The Thunder Experience:
Best Fans, Best Arena, Best Place to Play - Bar None.
Two-time recipient – ECHL “Award of Excellence” – 2007, 2009
Eight call-ups to the NHL since 2006-07
THUNDER PLAYERS AND ALUMNI – AND WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:
|“Playing in Stockton was very exciting and helped get me to the next level. The opportunity for ice time helped build my skills and develop confidence in my game. The arena was always packed with great fans and the organization is first class. Playing in that city with nice, warm weather also made life, outside of the rink, a lot of fun.”
Right Wing / Stockton Thunder (2006-07)
|“Certainly it was overwhelming being in Stockton – a whole lot more than I ever expected. It was a treat to be there – there was excitement in the city from day one and the fans followed through with it until the last game of the season. It was an absolute treat to play in Stockton.”
Goaltender / Stockton Thunder (2006-07)
|“I’ve been to many different buildings around the country – Stockton is one of the top markets with one of the top buildings in hockey. The fan support is remarkable – they make you feel at home and show a lot of passion and support every game. The training facility is top notch and there’s a nice feeling with the staff – they’re going to work hard for you and in turn, it helps you feel relaxed and prepared to do your job.”
Forward / Stockton Thunder (2007-08)
|“Together with the terrific weather, it was always a thrill to come to the rink in Stockton. The facilities are tremendous and the fan base is second to none. The coaches and management support their players in a truly professional manner, ensuring that all their needs are taken care of both on and off the ice. Playing for the Thunder provided me with a solid foundation to take my career in hockey to the highest level.”
Left Wing / Stockton Thunder (2006-07)
|“Stockton ranks among one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had in hockey. The fan support and turnout is phenomenal. We have a great, top notch hockey staff in the room who are capable of moving up just as much as the players. The coaching staff have done a great job in producing a winner. The California weather keeps you upbeat every day you go to the rink and community embraces you so much to the point where you’re treated like a borderline celebrity.”
Center / Stockton Thunder (2008-2011)
WHO YOU PLAY FOR:
The Stockton Thunder, a proud member of the ECHL for seven seasons, are a minor league hockey team based just 45 minutes south of Sacramento and an hour east of the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose area.
The Thunder, a product of the hockey boom in a growing California region, prides itself on professionalism from top to bottom, state-of-the-art facilities and a loyal, passionate fanbase, making it easy for you to focus on hockey and develop your career in a winning, vibrant atmosphere. Its coaching staff is dedicated to help get your game to the next level, and it’s been proven. The Thunder have sent eight players onto make their NHL debut since 2006-07.
Among the highlights, through the Thunder’s seven seasons in the ECHL, the “Premier ‘AA’ hockey league”:
- Reached ECHL National Conference Finals, 2010
- Six straight appearances in Kelly Cup Playoffs, 2007-12
- Five seasons over 30 wins, 2007, 2009-12
- Led ECHL in attendance, four consecutive seasons (2005-09)
- Drawn over 200,000 fans per game, seven straight seasons (2005-present)
- Recipient of ECHL “Award of Excellence” (top organization in league), 2007, 2009
- Hosted ECHL All-Star Game, 2008
- Voted “Best Local Sports Team” (San Joaquin Magazine), 2008-10
Continuing to grow as one of the flagship teams of the ECHL, the Thunder made its deepest playoff run in 2009-10 by reaching the National Conference Finals, ultimately pushing the Idaho Steelheads (league’s best record as #1 seed) to six games.
Before that, the Thunder eliminated the Alaska Aces (previously had reached the Kelly Cup Finals or won the cup in two of the last four seasons) in the first round in five games – and disposed of the Pacific Division champion Bakersfield Condors (#2 seed), 4-1, in the second round series.
