Game Preview: Stockton Thunder Vs. Utah GrizzliesMarch 18, 2012 - ECHL (ECHL) Stockton Thunder
DATE: Sunday, March 18, 2012
TIME: 4:00 p.m.
SITE: Stockton Arena
RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)/92.5 FM (in house feed)
Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks
Utah Grizzlies: Calgary Flames
HOME GAME PROMOTIONAL NOTES
Tonight's Promotion: FAMILY DAY (presented by Sutter Gould Medical Foundation and 99.3 KJOY)
National Anthem Singer: Crystal Renee
Public Address Announcer: Mike McKnight
In-Arena Emcee: Jungle Jim
NEXT HOME GAME
Friday, Mar. 23 vs. Bakersfield Condors, 7:30 p.m.
FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT (presented by Jackson Rancheria, AT&T/yp.com, University Plaza Waterfront Hotel, AM 970 ESPN Radio, KAT Country 103, 104.1 The Hawk)
The Stockton Thunder hosts the Utah Grizzlies to conclude a two game series at Stockton Arena and a four game homestand. The matchup is the final of six this season between the teams. In the last meeting, the Thunder was defeated by Utah 5-2 at Stockton Arena last night. The Thunder is 1-3-1 against Utah this season and currently stands two points ahead of Utah for fifth place in the Western Conference with seven games left. They carry a lifetime record of 23-26-6 vs. Utah.
SEASON SERIES (Thunder: 1-3-1)
Fri. Nov. 4 Utah 1 at Stockton 0 (SO)
Sat. Nov. 5 Utah 2 at Stockton 3
Fri. Mar. 9 Stockton 1 at Utah 4
Sat. Mar. 10 Stockton 3 at Utah 4
Sat. Mar. 17 Utah 5 at Stockton 2
Sun. Mar. 18 Utah 4:00 p.m.
LAST THREE GAMES:
UTA 5 - STK 2 (3/17/12): Mitch Wahl, Colin Vock and Chris Donovan each collected a goal and an assist to help the Utah Grizzlies clinch a Kelly Cup Playoff berth and send the Stockton Thunder (31-29-5, 67 points) to a 5-2 defeat before 7,537 fans at Stockton Arena on Saturday. The Thunder earned a pair of power play goals in the second period by Chris D'Alvise and Max Campbell, storming back from a 2-0 deficit. Utah broke the 2-2 tie late in the period on a goal by Ross Carlson and finished the game with three unanswered goals.
STK 3 - LV 1 (3/16/12): Kevin Baker scored two goals to bookend a three goal rally in a span of 3:55 and Thomas Heemskerk made 24 saves to lead the Stockton Thunder (31-28-5, 67 points) to a 3-1 victory over the Las Vegas Wranglers before a crowd of 6,017 at Stockton Arena on Friday. The Thunder, who snapped a four game losing skid and kept pace at five points behind Colorado for fourth place in the Western Conference, broke a 1-1 tie on Gabriel Levesque's eventual game winner with 8:17 left in regulation. Heemskerk broke a personal three game losing streak and the Thunder improved to 12-4-1 in the last 17 home games.
IDH 3 - STK 2 (3/14/12): Jerry Kuhn made 33 saves to backstop a three goal rally by the Idaho Steelheads, who sent the Stockton Thunder (30-28-5, 65 points) to a 3-2 defeat at Stockton Arena on Wednesday night. The Thunder, who outshot Idaho 35-21, learned after the game that they clinched a Kelly Cup Playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season after Bakersfield lost to Utah, 3-2 at Rabobank Arena. The Thunder originally built a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Chris D'Alvise and Gabriel Levesque. Derek LeBlanc netted the game winner in the second period on a power play and Kuhn stopped all 14 shots he saw in the third period.
- Kevin Baker is 11 goals away from 200 in his professional career
- Kevin Baker is 3 games away from 400 in his professional career
- Matt Foy is 14 goals away from 100 in his professional career
Goaltender Olivier Roy was reassigned to the Thunder from Oklahoma City (AHL) on Saturday and returns ranking third in the ECHL with a .927 save percentage and sixth with a 2.41 goals against average. Since Dec. 31, his 2.04 goals against average ranks fourth in the league (minimum 100 minutes played).
NOTE OF THE NIGHT
This season, the Thunder has boasted a record of 17-12-3 when playing in the second game of a "back to back" or in a "three game in three day" scenario. The last Thunder win in that situation came last night, when they defeated Colorado, 4-2 at Stockton Arena just one day after a 3-2 win vs. Idaho on Friday.
