Thunder Sweep Series in Front of Heroes
The Thunder showed how good they can be Saturday night as they routed the Utah Grizzlies in front of a crowd full of true American heroes by the final score of 5-2, completing the weekend sweep and putting their record back over .500 for the season.
“I thought we were real good, it was a complete game as far as that goes,” said Head Coach Rich Kromm. “Even though they did score a power play goal early but other than that it was a pretty solid game.”
The Thunder offense was the star of the night as they scored in all three periods, never taking their foot of the pedal. The first goal of the night came from forward Andrew Clark, who collected the shorthanded tally. While on the penalty kill, recently assigned defenseman Marc Cantin collected the puck, then passed up the ice to the breaking Clark. As he approached Utah goaltender Aaron Dell, Clark faked forehand going backhand, five-hole, beating Dell.
Defenseman Landon Oslanski helped double the lead later in the first period, as he got a pass from Riley Wetmore, held at the point and fired a slapper that deflected off Matt Bergland and in for the 2-0 lead.
The onslaught continued in the second period when Cantin tallied the third goal on the night for the Thunder. With forward Matt Mangene controlling the puck in the near corner, Mangene gave a crisp pass to Cantin who was darting toward the goal all alone. Cantin then one-timed the shot past the Utah netminder to improve the Thunder lead to 3-0.
After the Cantin tally, Utah scored two straight times to temporarily cut the Thunder lead down to one. The first goal for Utah came from forward Charles Sarault on the power play late in the second period. After forward Ryan Hayes was sent to the penalty box for holding, Utah finally got the puck past Thunder goaltender Brian Foster.
Then the second goal for Utah came only 1:00 into the third period, causing a gasp among the fans in the stands. Again the Utah tally came on the power play, this time a five-on-three man advantage. Utah forward Mathieu Aubin was the second player to beat Foster after he was set up by Sarault.
Showing how deadly their offense was, Clark collected his second goal of the night only 1:55 later to again extend the lead to two. After Oslanski shot the puck, the rebound bounced off the pad of Dell, allowing Clark to put back the rebound. The Thunder then collected a fifth goal on the night from center Joey Martin. Defenseman Ryan Constant took the shot which deflected high off the back boards, allowing Martin to clean up and seal the game for the Thunder.
A key to the Thunder victory in tonight’s game the defensive presences in front of Foster. The Thunder netminder ended the night saving 15 of the 17 shots faced with the defense keeping the shot total low for Utah. New defensive additions Scott Langdon and Cantin, along with the return of Constant, have improved the Thunder’s blue line presence.
After tonight’s win, the Thunder will take off for a three-game road trip beginning in Ontario tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The Thunder conclude their regular season series with the Reign on Wednesday before heading to Bakersfield to conclude their season series and the Thunder’s road schedule.
The Thunder are next home on Saturday, April 12 when they host the Las Vegas Wranglers for the second and final time all season to end the regular season. The first 1,500 in the building for the finale will receive white rally towels to help cheer on the Thunder. It will also be Group Appreciation Night, so if you brought a group for an outing this season, take advantage of special pricing on the final game and bring them out again.
For more information, contact your representative, or the Thunder Front Office at 209-373-1500