THUNDER NHL AFFILIATE: EDMONTON OILERS
|The Thunder have served as a dedicated ECHL affiliate to the Edmonton Oilers for six straight, remarkable seasons. In that span, eight players from the Thunder have moved onto make their NHL debuts, including Troy Bodie, Devan Dubnyk, Liam Reddox and Tim Sestito.|
THUNDER AHL AFFILIATE: OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS
|The Oklahoma City Barons served as a new AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers in 2010-11, playing at the state-of-the-art Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The Thunder have an remarkable track record of helping players advance their career in the game with AHL contracts and call-ups!|
STOCKTON THUNDER CALL-UP LIST (2011-12)
- Ian O’Connor | Worcester Sharks
- Milan Kytnar | Oklahoma City Barons, Edmonton Oilers
- Ryan Martindale | Oklahoma City Barons
- Olivier Roy | Oklahoma City Barons
- Dan Ringwald | Oklahoma City Barons
- Cameron Abney | Oklahoma City Barons
- Chris D’Alvise | Springfield Falcons
- Alex Stalock | Worcester Sharks
- Thomas Heemskerk | Worcester Sharks
- Harri Sateri | Worcester Sharks
- Ryan Lowery | Oklahoma City Barons
- Cameron Brodie | Texas Stars
- Brock Matheson | Rochester Americans
STOCKTON THUNDER “IN THE SHOW” LIST (through 2011-12)
- Troy Bodie | Anaheim Ducks | Carolina Hurricanes
- Devan Dubnyk | Edmonton Oilers
- Milan Kytnar | Edmonton Oilers
- Liam Reddox | Edmonton Oilers
- Ryan O’Marra | Edmonton Oilers
- Colin McDonald | Edmonton Oilers
- Tim Sestito | Edmonton Oilers | New Jersey Devils
- Bryan Young | Edmonton Oilers
THUNDER COACHES/ HOCKEY STAFF
Play for coaches who know how to win, work with people who can get the job done and will take care of you. That’s what the Stockton Thunder experience is all about.
HEAD COACH MATT THOMAS
Matt Thomas, a winner throughout his coaching career and well-known for his passionate coaching style and a constant preacher of an up-tempo playing philosophy, is 305-199-71 (.592 win percentage) in eight seasons as a head coach in the ECHL. He has reached the Conference Finals twice (Fresno, Stockton) and under mentor and head coach Mike Haviland (now with the Chicago Blackhawks), helped guide the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies to a Kelly Cup championship as an assistant coach in 2002-03.
At 36 years of age, Thomas has never missed the playoffs in his coaching career and has served behind the bench in two ECHL All-Star Games. Before hitting the pro ranks, Thomas was an assistant coach in the college ranks at national-power Maine (NCAA), getting to the national championship game in 2001-02.
HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER KEVIN ANDERSON
Kevin Anderson (MA, ATC) serves as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Stockton Thunder, providing players with day-to-day medical needs on the road and at home. Anderson gained experience in sports medicine as the Assistant Director of Athletic Training at the University of the Pacific under the direction of current Director, Chris Pond. His experience includes time with the Stockton Lightning (arena football) from 2006-09 and he also worked as an athletic training intern in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams in 1992 and 1993.
Kevin was named ECHL Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2011 and has been named to the All-Star Game three times in his career as a member of the training staff. In 2008, he was recognized as the arenafootball2 Athletic Trainer of the Year.
WHAT YOU WEAR
THE STOCKTON THUNDER JERSEY
A lot of pride goes into wearing the uniform and sweater scheme of the Stockton Thunder. The crisp black, gold and white colors have stayed true through seven seasons of play and in 2009-10, a wildly popular third jersey was added to the scheme, featuring the classic “tie-down” feature at the top of the jersey.
WHERE YOU PLAY
Stockton has welcomed the Thunder with open arms! For four straight seasons (2005-09), the Thunder, who has advanced to the playoffs for six straight seasons, led the ECHL in attendance and has drawn over 200,000 fans for seven consecutive seasons.
The state-of-the-art venue features 24 luxury suites, approximately 400 club seats, a Members Club lounge, video replay scoreboard, four fully-furnished team locker rooms and three team and arena offices. The multi-use facility accommodates a wide range of events and activities with a total event load anticipated to exceed 100 events per year.
STOCKTON THUNDER TEAM FACILITIES TOUR
Stockton Arena is the centerpiece of the city’s north shore redevelopment project. In addition to the Arena, the waterfront events center includes an adjacent 5,000-seat baseball stadium (Banner Island Ballpark), a five-star hotel and conference center, a 500+ capacity parking facility and premier retail locations.
The Thunder has sold-out the beautiful, 9,737-seat Stockton Arena 17 times since 2005-06. The luxurious waterfront venue hosted the ECHL All-Star Game in 2007-08, features top-notch player facilities such as a state-of-the-art training room, steam room and sauna (shown right), a fully-furnished, customized locker room and more.