The Thunder has parlayed a record of 12-5-1 in the last 18 home games. Taking advantage of leads in the middle of the game, the Thunder has never lost at home when holding a lead after the second period (11-0-0). The Thunder has also outshot their opponents in 22 of 32 home games.
Thunder right winger Kevin Baker was signed as a free agent on Aug. 24 and brings a wealth of offensive accomplishments to the Thunder roster. He was named ECHL Most Valuable Player in 2008-09 and his 57 goals that season were most in the league since 2000-01. He ranks tied for second in ECHL all-time goal scoring (since 2006-07) with 177 goals. On Dec. 10 vs. Bakersfield, he collected his first hat trick of the season.
MOST GOALS, ECHL (SINCE 2006-07)
Rank Player Team GP PTS G A +/-
1 Wes Goldie AK 468 451 274 177 9
2 Kevin Baker STK 331 362 177 185 14
3 Mark Derlago IDH 281 340 174 166 41
4 Olivier Labelle REA 304 250 133 117 -15
5 Marty Flichel IDH 391 363 132 231 -6
** Statistics include regular season and playoffs
Since Jan. 1, Thunder defenseman Mike Little has soared to a +16 rating, which is fourth in the league. His +17 rating this season ranks second among all ECHL rookies. Currently competing in his first full season, Little has also registered 23 points (6g-17a) in 35 games since New Year's Day.
HUNTING DOWN A MILESTONE
Thunder left winger Garet Hunt has surpassed Mark Adamek as the club's career leader in games played. Hunt is in his fourth season as a member of the Thunder and last season, was named the team's "Unsung Hero" and "Fan Favorite." This season, he was named alternate captain on Oct. 13. He played in his 200th career game with the Thunder on Dec. 16 vs. Idaho.
ALL-TIME THUNDER GAMES PLAYED
1. Garet Hunt 237
2. Mark Adamek 186
3. Adam Huxley 183
4. Mike Lalonde 182
5. Daryl Marcoux 166
THUNDER CROWDS ROLL IN
An exclusive club, the Thunder averaged over 6,000 fans per game and drew over 200,000 fans for the sixth straight year in 2010-11, ranking second in ECHL in attendance with 6,382 fans per game. Stockton has 17 sellouts in the team's franchise history. They welcomed 12 crowds of 7,000 or more at Stockton Arena last season and had its highest attendance since 2007-08, a six percent increase from 2009-10. This season, the Thunder has welcome 16 crowds of 6,000 or more to Stockton Arena and drew a season high 9,398 fans on Mar. 3 vs. Alaska. The Thunder is third in ECHL attendance with an average of 5,811 fans per game.
ECHL WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF STANDINGS
(Top-7 in the conference qualify for Kelly Cup playoffs)
Rank Western Conference GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT GF GA STK P10 SO
1 y * - Alaska Aces 66 41 16 2 7 91 0.689 211 152 1-0-0-0 6-2-0-2 3-7
2 x * - Ontario Reign 65 39 18 5 3 86 0.662 223 178 2-0-0-0 6-2-1-1 6-3
3 x Las Vegas Wranglers 65 39 21 1 4 83 0.638 210 175 0-2-0-0 7-3-0-0 4-4
4 x Colorado Eagles 64 33 25 1 5 72 0.562 226 227 0-1-0-0 4-6-0-0 3-5
5 x Stockton Thunder 65 31 29 1 4 67 0.515 184 194 0-1-0-0 4-6-0-0 6-4
6 x Utah Grizzlies 66 30 31 0 5 65 0.492 162 210 1-0-0-0 5-5-0-0 7-5
7 Idaho Steelheads 66 27 30 2 7 63 0.477 179 219 0-1-0-1 4-4-0-2 7-7
8 Bakersfield Condors 65 21 37 4 3 49 0.377 179 219 2-0-0-0 6-3-0-1 2-3
* Division leader
x Teams who have clinched a playoff spot.
y Teams who have clinched the division title
z Team who has clinched the conference title, 1st round bye
2011 Playoff March Notes -
- The Thunder has clinched a Kelly Cup Playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season.
- They clinched a Kelly Cup Playoff berth on Mar. 14, the second fastest pace in club history.
