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Game Preview: Stockton Thunder Vs. Alaska Aces

January 4, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL) Stockton Thunder

DATE: Friday, January 4, 2013

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

SITE: Stockton Arena

RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)/ 92.5 FM (inside Stockton Arena)

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers

Alaska Aces: Independent

HOME GAME PROMOTIONAL NOTES

Tonight's Promotion: RYAN CONSTANT WALL CLING GIVEAWAY (presented by KAT Country 103, In Shape Health Clubs and Pepsi)

National Anthem Singers: Bear Creek High School Glee Club

Public Address Announcer: John Taylor

In-Arena Emcee: Alan Sanchez

NEXT HOME GAME

Saturday, Jan. 5 vs. Colorado Eagles (7:30 p.m.)

TYLER BUNZ WALL CLING GIVEAWAY (presented by KAT Country 103, In Shape Health Clubs and Pepsi)

TONIGHT'S MATCHUP

Stockton Arena welcomes the Thunder back for the first set of home games in the 2013 calendar year, beginning tonight against the Alaska Aces. The Thunder is 28-28-15 against Alaska in the lifetime series. Alaska carries four players with NHL playing experience on their roster: forwards Scott Gomez, Brandon Dubinsky, Joey Crabb and Nate Thompson. The Thunder is 2-3-1 against Alaska this season and last faced the Aces on Dec. 22 in a 4-1 defeat at Sullivan Arena. The Aces are fresh off a 4-2 victory over Colorado on New Year's Eve.

2012-2013 Head to Head Schedule: (2-3-1)

Sat. Nov. 3 Alaska 4 at Stockton 7

Sun. Nov. 4 Alaska 1 at Stockton 5

Wed. Nov. 28 Alaska 6 at Stockton 2

Wed. Dec. 19 Stockton 3 at Alaska 4 (SO)

Fri. Dec. 21 Stockton 1 at Alaska 5

Sat. Dec. 22 Stockton 1 at Alaska 4

Fri. Jan. 4 Alaska 7:30 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 8 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 9 at Alaska 8:15 p.m.

Sun. Feb. 10 at Alaska 4:05 p.m.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder is 10-0-2 when leading after one period this season.

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 2 - UTA 1 (1/2/13): Goaltender Cody Reichard made 26 saves while the Stockton Thunder (18-10-7, 43 points) capitalized off two goals just 54 seconds apart in the second period, enough to sink the Utah Grizzlies in a 2-1 victory at Maverik Center on Wednesday. The Thunder, who split the two game series in Utah and improved to 3-1-0 in the head to head series, were led offensively with goals by Justin Maylan and Matt Bergland's eventual game winner. Andrew Engelage took the loss with 30 saves.

UTA 5 - STK 1 (12/31/12): Riley Armstrong scored a pair of shorthanded goals and added an assist to help the Utah Grizzlies send the Stockton Thunder (17-10-7, 41 points) to a 5-1 defeat before a crowd of 8,226 at Maverik Center on Monday. The Thunder, entering the game with the second best power play in the ECHL and allowing just two shorthanded goals this season, surrendered a team record three shorthanded tallies in the game. Utah held the Thunder to an 0-for-6 clip on the power play. Toni Rajala buried the lone Thunder in the game, a shorthanded breakaway in the third period.

LV 3 - STK 2 (OT) (12/29/12): A total of 6,431 fans saw the final Thunder home game of the year at Stockton Arena on Saturday. The 2012 finale saw a back-and-forth battle decided by Adam Hughesman's goal in overtime, as the Stockton Thunder (17-9-7, 41 points) fell to the Las Vegas Wranglers 3-2. Forwards Yannick Riendeau and Philippe Cornet (first game back from the AHL) each found the back of the net. Goaltender Cody Reichard (7-2-4) recorded 42 saves for the Thunder, while Las Vegas' Joe Fallon stopped 28 in net. The Thunder only had four defenseman activated for the game.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

- Ryan Constant is 3 assists away from 100 in his professional career

- Yannick Riendeau is 8 assists away from 100 in his professional career

- Mike Little is 3 games away from 100 in his Thunder career

THE ALL-STARS ARE ALIGNED

Two members of the Thunder have been named to play in the ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 23 at Colorado, on a team of All-Stars against the host Colorado Eagles. Defenseman Nathan Deck was named a starter for the game (currently skating in the AHL with Oklahoma City) with 17 points in 19 games. Toni Rajala was selected to the roster as well with 36 points in 27 games. His 18 goals were among the ECHL's top five at the time of his selection.

THUNDER IN ECHL ALL-STAR GAME

Year Venue Representative

2005-06 Fresno Moreland, Lalonde

2006-07 Idaho Geisler, Dubnyk, Martz, Bodie

2007-08 Stockton Farynuk, Contois, MacMurchy

2008-09 Reading Huddy, Urquhart

2009-10 Ontario Blackwater, D'Alvise

2010-11 Bakersfield Arcobello*

2011-12 N/A N/A**

2012-13 Colorado Deck, Rajala

* Named MVP of the All-Star Game

** No All-Star Game hosted

ENDURANCE TEST

By the end of Saturday, the Thunder will have completed a stretch of playing 14 games in 24 days. The trek began on Dec. 13 at San Francisco which included nine games on the road and separate journeys of over 3,000 miles to Anchorage and 700 miles to Utah.

During the 14 game and 24 day stretch, the Thunder has posted:

- A record of 5-4-3

- Six games of scoring three goals or more

- Nine games of 30 shots on goal or more

- Nine games of scoring at least one power play goal

NO LITTLE ACCOMPLISHMENT

Thunder defenseman Mike Little played in his 100th career ECHL game last Thursday at Bakersfield and helped out offensively with an assist in a 4-2 Thunder win. Little was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team last season and was the first selection in Thunder history.

JUSTIN TIME

Center Justin Maylan is tied for the ECHL lead in scoring (rookies) with 30 points this season in 33 games. He collected 12 points in 16 games during the month of December. Maylan has also posted eight multi point games and buried a goal on Wednesday at Utah.

ROLLING IN THE (RIEN)DEAU

Forward Yannick Riendeau had 19 points in 16 games during December and has posted 11 multi point games this season. He earned an assist on Wednesday at Utah and is on an eight game assist streak at home.

PLAYING THE REICHARD

Thunder goaltender Cody Reichard became the 11th goaltender in Thunder history to earn the ECHL Goaltender of the Week award when he took the honor on Dec. 11. He followed up with two near misses on monthly awards as well - runner up honors for ECHL Rookie of the Month and ECHL Goaltender of the Month (December) with a 4-1-3 record, 2.19 goals against average and .935 save percentage from Dec. 1-31.

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 279 games played.

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