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Game 2 Preview: Stockton Thunder at Alaska Aces

April 20, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL) Stockton Thunder

DATE: Saturday, April 20, 2013

TIME: 8:15 p.m.

SITE: Sullivan Arena

RADIO: 1360 KFIV/StocktonThunder.com (America One)

NHL AFFILIATES

Stockton Thunder: Edmonton Oilers

Alaska Aces: Independent

NEXT HOME GAME

Thursday, April 25 vs. Alaska Aces (7:00 p.m.)

GAME 3 - WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL

TONIGHT'S MATCHUP

The fourth seeded Thunder continues the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in Anchorage with Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Alaska Aces. It is the third playoff series meeting between the two teams and the second straight year they meet in the Conference Semifinal. Last season, the Thunder was defeated by Alaska, 4-1 in the best of seven series. The Thunder reached the second round for the fourth time in five seasons after eliminating Las Vegas, 4-3 in the opening round. Alaska claimed the Brabham Cup with the ECHL's best record for the third straight year and defeated San Francisco, 4-1 in the opening round. Alaska took the opening game, 5-2 over the Thunder last night.

STOCKTON VS. ALASKA - WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS (all times listed PT)

(Alaska leads, 1-0)

Game 1: Stockton 2 at Alaska 5

Game 2: Stockton at Alaska - Saturday, April 20 - 8:15 p.m. (Sullivan Arena)

Game 3: Alaska at Stockton - Thursday, April 25 - 7:00 p.m. (Stockton Arena)

Game 4: Alaska at Stockton - Friday, April 26 - 7:30 p.m. (Stockton Arena)

Game 5: Alaska at Stockton - Sunday, April 28 - 6:00 p.m. (Stockton Arena)*

Game 6: Stockton at Alaska - Tuesday, April 30 - 8:15 p.m. (Sullivan Arena)*

Game 7: Stockton at Alaska - Wednesday, May 1 - 8:15 p.m. (Sullivan Arena)*

*If necessary

SERIES RECAP

GAME 1 - AK 5 - STK 2 (4/19/13): Zach Harrison had a goal and added a pair of assists to lead the Alaska Aces past the Stockton Thunder, 5-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals before 4,289 fans at Sullivan Arena on Friday. Alaska took a 1-0 series and earned goals from five different sources. The Thunder, who got to within a goal in the second period, was paced offensively with goals from Gabriel Levesque (who also had an assist) and Shawn Weller.

BREAKDOWN: THUNDER ALL-TIME RECORD BY GAMES

GAME TWO

DATE ROUND OPP. LOCATION SCORE OT GOALIES (STK/opp) GWG

Apr. 11, 2007 NQF Idaho Qwest Arena L, 0-3 - Dubnyk/Silverthorn Derek Nesbitt

Apr. 12, 2008 NQF Las Vegas Orleans Arena L, 4-5 (OT) 0:28 Boron/Lalande Ryan Donally

Apr. 11, 2009 PSF Ontario CB Bank Arena W, 6-5 - Pitton/Zatkoff Craig Valette

Apr. 27, 2009 PF Las Vegas Orleans Arena L, 2-4 - Van Buskirk/Fisher Jason Dest

Apr. 6, 2010 NQF Alaska Menard Center W, 5-2 - Perugini/Sauer J.F. Caudron

Apr. 17, 2010 NSF Bakersfield Rabobank Arena W, 4-3 (OT) 9:01 Perugini/Pielmeier Oren Eizenman

May 1, 2010 NCF Idaho Qwest Arena L, 0-4 - Perugini/Bachman Brandon Kushniruk

Apr. 6, 2011 WQF Utah Maverik Center W, 3-2 (OT) 3:54 Sexsmith/Lamoureux Kelly Czuy

Apr. 4, 2012 WQF Colorado Stockton Arena W, 3-2 (OT) 0:17 Roy/Jones Chris D'Alvise

Apr. 14, 2012 WSF Alaska Sullivan Arena W, 3-2 (OT) 9:19 Roy/Coleman Chris D'Alvise

Apr. 5, 2013 WQF Las Vegas Stockton Arena W, 3-2 (OT) 3:49 Roy/Fallon Matt Bergland

All-time game two record: 7-4

SEASON SERIES (Thunder: 2-6-2)

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 3 at Stockton 1

Fri. Feb. 8 Stockton 1 at Alaska 3

Sat. Feb. 9 Stockton 2 at Alaska 3 (SO)

Sun. Feb. 10 Stockton 1 at Alaska 3

SEASON SERIES IN REVIEW :

