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Game Preview: Stockton Thunder At Ontario Reign

March 2, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL) Stockton Thunder

DATE: Saturday, March 2, 2013

TIME: 6:00 p.m.

SITE: Citizens Business Bank Arena

RADIO: StocktonThunder.com (AmericaOne)

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers

Ontario Reign: Los Angeles Kings

NEXT HOME GAME

Sunday, Mar. 3 vs. Ontario Reign (4:00 p.m.)

REPLICA JERSEY GIVEAWAY/FAMILY DAY (presented by Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, Farmers Insurance Company, 99.3 KJOY, Financial Center Credit Union, KHOP 95.1 and Instant Tax Service)

TONIGHT'S MATCHUP

The Thunder returns to play in a three game series against the Ontario Reign, alternating between Northern and Southern California. The Thunder is 3-3-1 in the season series and last faced the Reign on Sunday in a 4-1 win at Stockton Arena. The Thunder leads the all time series over Ontario with a record of 26-16-6. Both teams have already clinched a Kelly Cup Playoff berth and enter the week separated by 14 points in the Pacific Division. Ontario comes off a 4-2 win over Colorado from last evening.

2012-13 Head to Head Schedule: (3-3-1)

Fri. Oct. 12 Ontario 2 at Stockton 1

Sat. Oct. 13 Stockton 4 at Ontario 0

Fri. Nov. 30 Stockton 4 at Ontario 5 (OT)

Fri. Feb. 15 Ontario 1 at Stockton 2 (OT)

Wed. Feb. 20 Stockton 1 at Ontario 4

Fri. Feb. 22 Stockton 2 at Ontario 4

Sun. Feb. 24 Ontario 1 at Stockton 4

Sat. Mar. 2 at Ontario 6:00 p.m.

Sun. Mar. 3 Ontario 4:00 p.m.

Sun. Mar. 10 Ontario 4:00 p.m.

Fri. Mar. 15 at Ontario 7:00 p.m.

Sat. Mar. 16 Ontario 7:30 p.m.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder is 15-3-3 when leading after one period this season.

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 4 - ONT 1 (2/24/13): The Stockton Thunder (29-22-9, 67 points) scored a season high four power play goals and goaltender Tyler Bunz made 27 saves, as the Thunder clinched a spot in the 2013 Kelly Cup playoffs with a 4-1 win over the Ontario Reign (38-14-5, 81 points) in front of 5,796 fans at Stockton Arena on Sunday. Of the four goals on the night, three were scored by defenseman, as Brandon Davidson, Ryan Constant, and Tony DeHart each found the back of the net for the Thunder. Forward Matt Reber also had a goal, while forward Maxime Boisclair totaled three assists.

ONT 4 - STK 2 (2/22/13): Derek Couture scored two goals and broke a 2-2 tie with 3:52 left in the third period to help the Ontario Reign send the Stockton Thunder (28-22-9, 65 points) to a 4-2 loss before 7,793 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Friday. The Thunder, who were fighting their way through their third game in three nights, held a 2-1 lead through two periods. Stockton ended a four game road trip at 2-2-0 and had a goal each in the second period from Mike Little and Colten Hayes.

STK 4 - BAK 1 (2/21/13): Goaltender Olivier Roy made 38 saves and the Stockton Thunder (28-21-9, 65 points) never trailed, using three unanswered goals to sink the Bakersfield Condors in a 4-1 victory before 8,023 fans at Rabobank Arena on Thursday. Shawn Weller earned his first goal with the Thunder while Matt Bergland, Tony DeHart and Matt Reber also netted goals in the second and third period.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

- Garet Hunt is 3 points away from 100 in his ECHL career

- Shawn Weller is 13 games away from 100 in his ECHL career

ARCOBELLO MAKES IT NINE

On Feb. 6, former Thunder forward Mark Arcobello became the ninth player to make his debut in the National Hockey League after appearing in a Thunder uniform (2010-11). Arcobello suited up for the Edmonton Oilers in a game at Rexall Place against the Dallas Stars and recorded two blocked shots. Before his debut, Arcobello had 39 points in 43 American Hockey League games with the Oklahoma City Barons. He earned 20 points in 33 games with the Thunder and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2011 ECHL All-Star Classic in Bakersfield as a representative of Stockton. He had a hat trick and became the eighth player in All-Star Classic history to score at least three goals in one game.

Those to play in Stockton and then make their debut in the NHL are:

- (C) Mark Arcobello

- (RW) Troy Bodie

- (G) Devan Dubnyk

- (C) Milan Kytnar

- (RW) Colin McDonald

- (C) Ryan O'Marra

- (C) Tim Sestito

- (LW) Liam Reddox

- (D) Bryan Young

HELLO (AGAIN)

The Thunder was boosted by recent additions to their lineup with defenseman Brandon Davidson assigned to the team from Oklahoma City on Feb. 12 and defenseman Nathan Deck reassigned from Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

DAVIDSON: Davidson, an Oilers sixth round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, had a career high 13 goals in 69 games last season with Regina (WHL) and added 49 points (3rd in team scoring), earning a selection on the WHL Second All-Star Team (Eastern Conference). Davidson has 7 points in 7 games so far with the Thunder.

