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Game Preview: Stockton Thunder At San Francisco Bulls

December 17, 2012 - ECHL (ECHL) Stockton Thunder

DATE: Monday, December 17, 2012

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

SITE: HP Pavilion at San Jose

RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers

San Francisco Bulls: San Jose Sharks

NEXT HOME GAME

Saturday, Dec. 29 vs. Las Vegas Wranglers (7:30 p.m.)

MINI-THOR BOBBLEHEAD GIVEAWAY (presented by Pepsi and 97.7/98.3 KWIN)

TONIGHT'S MATCHUP

The Stockton Thunder meets the San Francisco Bulls in a special Monday night game at HP Pavilion at San Jose, home of the San Jose Sharks. The game is the fourth of 13 meetings between the two teams this season and the Thunder is 0-2-1 in the head to head series. In the last matchup, San Francisco defeated the Thunder 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 13 at the Cow Palace. San Francisco last played on Saturday and defeated the Bakersfield Condors 4-1 at Rabobank Arena. It will be the first game in Thunder history to be played on a current NHL ice surface.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule: (0-2-1)

Fri. Nov. 9 Stockton 1 at San Francisco 4

Sat. Nov. 24 Stockton 3 at San Francisco 6

Thur. Dec. 13 Stockton 3 at San Francisco 4 (OT)

Mon. Dec. 17 at San Francisco 7:30 p.m.*

Fri. Jan. 18 San Francisco 7:30 p.m.

Sat. Jan. 19 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.

Sun. Jan. 20 San Francisco 4:00 p.m.

Wed. Jan. 30 San Francisco 7:00 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 16 San Francisco 7:30 p.m.

Sun. Feb. 17 at San Francisco 2:15 p.m.

Wed. Mar. 13 San Francisco 7:00 p.m.

Fri. Mar. 22 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.

Sat. Mar. 23 at San Francisco 7:15 p.m.

*Game at HP Pavilion at San Jose

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder is 7-0-2 when leading after one period this season.

ABOUT THE STOCKTON THUNDER

The Thunder, in its eighth season of play in the ECHL, plays at Stockton Arena (seating 9,737 fans) which is just 80 miles away from HP Pavilion at San Jose. As an established club in the Premiere "˜AA' Hockey League, the Thunder has drawn over 1.5 million fans to the Central Valley since 2005-06 and earned recognition with league awards in ticket sales, marketing, media relations, executive and overall excellence. Stockton led the league in attendance from 2005-09 and has earned a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for six consecutive seasons. With Stockton serving as an affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers since 2006-07, eight players have made their debut in the NHL after suiting up for the Thunder. Stockton also was the ECHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks from 2010-12. Brad Rowbotham is in his third full season as Owner and Chairman of the Thunder.

LAST THREE GAMES:

COL 2 - STK 1 (12/15/12): Goaltender Adam Brown made 40 saves on 41 shots, holding off a furious rally from the Stockton Thunder (14-7-5, 33 points) to secure a 2-1 win for the Colorado Eagles in front of 5,291 fans at Stockton Arena on Saturday. The Thunder, who missed their two leading scorers (Harrison Reed and Toni Rajala) due to injuries, avoided a home shutout for the first time since falling to Ontario 4-0 on Dec. 2, 2011. Center Eric Hunter notched the lone Thunder goal late in the third period. Goaltender Tyler Bunz (8-6-3) recorded 31 stops for the Thunder.

STK 4 - COL 1 (12/14/12): In the first meeting between these two teams since the first round of last season's Kelly Cup playoffs, the Stockton Thunder (14-6-3-2, 33 points) proved it still carries the momentum, rolling past the Colorado Eagles 4-1 at Stockton Arena on Friday. Goaltender Cody Reichard posted his third stellar performance at home, recording 25 saves on 26 shots. Center Harrison Reed recorded two goals, while forward Yannick registered two assists in his seven multi-point game of the season. Colorado's Kyle Jones made 30 stops in goal.

SF 4 - STK 3 (OT) (12/13/12): Peter Sivak's power play goal, just 1:13 into sudden death overtime, helped the San Francisco Bulls send the Stockton Thunder (13-6-5, 31 points) to a 4-3 overtime defeat before 2,549 fans at the Cow Palace on Thursday. The Thunder, who squandered a pair of one goal leads in the third period, garnered a point in for the fifth time in the last six games. Thomas Heemskerk earned the win for the Bulls with 33 stops.

