Thunder Open Weekend With 5-2 Loss
San Francisco, Calif. – The Stockton Thunder opened up their three-game weekend set with a 5-2 loss on the road against San Francisco. The Bulls scored four unanswered goals in the third period to overcome a 2-1 deficit and pick up their third win in four games against the Thunder this season.
The Thunder got goals from Shawn Boutin and Corey Trivino and also received a 28-save performance by goaltender Parker Milner in net.
The game started on a bad note for the Thunder as just 40 seconds into the game, captain Garet Hunt picked up a five-minute major penalty for boarding San Francisco’s Berkley Scott as well as a game misconduct. The Thunder were already one player short of the maximum 18 allowed per game with only nine forwards dressing, instead of the usual ten, due to injuries. Losing Hunt left the Thunder without three full lines of forwards for most of the contest.
The Thunder managed to kill off the five-minute power play, but San Francisco was able to open the scoring on another man-up opportunity thanks to Adrian Foster’s goal 14:56 into the opening frame. Foster sent the puck towards the front of the net from the near corner but lucked out as it deflected in off Milner’s stick for a 1-0 Bulls lead.
The Thunder struck back in the second period to even things up at 1-1. Matt Bergland passed to Lee Baldwin with the defenseman skating in from the blue line. Baldwin let a shot go that defensive partner Boutin was able to get a piece of to deflect it behind Bulls netminder Tyler Beskorowany.
The game stayed that way until the third period when the Thunder edged in front courtesy of a power play goal of their own. Corey Trivino took a cross-ice pass on the doorstep of the crease and tapped it in at the back post to make it 2-1 Thunder 6:15 into the third period. Landon Oslanski and Joey Martin picked up assists on the goal. The score extended Trivino’s point-streak to seven straight games with the second-year pro having tallied 2 goals and 10 assists in that span.
The Thunder’s lead was short-lived though. Tyler Gron and Jordan Morrison struck just 33 seconds apart to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead with 8:00 to go in the game. To make matters worse, Ryan Constant picked up a five-minute major penalty of his own less than a minute later. The Bulls scored once on it as Luke Judson deflected one past Milner on a goal-mouth scramble.
Needing two goals with less than two minutes to play the Thunder pulled their goalie for the extra-attacker. However, the Thunder were unable to slip another goal past Beskorowany who finished the game with 35 saves. Morrison iced the contest with 38 seconds to go with an empty-net tally for the Bulls to complete the 5-2 score-line.
The Thunder and Bulls return to action tomorrow night at Stockton Arena in the middle contest of the teams’ three-game set. On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans entering the arena will receive a special edition Garet Hunt bobblehead. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. PST with doors opening an hour beforehand at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 29, is “Kids Take Over Stockton Arena” day as kids will be helping with all facets of running Stockton Arena during the game with such jobs as ticket sales executive, off-ice official, broadcaster and much more. Following the game, up to 500 kids will be allowed onto the ice to showcase their artistic talent by painting on the ice itself. The Thunder will then play a game on the newly redecorated surface on January 3, also against the Bulls.