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Game Preview: Stockton Thunder At Bakersfield Condors

November 10, 2009 - ECHL (ECHL) - Stockton Thunder News Release

FACEOFF: 7:00 p.m.

RADIO: 1420 AM KSTN

INTERNET: www.StocktonThunder.com (B2 Networks)

2009-10 HEAD-TO-HEAD SERIES

Tue. Nov. 10 @ Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Fri. Dec. 4 Bakersfield 7:30 p.m.

Sat. Dec. 5 Bakersfield 7:30 p.m.

Sat. Dec. 26 @ Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Tue. Dec. 29 Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Fri. Jan. 8 @ Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Sun. Jan. 24 Bakersfield 4:00 p.m.

Sun. Jan. 10 Bakersfield 4:00 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 19 @ Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Sat. Feb. 20 @ Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Tue. Mar. 30 @ Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Wed. Mar. 31 Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

MILESTONE TRACKER

o Mike Bayrack is 32 points away from 400 in his ECHL career

o Judd Blackwater is 20 games away from 100 in his professional career

o Kelly Czuy is 25 points away from 100 in his professional career

o Oren Eizenman is 3 points away from 100 in his professional career

o Kenny MacAulay is 9 games away from 100 in his ECHL career

TONIGHT'S MATCHUP

The Thunder faces the Bakersfield Condors in the first meeting of the season between both teams at Rabobank Arena. It is the first of 12 games against the Condors for the 2009-10 season and in the last meeting, the Condors defeated the Thunder 4-3 in overtime at Stockton Arena on Mar. 21, 2009. Stockton carries at lifetime record of 11-13-8 against Bakersfield and went 1-1-0 at Rabobank Arena last year. The Thunder are playing in Bakersfield for the first time since Dec. 26, 2008. The Thunder is two points behind the Condors for first place in the Pacific Division at 4-4-2 (10 points).

LAST 3 THUNDER GAMES

AK 5 - STK 4 (SO) (11/7/09): Nick Mazzolini's goal in the sixth round of a shootout was enough for the Alaska Aces to stymie a three-goal rally by the Thunder in a 5-4 shootout win for the Aces in front of a standing-room-only, sellout crowd of 9,392 at Stockton Arena on Saturday night. The Thunder moved their unbeaten streak in regulation to 4-0-2. Jason Pitton buried the game-tying goal at 1:52 of the third period, spelling Thunder goals from Craig Valette, Chris D'Alvise and Jamie Bates. Colin Hemingway collected a pair of goals for the Aces and Nick Tuzzolino and Alex Imbeault also scored. Alaska goaltender Scott Reid made 34 saves to take the win.

AK 4 - STK 3 (OT) (11/6/09): Ryan Turek's game-winning goal with one second left in sudden-death overtime denied a Thunder rally and attempt for a fifth straight win, helping the Alaska Aces send the Thunder to a 4-3 loss in overtime before 6,976 fans at Stockton Arena on Friday. The Thunder, who were playing on a pink-colored ice surface and wearing pink-accented jerseys for their annual "Thunder Goes Pink 4" event, extended their unbeaten streak in regulation to five straight games (4-0-1). Ryan Constant, Judd Blackwater and Oren Eizenman scored for Stockton, while Alaska was aided by a pair of goals from Matt Stefanishion and Alexandre Imbeault.

STK 3 - ONT 2 (11/4/09): Captain Craig Valette broke a 1-1 tie with a goal coming with 52.3 seconds left in regulation, lifting the Thunder to their fourth straight win and a 3-2 victory over the Ontario Reign before 4,503 fans at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Wednesday night. The Thunder, who finished a three-game road trip at a perfect 3-0-0 record, received additional goal-scoring support from Colton Yellow Horn (first in a Thunder uniform) and James Bates. Goaltender Bryan Pitton secured his first win of the year with 35 saves.

NHL CONNECTIONS - BRYAN YOUNG VS. KYLE CALDER

Tonight's game features two players scheduled to be in the lineup with NHL playing experience. Stockton defenseman Bryan Young has appeared in 17 career games with the Edmonton Oilers (made debut, 2006-07 vs. Anaheim). Young was the first player in Thunder history to advance to the NHL after skating in 17 games for Stockton the same year. Bakersfield left winger Kyle Calder, a veteran of nine years in the NHL with Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago, has suited up in 576 career NHL games and scored 292 points (114g-178a). He was signed by the Anaheim Ducks as a free agent on Oct. 28 and assigned to Bakersfield the same day.

