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Game Preview: Stockton Thunder Vs. Las Vegas Wranglers

March 9, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL) Stockton Thunder

DATE: Saturday, March 9, 2013

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

SITE: Stockton Arena

RADIO: 1280 AM KWSX/StocktonThunder.com (America One)/92.5 FM (in house feed)

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers

Las Vegas Wranglers Independent

HOME GAME PROMOTIONAL NOTES

Tonight's Promotion: THUNDER'S EASY BEING GREEN/GIRL SCOUT NIGHT (presented by Port of Stockton California with California Water Service Company, The Solar Company, KAT Country 103, 99.3 KJOY, 97.7/98.3 KWIN and The Surtec System)

National Anthem Singer: Fat City Four

Public Address Announcer: DJ Walker

In-Arena Emcee: "Hot Rod"

NEXT HOME GAME

Sunday, Mar. 10 vs. Ontario Reign (4:00 p.m.)

FAMILY DAY (presented by Sutter Gould, Farmers Insurance, and 99.3 KJOY)

TONIGHT'S MATCHUP

The Stockton Thunder faces the Las Vegas Wranglers tonight in a rematch of last night's battle at Stockton Arena. Friday, Maxime Boisclair's three points paced the Thunder to a 4-3 win over the Wranglers. Tonight's contest will wrap the Thunder's season series against the Wranglers (the Thunder holds a 4-0-3 record against Las Vegas this season). However, this could be a possible playoff preview, as Stockton (fourth place in the Western Conference) and Las Vegas (tied for fifth) could meet in the first round of the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

2012-13 Head to Head Schedule: (4-0-3)

Fri. Oct. 19 Stockton 2 at Las Vegas 3 (OT)

Sat. Oct. 20 Stockton 5 at Las Vegas 4

Tue. Dec. 4 Las Vegas 1 at Stockton 3

Wed. Dec. 5 Las Vegas 0 at Stockton 1

Sat. Dec. 8 Stockton 3 at Las Vegas 4 (SO)

Sat. Dec. 29 Las Vegas 3 at Stockton 2 (OT)

Fri. Mar. 8 Las Vegas 3 at Stockton 4

Sat. Mar. 9 Las Vegas 7:30 p.m.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder is 16-3-3 when leading after one period this season.

LAST THREE GAMES:

STK 4 - LV 3 (3/8/13): The Stockton Thunder (31-23-9, 71 points) held off a late rally by the Las Vegas Wranglers (30-26-5, 65 points) to secure a 4-3 win in front of 4,456 fans at Stockton Arena on Friday. The Thunder was paced by forward Maxime Boisclair, who finished with a goal and three points. Defenseman Mike Little, forward Garet Hunt, and defenseman Brandon Davidson also found the back of the net for the Thunder. Forward Matt Reber recorded two assists.

ONT 4 - STK 3 (3/3/13 ): Kyle Kraemer's goal in the third period ended an offensive flurry lasting for nearly three minutes, enough for the Ontario Reign to hold off the Stockton Thunder (30-23-5, 78 points), 4-3 in front of 6,124 fans at Stockton Arena on Sunday. Both teams split the home and home series which featured the Thunder nearly coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the third period. Stockton's power play - ranking third in the ECHL at the game's start - was held to an 0-of-9 effort. Shawn Weller was also stopped on a penalty shot in the third period.

STK 3 - ONT 2 (SO) (3/2/13): Shawn Weller broke a 2-2 tie in the final round of a shootout and scored on a fancy backhanded deke to lift the Stockton Thunder (30-22-9, 69 points) to a 3-2 shootout win over the Ontario Reign before 9,616 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Saturday. The Thunder, who came back from a 2-1 deficit after the first period, were aided by goaltender Tyler Bunz's 33 saves. He won his first set of back to back games since Dec. 27-28.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

- Garet Hunt is 1 point away from 100 in his ECHL career

- Shawn Weller is 10 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 last Wednesday. Both Davidson and Deck are tied for second (behind Philippe Cornet) for the Thunder with a +7 rating.

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 11 points in 10 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, earned five goals and 16 total points at the time of his return. 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.

HOME SWEET HOME

The Thunder has made Stockton Arena ideal for home ice advantage this season with a record of 19-8-3. Below is a look at key figures for the Thunder at home this season:

At home this season, the Thunder has:

- A record of 19-8-3

- Totaled 13 games of scoring four goals or more

- Outshot the opposition 16 times this season

- Posted 20 games of 30 shots on goal or more

- Collected at least one power play goal in 17 of the last 20 games

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 seven games and had the shootout winning goal on Saturday in 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.

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 305 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."

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