COVERED WITH OIL

The Edmonton Oilers return as the NHL affiliate of the Thunder for the seventh straight season, helping advance eight players from the Thunder onto playing in the National Hockey League. The Thunder has also never missed the playoffs since first connecting with the Oilers in 2006-07. Edmonton has won five Stanley Cup championships and sent seven players onto induction in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Among the players assigned to Stockton, beginning this season, was LW Philippe Cornet, who made his NHL debut with Edmonton and led the AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons with 24 goals last season.

MORE NHL CONNECTIONS

Past history in the ECHL has shown that the road to the NHL begins in Stockton. Eight players with experience in a Thunder uniform have advanced to make their NHL debut since 2006-07:

- Troy Bodie (RW)

- Devan Dubnyk (G)

- Milan Kytnar (C)

- Colin McDonald (RW)

- Ryan O'Marra (C)

- Tim Sestito (LW)

- Liam Reddox (LW)

- Bryan Young (D)

Kytnar, among several Thunder players who skated under a contract with the Oilers organization or were recalled last season, became the eighth Thunder player to reach the NHL level last season. He was recalled directly by the Oilers on Jan. 11 and made his NHL debut that evening vs. New Jersey at Rexall Place.

Among the players on the current Thunder roster, who are skating under an NHL or AHL contract with the Oilers farm system, include:

- Tyler Bunz (G)

- Teigan Zahn (D)

- Eric Hunter (C)

- Toni Rajala (RW)

- Cameron Abney (RW)

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan is second among ECHL rookies with 25 points (as of Sunday) and leads all Thunder rookies as well. He has collected five points in the last five games. Maylan has also posted seven multi point games and earned an assist in last Friday's win over Colorado.

ROLLING IN THE (RIEN)DEAU

Forward Yannick Riendeau has points in eight of the last ten games and has posted seven multi point games this season. He earned an assist on Saturday vs. Colorado and leads the Thunder with 18 assists this season.

PLAYING THE REICHARD

Thunder goaltender Cody Reichard became the 11th goaltender in Thunder history to earn the ECHL Goaltender of the Week award last week. Reichard was awarded the honor on Dec. 11 after he posted a record of 2-0-1, a 2.30 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage for the week of Dec. 3-9.

AN OFFENSE DRESSED TO THE NINES

The Thunder tied a club record for most goals in a game (9) on Nov. 12 in a 9-6 victory at Utah, matching the record previously set on Dec. 10, 2011 against Bakersfield. The Thunder also notched a season high for most goals (5) in a period, accomplishing the feat in the second period at Maverik Center on Nov. 12. The Thunder is averaging 3.6 goals per game this season, ranking fifth in the ECHL (as of Sunday).

OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN

Garet Hunt was named the sixth captain in Thunder history on Oct. 12, taking the "C" for the first time in his career for full-time duty. Hunt served as an alternate captain for the Thunder last season and has helped guide the team to the playoffs for four straight seasons since his 2008-09 rookie campaign. Hunt is the Thunder all time leader with 269 games played.

THUNDER CROWDS ROLL IN

The Thunder has drawn over 200,000 fans for seven straight seasons to Stockton Arena, totaling over 1.5 million through the turnstiles since opening in 2005-06. There have been 17 sellouts at Stockton Arena in Thunder history and last season, there were seven crowds of 7,000 or more at Thunder home games. The Thunder drew a club record 244,085 fans to Stockton Arena in 2006-07. Last season, the Thunder ranked third in ECHL attendance.

TOP FIVE THUNDER HOME CROWDS IN 2011-12

OPPONENT DATE ATTENDANCE

1. Alaska 3/3/12 9,398

2. Bakersfield 3/24/12 9,323

3. Utah 11/5/11 9,012

4. Alaska 1/28/12 7,613

5. Utah 3/17/12 7,537

UPCOMING MILESTONES

- Ryan Constant is 4 assists away from 100 in his professional career

- Mike Little is 5 games away from 100 in his ECHL career

- Yannick Riendeau is 18 assists away from 100 in his professional career

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ECHL Stories from December 17, 2012


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