Balanced attack, Fisher's 35 saves mark third straight Thunder win
STOCKTON, Calif. - Goaltender Glenn Fisher made 35 saves to help guide the Stockton Thunder (22-29-3, 47 points) to its third consecutive win in a 4-1 win over the Phoenix RoadRunners before a crowd of 3,985 at Stockton Arena on Monday night.
The win gives the Thunder its first three-game winning streak since Jan. 6-9, taking the victory in wire-to-wire fashion and led by a balanced attack of four different goal scorers.
The Thunder raced out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period, with the score coming from Adam Huxley's third goal of the season at 7:32, assisted by Geoff Paukovich and Tim Verbeek. Huxley gathered a loose puck in the slot, set-up by Paukovich's pass from behind the net and buried a wrist shot past Phoenix goalie Dave McKee.
In the second period the Thunder added two more goals for a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. Rookie David Rohlfs scored his 13th goal of the season, assisted by Tom Zanoski, lifting the Thunder to a 2-0 lead at the 9:14 mark when he stole a puck behind the Phoenix net and netted a backhanded shot over the glove of McKee.
Brandon Schwartz's 13th goal of the year, on a give-and-go play, hiked the Thunder lead to 3-0 with assists to Pat Bateman and Lance Monych. Schwartz finished the play with a one-timer from the right circle, set up on a cross-ice pass by Bateman.
Phoenix ended Fisher's shutout bid with its only goal of the game at the 17:16 mark, cutting the lead to 3-1 on Ryan Walsh's ninth goal of the year. Walsh slid in a tap-in after Fisher stopped Phoenix's Peder Skinner on a breakaway.
Right wing Lance Monych's 26th goal of the season, his first since being re-acquired by the Thunder in a trade last week with the Mississippi Sea Wolves, gave the Thunder a 4-1 cushion with 11:24 gone in the third period. Monych took Bateman's pass at the right circle and beating McKee on a snap shot through the five-hole.
A penalty-marred third period ended with 76 penalty minutes combined for the game between both teams and six fighting majors, as Fisher wrapped up the victory with 10 saves in the third period.
NOTES: The game was delayed one hour due to discrepancies with ice conditions ... the Thunder missed the services of Ryan MacMurchy (injured reserve), Spencer Carbery (injured reserve) and Beau Geisler (injured reserve) ... before the game, the Thunder also placed center Joel Stepp on the three-day injured reserve list and released right wing Spencer Carbery ... the Thunder finished with a 5-2-0 record in the season series against Phoenix and is now 14-4-1 lifetime against the RoadRunners ... Monych extended his scoring streak to seven consecutive games, scoring nine points (5g-4a) in that span.
The Thunder returns to play on Thursday, hosting the Cincinnati Cyclones from Stockton Arena starting at 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard live on radio at 1420-AM KSTN and online (video and audio available) at http://www.stocktonthunder.com/, courtesy of B2 Networks.
The Thunder has led the ECHL in attendance for two consecutive seasons and drew 244,085 fans to the Stockton Arena in 2006-07. Season tickets, group tickets and individual tickets for 2007-08 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit www.stocktonthunder.com.
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