Ontario doubled the Thunder’s shot total of 17 and held the Thunder to just 5 shots in the third period.
The lone Thunder tally would come courtesy of the captain, Garet Hunt. Trailing 1-0 early in the first period, Ryan Constant kept a puck in at the point and fired it around the far-side boards where it found Andrew Clark behind Ontario netminder Michael Hutchinson. Clark looked up and saw Hunt separate from his man and fed the Maple Ridge, British Columbia native in the slot. Hunt buried his sixth goal of the season through Hutchinson’s five-hole to even the score. For Hunt, it was his second goal in as many games and moves him into a tie with Clark for the team lead in goals.
With the assist, Clark also moves into a tie with Ryan Hayes for the team lead in points with 17. Hayes has missed the last few games with an undisclosed injury while Clark has continued his near point-per-game pace.
While tonight’s matchup doesn’t affect first place, the Thunder look to get back on track and pull back within two points of the Ontario Reign, who host the Mountain Division leading Colorado Eagles on Saturday and Sunday.
The Condors are coming off a big win over San Francisco on Wednesday night at the Cow Palace as they dismantled the Bulls 5-2. Despite the Bulls having a one goal lead heading into the third period, the Condors battled hard and scored three goals in a span of 1:10.
Ryan Watson got the tying goal just 2:14 seconds into the third, and 37 seconds later, Joel Broda scored his fourth goal of the season. Then just 33 seconds after that goal, Broda added another on the power play as Bakersfield took a 4-2 lead. Jordan Knackstedt would add his second of the night, an empty netter, with 27 seconds left in the game to seal the Condor’s fourth win of the year.
The Condors have been hard pressed for points and victories this season, but they’ve come more regularly as they’ve picked things up recently. In their last five games, Bakersfield has posted a 3-2-0-0 record including wins over the top two teams in the Pacific Division.
Bakersfield has had a number of goalies tend net for the team this season but a familiar face was reassigned to the Condors last Monday. Former Stockton Thunder goalie Tyler Bunz appeared in four games with the Oklahoma City Barons with a 1-1-0-1 record, a 3.15 goals-against-average, and a .914 save percentage, before being sent back to the ECHL.
Bunz, who played in 37 games last year for the Thunder, was in net for the first meeting between the teams back on October 25th. He allowed 5 goals on 33 shots before being replaced by Paul Karpowich at the start of the third period.
The Thunder do not return home until December 15th when they host the Bakersfield Condors at Stockton Arena beginning at 4:00 p.m. The Thunder’s Cyber Monday deal is going on now through 11:59 p.m. on Monday as fans can purchase a Lower Premium seat for that game and get a Thunder hat for just $20. Order online today to ensure you are in attendance.