The Thunder finished 2-6-2 against Alaska this season with the last four games decided by two goals or less ... Stockton began the season series with two big wins on Thunder Goes Pink VII Weekend ... Toni Rajala (two goals) and Philippe Cornet (four points) powered the Thunder to a 7-4 win on 11/3 ... Harrison Reed, Toni Rajala, and Justin Maylan each totaled a goal and an assist in a 5-1 Thunder win on 11/4 ... the Aces ran away in the third period in a 6-2 Thunder loss at Stockton Arena on 12/3 - Nate Thompson finished with two goals ... the Thunder suffered a three-game sweep in Anchorage ... Cody Reichard made 25 saves (including two shootout attempts), but the Thunder fell 4-3 in a shootout on 12/19 ... Scott Gomez (now with the NHL's San Jose Sharks) was one of three Aces to record two points in a 5-1 Alaska win on 12/21 ... the following night, Nick Mazzolini's three assists paced Alaska to a 4-1 win ... the Aces got the last laugh at Stockton Arena, with an empty net goal by Joey Crabb (who played 26 games with the NHL's Washington Capitals this season) sealing a 3-1 Alaska win on 1/4 ... three goals were enough for Alaska, who topped the Thunder in three games in three nights at Sullivan Arena to close out the season series ... Gerald Coleman made 24 stops in a 3-1 Aces win on 2/8 ... Teigan Zahn tied the game in the third period, but Alaska escaped in a 3-2 shootout win on 2/9 ... Ryan Constant opened the scoring, but Alexandre Imbeault scored a natural hat trick in a 3-1 win in the season series finale for the Aces.

STOCKTON VS. ALASKA - THE LAST TIME OUT: 2012 WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

STOCKTON THUNDER (#5) VS. ALASKA ACES (#1)

Thunder Summary: Won-1 Lost-4

Date Score Attend. Goaltenders GW Goal

Apr. 13, 2012 (1) Thunder 1, @Aces 2 4872 Roy/Coleman Garry Nunn

Apr. 14, 2012 (2) Thunder 3, @Aces 2 (OT) 5561 Roy/Coleman Chris D'Alvise

Apr. 18, 2012 (3) @Thunder 0, Aces 4 3255 Roy/Coleman Ryan Cruthers

Apr. 20, 2012 (4) @Thunder 2, Aces 4 4173 Roy/Coleman Steve Ward

Apr. 21, 2012 (5) @Thunder 1, Aces 4 3793 Roy/Coleman Steve Ward

RECORD RUN

The Thunder tied its playoff record with five goals in one period (3rd) on Apr. 12 in its 5-3 comeback win over the Las Vegas Wranglers in Game 6. The feat equaled the accomplishment which was set twice in the Conference Quarterfinal in 2010 against the Alaska Aces, set in Game 3 (3rd period) and in Game 4 (1st period). Stockton won that series, 3-1.

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL(ER)

Thunder forward Shawn Weller collected 17 points and a +6 rating in 19 regular season games since joining the Thunder during the middle of the season. 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. Following his arrival, Weller posted four multi point games and tied his career high with a four point outing on Mar. 10 vs. Ontario.

MAN ADVANTAGE

This season, the Thunder ranked fourth in the ECHL on power play (20.9%) percentage. Harrison Reed - who led the Thunder in scoring with 45 points in 46 games - earned 12 goals on the man advantage which finished fifth in the ECHL. Their best streak was nine straight games with a power play goal from Jan. 12 to Feb. 1.

OVERTIME HEROICS

The Thunder has won eight consecutive playoff games in sudden death overtime and went 2-0 in postseason overtime last year. Since Matt Thomas took over as Thunder head coach in 2008-09, Stockton is 8-1 in sudden death overtime in the playoffs. The last Thunder win in sudden death overtime came in a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Las Vegas Wranglers, with Harrison Reed scoring the game-winner.

RUNNING TO THE FINISH LINE

Dating back to Feb. 15, the Thunder completed a run to the regular season's conclusion with a record of 13-6-0. They won their final four games of the regular season which was their longest winning streak since Oct. 20 to Nov. 4 (6-0-0). Seven wins during the final 19 games were decided by one goal.

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 314 games played.

HOME SWEET HOME

The Thunder has made Stockton Arena ideal for home ice advantage this season with a record of 25-11-3. Below is a look at key figures for the Thunder at home this season:

At home this season, the Thunder:

- Recorded record of 25-11-3

- Totaled 16 games of scoring four goals or more

- Outshot the opposition 20 times this season

- Posted 25 games of 30 shots on goal or more

- Collected at least one power play goal in 19 of the last 29 games

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