- Stockton has regular season games remaining against the following teams:
- Utah (1)
- Idaho (3)
- Ontario (1)
- Bakersfield (2)
- The top seven teams in the Western Conference will qualify for the 2011 Kelly Cup Playoffs and will be seeded by conference ranking in the first and second round of the playoffs. The #1 seed will receive a bye through the first round and the #2 seed will play #7, the #3 seed will play #6, and the #4 seed will play #5. Home ice advantage will be determined by points.
- If the Kelly Cup Playoffs began today, the Thunder would face the Colorado Eagles in the Western Conference Quarterfinal.
- The Thunder has surpassed the 30-win plateau for the fifth time in club history (2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11)
- TIE-BREAKER: The tiebreaker for the Western Conference if two teams tie will be: 1. Wins (regulation and OT only), regular season; 2. Points, head-to-head; 3. Wins, head-to-head; 4. Goal differential, head-to-head; 5. Winning percentage, division (if tied teams are from same division; if not, skip to 6); 6. Winning percentage, conference; 7. Goals for, regular season; 8. Goals against, regular season; 9. Coin toss
The tiebreaker for the Western Conference if three teams are tied will be: 1. Wins (regulation and OT only); 2. Winning percentage, games between the teams; 3. Goal differential, games between the teams; 4. Winning percentage, division; 5. Winning percentage, conference; 6. Goals for, regular season; 7. Goals against, regular season; 8. Coin toss. When two teams remain after the third or other teams are eliminated during any step above, the tiebreaker reverts to Step 1 of the two-team format.
- Last season, the Thunder clinched its fifth straight Kelly Cup Playoff berth with the 3rd seed in the Western Conference and a tied a club record in points for one season with a 37-23-12 record (86 points)
ECHL Stories from March 18, 2012
- Thunder rally with four goals, including two by D'Alvise - Stockton Thunder
- Stockton Beats Utah 4-2: Grizzlies Split in California - Utah Grizzlies
- Express Battle Back to Force OT, Fall to Trenton 5-4 - Chicago Express
- Royals Fall to Florida, 4-2 - Reading Royals
- Jackals Clinch Playoff Spot After Edging Nailers - Elmira Jackals
- Back-And-Forth Battle Ends 4-3 for Bakersfield - Las Vegas Wranglers
- Kalamazoo Scores a Season-High Nine Goals to Rout Toledo 9-1 - Kalamazoo Wings
- How Sweep It Is Condors Win Third Straight, 4-3 - Bakersfield Condors
- Titans Win in OT - Trenton Titans
- Success in Face-Off Circle Gives Wheeling a Point in Elmira - Wheeling Nailers
- Road Warriors Clinch Playoffs With Win - Greenville Road Warriors
- Cyclones Close Road Trip with 5-1 Loss in Greenville - Cincinnati Cyclones
- ECHL Transactions - March 18 - ECHL
- Game Preview: Stockton Thunder Vs. Utah Grizzlies - Stockton Thunder
- ECHL Announces Fines, Suspension - ECHL
- Brutlag Called up to AHL Norfolk - Gwinnett Gladiators
- Royals Sign Defenseman Daniel Spivak - Reading Royals
- Bears Sign Goaltender Billy Sauer to Tryout Agreement - South Carolina Stingrays
- Walleye Sign May - Toledo Walleye
- Greenville Road Warriors Game Preview - March 18, 2012 - Greenville Road Warriors
- Game Preview: Express Vs. Trenton Today - Chicago Express
- Cyclones Game Preview - Cincinnati at Greenville - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Jackals Game Preview: Elmira Vs. Wheeling, Game 66 - Elmira Jackals
- ECHL Today - March 18 - ECHL
- 7,537 fans pile into Stockton Arena, teams combine for 91 penalty minutes - Stockton Thunder
- Grizzlies Clinch Playoff Berth with 5-2 Win in Stockton - Utah Grizzlies
- Condors Stay Alive, Beat Vegas 4-3 - Bakersfield Condors
- Condors Outlast Wranglers, Win 4-3 - Las Vegas Wranglers
- Reign Pass Franchise Record with 3-2 Shootout Win in Idaho - Ontario Reign
- Ontario Outlasts Idaho in Entertaining Affair - Idaho Steelheads
- Express Fall to Trenton 4-1 - Chicago Express
- Aces Kings of the Mountain After 5-1 Win - Alaska Aces
- Too Little, Too Late - Kalamazoo Wings
- Defending League Champs Claim Mountain Division Crown with 5-1 Win - Colorado Eagles
- Royals Strike Gold Again on St. Hattrick's Day, 4-3 - Reading Royals
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