BAY(RACK) WATCH

The Thunder welcomes veteran forward Mike Bayrack to the roster, making his debut with the club tonight after agreeing to contract terms last Friday. Bayrack, wearing #19, has spent seven ECHL seasons (1999-00, 2002-04, 2005-09) with Charlotte, Texas, Greensboro, Toledo and Jackson, scoring 368 points (166g-202a) in 419 career games with 358 penalty minutes. He has also suited up in 30 career Kelly Cup Playoff games, scoring 24 points (8g-16a). The 31-year old has led his teams in scoring in two of the last three seasons and paced the Charlotte Checkers with 60 points (21g-39a) in 60 games last year and ranked second on the Checkers in playoff scoring with seven points (2g-5a) in six games.

THUNDER CROWDING OUT THE ECHL

The Thunder leads the ECHL in attendance with an average of 7,096 fans per game and is vying to tie a league record by leading the league in attendance for five straight seasons. The Thunder led the ECHL in attendance last year with an average of 6,218 fans through 36 home games. Stockton has 14 sellouts in the team's franchise history and drew a standing room only crowd of 9,392 last Saturday vs. Alaska. Last year, the Thunder became the first team since 2004-05 to lead the ECHL in attendance for four straight seasons (Florida led the ECHL in attendance for five straight seasons - 2000-05).

'GINI IN A BOTTLE

A 3-0 win on Oct. 24 over Ontario gave Thunder goaltender Andrew Perugini the third shutout of his career and in a Thunder uniform, tying the all-time career shutout lead with Tim Boron. Perugini is 3-0-1 in his last four games with a 1.71 goals-against-average and.937 save percentage.

TOP ECHL GOALTENDERS (Since Oct. 24)

GOALTENDER PCT.

1. Chris Beckford-Tseu (FLA) .955

2. Todd Ford (SC) .948

3. ANDREW PERUGINI (STK) .937

4. Kevin Nastiuk (IDH) .917

5. Gerald Coleman (TRE) .931

GLAD TO ASSIST YOU

Thunder center Oren Eizenman, an ECHL All-Star selection in 2007-08 who finished third in ECHL Rookie of the Year voting that year, leads the Thunder with eight assists and ranks fourth with nine points (1g-8a) in 10 games. Eizenman has a current ECHL-high four-game assist streak, notching five helpers in that span. The Thunder is 2-0-2 in the last four games.

ASSISTS (TEAM) GMS AST DATES

1. Nikiforov, Vlady (UTA) 4 6 10/16->...

Schell, Brad (GWT) 4 8 10/20->...

EIZENMAN, OREN (STK) 4 5 10/18->...

Cashman, Reid (CIN) 4 7 10/23->...

Ftorek, Sam (KAL) 4 5 10/30->...

ONE IN A MILLION

The Thunder has launched a special landmark "One Millionth Fan" contest which began Oct. 23. The contest begins the official countdown to search for one millionth fan to cross the turnstiles of Stockton Arena in the Thunder's five year history. As the reigning four-time ECHL attendance leader, the Thunder needs just 35,978 fans to reach the one million mark. The lucky fan will be selected as fans enter Stockton Arena, on the day the Thunder is scheduled to reach the one millionth fan mark. Upon selection, the lucky fan to cross the turnstiles will be awarded an array of prizes, including a vacation stay at Yosemite Lodge (Yosemite National Park), 2009-10 season tickets and an Amtrak train trip to Salt Lake City to see the Thunder face the Utah Grizzlies.

OILING UP THE SHIP

For the fourth consecutive season, Stockton will serve as the AA minor-league affiliate for Oilers prospects. Since the Thunder and Oilers began their partnership in 2006-07, the Thunder has advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs three consecutive years and four former Thunder players - right wing Troy Bodie, center Tim Sestito, left wing Liam Reddox and defenseman Bryan Young - have gone on to play in the NHL.

Players with the Thunder that have been assigned through the Oilers AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons:

Andrew Perugini (G)

Bryan Pitton (G)

Jordan Bendfeld (D)

James Bates (RW)

Kelly Czuy (RW)

Riley Emmerson (RW)

Bryan Young (D)

LETTER JACKET

Center Craig Valette was named the fourth captain in Thunder history on Oct. 15 (Dean Stork, Brad Farynuk and Matt O'Dette). He served as acting captain during nine games of the Kelly Cup Playoffs last year after an injury to O'Dette, the captain for 08-09. Kenny MacAulay and Bryan Young will serve as alternate captains.

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ECHL Stories from November 10, 2009


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