DECK: Deck, who spent 19 games with the Thunder before being called up to Oklahoma City earlier this season, is tied for the Thunder lead with a +8 rating as well as five goals and 16 total points. Deck earned the Thunder's "Unsung Hero" award while ranking second among Thunder defenseman with 26 points in 60 games in his rookie campaign last season. Deck was named as a starter for the 2013 ECHL All-Star Classic.

THE DEFENSE DOESN'T REST

During the month of February, the Thunder defense has limited opponents to three goals or less in each of the seven games featuring a win or shootout loss (Feb. 9 at Alaska - 3-2 shootout loss). The Thunder defense allowed just two goals or less in five of the previous seven games.

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL(ER)

Thunder forward Shawn Weller has collected five points in the last five games and had an assist on Sunday against Ontario. Weller, a former captain of Bakersfield and South Carolina and an ECHL All-Star in 2010, was acquired by the Thunder from South Carolina on Jan. 25 in exchange for defenseman Cameron Brodie and future considerations.

NO LITTLE ACCOMPLISHMENT

Thunder defenseman Mike Little played in his 100th career ECHL game on Dec. 27 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. Little also played in his 100th career Thunder game Jan. 9 at Colorado. Little had a goal on Friday at Ontario.

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 304 games played.

2012-13 MEDIA GUIDE AVAILABLE ONLINE

The Stockton Thunder 2012-13 media guide is available online in .pdf form at http://www.stocktonthunder.com/team/history/. The guide can be accessed by following the link and clicking "2012-2013 Media Guide."

PLAYOFF NOTES

ECHL WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF STANDINGS

(Top-8 in the conference qualify for Kelly Cup playoffs)

Rank Western Conference GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT GF GA STK P10 SO

1 x * - Alaska Aces 60 42 12 2 4 90 0.750 194 144 3-0-0-0 8-1-0-1 4-4

2 x * - Ontario Reign 58 39 14 3 2 83 0.716 209 160 1-0-0-0 5-3-2-0 6-2

3 x Idaho Steelheads 58 36 15 1 6 79 0.681 224 166 4-0-0-2 6-2-0-2 2-6

4 x Stockton Thunder 60 29 22 5 4 67 0.558 188 184 1-0-0-0 5-4-0-1 1-4

5 x Las Vegas Wranglers 57 29 23 2 3 63 0.553 160 154 1-0-0-0 6-4-0-0 5-3

6 Colorado Eagles 57 27 25 2 3 59 0.518 195 180 0-1-0-1 4-4-1-1 3-3

7 Utah Grizzlies 58 23 28 3 4 53 0.457 169 228 0-1-0-0 4-6-0-0 5-4

8 San Francisco Bulls 58 21 30 1 6 49 0.422 157 206 0-1-0-0 3-7-0-0 3-6

9 Bakersfield Condors 61 18 38 2 3 41 0.336 151 218 0-4-0-0 4-6-0-0 6-3

* 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

2013 Playoff March Notes -

- The Thunder has clinched a playoff berth for the seventh straight season.

- Stockton has regular season games remaining against the following teams:

- Bakersfield (1)

- Ontario (5)

- Las Vegas (2)

- San Francisco (3)

- Idaho (1)

- In the Western Conference, postseason berths will be awarded to the first-place team in each division and the next six teams in the conference, based on points . The division winners will be seeded first and second and will play the eighth-place finisher and the seventh-place finisher, respectively, while the third-place finisher will meet the sixth-place finisher and the fourth-place finisher will meet the fifth-place finisher. The conference semifinals will have the winner of the first-place and eighth-place matchup playing the winner of the fourth-place and fifth-place game while the winner of the second-place and seventh-place game will face the winner of the third-place and sixth-place matchup.

- IF THE KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY: the Thunder would face the Las Vegas Wranglers in the Western Conference Quarterfinal.

- The Thunder is one win away from surpassing the 30-win plateau for the sixth time in club history (previously 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12)

- TIE-BREAKER: The tiebreaker for the Western Conference if two teams tie will be: 1. Wins, regular season (excluding shootout wins); 2. Goal differential; 3. Points, head-to-head (for two teams that have not played the same number of home games against the other tied team, the first game(s) played in the city that has the extra home game(s) shall not be included) ; 4. Winning percentage, division (if tied teams are from same division; if not, skip to 5); 5. Winning percentage, conference; 6. Goals for, regular season; 7. Goals against, regular season; 8. Coin toss

The tiebreaker for the Western Conference if three teams are tied will be: 1. Wins, regular season (excluding shootout wins); 2. Goal differential ; 3. Higher winning percentage earned in games against each other (for two teams that have not played the same number of home games against the other tied team, the first game(s) played in the city that has the extra home game(s) shall not be included) ; 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 sixth straight Kelly Cup Playoff berth with the 5th seed in the Western Conference and a 34-33-5 record (73 points)

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