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Game Preview: Stockton Thunder At Phoenix Roadrunners

November 8, 2007 - ECHL (ECHL) - Stockton Thunder News Release

FACEOFF: 6:11 p.m.


INTERNET: (B2 Networks)


10/24/07 Stockton 4 at Phoenix 0

11/06/07 Stockton 4 at Phoenix 3

11/07/07 Stockton 5 at Phoenix 6

11/08/07 Stockton at Phoenix

12/22/07 Phoenix at Stockton

01/26/08 Phoenix at Stockton

02/25/08 Phoenix at Stockton


After last night's shocking comeback by the Phoenix RoadRunners, the Thunder looks to get back on the winning track with the final game of a three-game tilt against the Phoenix RoadRunners from U.S. Airways Center. Following tonight's matchup, both teams are finished with the 07-08 season series in the desert. The Thunder had a nine-game unbeaten streak (8-0-1) snapped in the head-to-head matchup last night - their last loss in regulation was March 7, 2006 in a 2-1 setback at U.S. Airways Center.


Jeff Kryzakos had his first career hat trick while adding an assist, sparking a five-goal third period rally for the Phoenix RoadRunners and sending the Thunder to a shocking 6-5 loss at U.S. Airways Center last night. Phoenix scored a club record five goals on the third period with four coming on the power-play. Heading the Thunder offense was rookie Geoff Paukovich, who scored a career-high two goals and defenseman Brad Farynuk, who added three assists.


The assignments of first round selection Ryan O'Marra and NHL-experienced defenseman Sebastien Bisaillon have aided the Thunder offense - since O'Marra's addition on October 24, the Thunder is 4-1-0 and both players have combined for 10 points (7g-3a) since their entry into the Thunder lineup. Since O'Marra's arrival, the Thunder has outscored their opponents at a 23-11 clip.


The Thunder is 11-3-1 in the all-time series against Phoenix and is unbeaten in its last nine of 10 games in regulation (8-1-1) in the head-to-head series. Last year, the Thunder went 5-0-1 in the season matchup and was paced by Nathan Martz's eight points (2g-6a). In two games last year, goaltender Cam Ellsworth had a 0.95 goals-against-average and .971 save percentage.

A look at the 2006-07 head-to-head series:

11/04/06 Phoenix 2 at Stockton 3

11/07/06 Stockton 1 at Phoenix 2 (SO)

01/30/07 Stockton 6 at Phoenix 3

02/06/07 Stockton 2 at Phoenix 1 (OT)

03/30/07 Phoenix 0 at Stockton 4

04/01/07 Phoenix 1 at Stockton 4


Known for their speed and two of the bigger free-agent signings for the Thunder in the offseason, wingers Jesse Bennefield and Andy Contois have combined for 18 points (8g-11a) in the first nine games this season and tied for the team's lead in scoring with nine points each. Bennefield leads the Thunder with six goals - tied for 6th in the ECHL while Contois, who spent his rookie season with the Gwinnett Gladiators, ranks second on the Thunder with seven assists.


The Phoenix RoadRunners are in their third ECHL season, led by head coach Brad Church (first full season as head coach) and began the season with their best start in ECHL history at a 3-0-0 pace. Center Daniel Sisca was named the season's first ECHL Player of the Week with a six point-effort (4g-2a), headlining a three-game sweep of the Utah Grizzlies. Last year, Phoenix clinched the eighth seed in the National Conference and its first-ever Kelly Cup Playoff berth with a 27-40-5 record (59 points). The RoadRunners home is U.S. Airways Center, which doubles-up as the host facility to the NBA's Phoenix Suns.

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