Professional hockey, basketball, arena football, mixed martial arts and indoor soccer, along with festivals, graduation events and ice shows have brought a myriad of sporting and entertainment events to Stockton Arena.
Additional Stockton Arena-hosted events include concerts and shows such as:
- Carrie Underwood
- Billy Currington
- Sean Kingston
- Ice Cube
- Snoop Dogg
- Chris Brown
- Neil Diamond
- Ozzy Osbourne
- Brad Paisley
- Josh Turner
- Larry The Cable Guy
- Gwen Stefani
WHERE YOU LIVE:
Boasting year-round ideal weather, Stockton, California is centrally located in the San Joaquin Valley and is only a short drive from San Francisco, Sacramento, the pacific coast, and Lake Tahoe. Stockton is currently the 13th largest city in California with a dynamic, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural population of over 260,000 (larger than major league sports cities such as Green Bay, Wisconsin and Sunrise, Florida)!
Stockton is located on the California Delta which provides thousands of miles of waterways for water skiing, sailing and other water activities. Stockton is also home to the University of the Pacific, one of the top private college institutions in Central California.
Many exciting dining and entertainment destinations await you around town, while premium golf, fishing and hunting amenities lie in town, or just a short trek away in famous California landmarks such as Pebble Beach, Lake Tahoe, the California Delta, the Sierra Nevada forest and more!
Stockton has many exciting restaurants, clubs and pub options that await you around or near town. Among the popular stops for a refined cuisine selection or an enjoyable quick bite include BJ’s Restaurant, Garlic Brothers, Elephant Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Chipotle, and Valley Brew Restaurant.
Nightlife in Stockton and the surrounding areas offer vibrant, hip and energetic activity with live music in many nightclubs and lounges – giving you a taste of the California lifestyle and for what it’s well-known for! Offering you a night of fun-filled entertainment, the popular hot spots around town include Ave on The Mile, Taste Ultra Lounge, Finnegans Pub and Grill, Stockton Joe’s and 856 Restaurant.
Whether you’re a local looking for a new angle on California nightlife entertainment options or you’re from out of town, wondering about the top spots for having a good time, you can find a vast array of things to do in Stockton and Northern California. Stay around and browse many options of up-and-coming attractions to Stockton that are part of the scene, annually, or coming soon!
On the cool, relaxed off-days, your chance to take advantage of prestigious, challenging golf courses also lie nearby – Brookside Country Club, The Reserve at Spanos Park, Micke Grove Golf Links and Elkhorn Golf Club.
Select courses around the area also offer complimentary golf to Thunder players!
WHERE YOU RESIDE:
The Thunder assists in providing players with premium team housing accommodations nearby the luxurious and budding Spanos Park West shopping center. Inside, you’ll find a wide range of premiere shopping and dining amenities. Giving you a chance to emphasize your focus on hockey, many player living accommodations come with the option of assisted various furnishings, kitchenware and more. Just ask – help is on the way!
WHAT’S NEARBY STOCKTON
- Pebble Beach Golf Links (2 hour drive west)
- Brookside Country Club, Stockton (10 minute drive north)
- Stockton Golf & Country Club (10 minute drive west)
- Elkhorn Golf Club, Stockton (15 minute drive north)
- Lockeford Springs Golf Course, Lockeford (20 minute drive north)
- The Course at Wente Vineyards (Greg Norman design), Livermore (30 minute drive west)
- Wildhawk Golf Club, Sacramento (45 minute drive north)
- Lodi Wine and Visitor Center, Lodi (10 minute drive north)
- Alcatraz and Pier 39, downtown San Francisco (1 hour drive west)
- Old Town Sacramento (45 minute drive north)
- Santa Cruz beach and boardwalk park, Santa Cruz (1.5 hour drive west)
- Lake Tahoe (less than 2 hour drive north)
- Yosemite National Park (2 hour drive east)
- Napa Valley wineries (1 hour drive north)
BIG LEAGUE SPORTS/ENTERTAINMENT
- HP Pavilion at San Jose, home of the San Jose Sharks (45 minute drive west)
- AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants (1 hour drive west)
- Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco 49ers (1 hour drive west)
- Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, home of the Golden State Warriors, Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders (1 hour drive west)
- Sleep Train Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings (45 minute drive north)
- Paramount Theatre of the Arts, Oakland (1 hour drive west)
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE THUNDER
CONTACT: Matt Thomas (209) 373-1510 (firstname.lastname@example.org)