Gameday: Thunder Kick off Military Appreciation Weekend
The Thunder host the Alaska Aces while the team is set to welcome, remember, and thank those who've served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Arena: Stockton Arena
Date: Friday, October 24
Time: 7:30 p.m. (Doors at 6:30 p.m.)
Giveaway: Thunder team Calendars to the first 500 fans 13-years-old and over
Broadcast: ECHL.TV and Spreaker beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Last Year's Record: Stockton went 2-5-0 in 7 games against the Aces
Follow the Thunder Facebook Page for occasional updates or follow @StocktonThunder on Twitter for the play-by-play tweeting!
Last Time Out
Coming off their first win, the Stockton Thunder looked poised to carry momentum into Sunday's Home Opener, however, the Condors once again got the early jump on the Thunder. Graeme Craig's shot went off of James Henry's glove and in and Francis Verreault-Paul scored just past the halfway mark in the first to make it 2-0 Condors.
Tides turned in the second period when Robin Soudek was able to score his second in as many games to cut the lead in half and just shy of five minutes later, Tyler Shattock tied the game 2-2.
The momentum continued going into the third period as the Thunder scored what would eventually stand as the game winner 7:28 into the third off the stick of Tyler Maxwell. Peter Sivak notched his first goal in a Thunder uniform, an insurance marker, over seven minutes later to seal the Thunder's second win on the season. Shane Owen won his first game since returning to the ECHL after he stopped 29 of 31 shots. Garet Hunt lead the team with 19 penalty minutes in the game, bringing his career total to 1407 minutes.
The winless Alaska Aces come to town in hopes of finding their first win against a team they dominated last year. The Thunder were only able to win two games in seven tries against the Aces last year, including one road and one home contest. Alaska went on to win the Kelly Cup but since raising the banner, the team, which differs vastly from last season, has yet to find their footing. The Thunder however are coming off of two straight come-from-behind wins against Bakersfield.
Thunder Comeback Wins
The Thunder have yet to score the first goal this season as they surrendered leads to Bakersfield in all three of the teams games, however, in game two and three of last weekend, the Thunder battled through the early adversity to come back and win. Jack MacLellan and Tyler Maxwell have the two game winners for the Thunder this season.
Know the Enemy
The Aces come into the season with a very different roster than they did last season. The big three from last season, has been relegated to a big one, as former captain Nick Mazzolini left to play with Lowen Frankfurt of the DEL2 in Germany.
Peter Sivak makes his way back to Northern California as he currently is suiting up for the Thunder, leaving just Brendan Connolly on the roster of Alaska's big guns. Mazzolini ended up with 72 points while Sivak finished last season with 83 points and Connolly with 49.
Another difference will be between the pipes as longtime Aces goaltender Gerald Coleman retired, leaving the Aces pipes untended. Manning the crease is St. Louis Blues fifth round draft pick Niklas Lundstrom and free agent pickup Andy Iles.
Who to Watch
Ryan Constant is definitely the man to watch tonight as the longtime Thunder defenseman is just one assist shy of tying Nathan Martz' team record of 97 career assists.
Constant had the primary assist on Ryan Hayes' season opening goal in the loss to the Condors last Friday and is awaiting his next assist to tie, and the following assist to rewrite history.
"It's definitely in the back of my mind but I'm not focused on it," Constant said. "I've had six great seasons here in Stockton and have to thank the organization for the opportunity to play here. All my coaches and teammates deserve the credit for it and I am definitely thankful for the fans who come out here and support us every night."
More Than a Game
Tonight's game is more than a game as the Thunder welcome in veterans, active duty, and reserve members of our nation's military during Military Appreciation Weekend.
"My grandfather was in the military, an infantry member and drove tanks," Jessey Astles said. "These nights are always good ones because the crowd gets going. I've played in a couple military nights in juniors so I'm excited to see what it'll be like here in Stockton."
A number of tributes will be on display for the true heroes tonight as the team and fans pay tribute to those who've been able to come home after serving our country, and honor those, and their families, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"My cousin is in the Canadian Army," Shawn Boutin said. "I'm absolutely going to have him on my mind this weekend. He sacrifices so much for his country and for us so I'll be thinking about him for sure."
The festivities will be kicked off by the gigantic flag held by all the guys at center ice and continue through our opening puck drop by 92-year-old WWII Veteran Don Bryant. Show your thanks for Don's service by cheering wildly as he drops tonight's ceremonial opening draw.
A portion of event proceeds will be donated to the Welcome Home Heroes Foundation .
Military Jerseys and T-Shirts OH MY!
The Thunder will once again commemorate the occasion with special edition Military Jerseys designed by OT Sports, Bryan Boyes, and team employees. The jerseys are mostly black with camo inserts and a distressed version of our nations flag on the shoulder yoke.
Fans wishing to purchase a replica jersey may do so at the Stockton Fan Attic for $115. If you are hoping to commemorate the occasion a bit cheaper, be sure to check out the Fan Attic's special edition Military t-shirts (Shirt 1 and Shirt 2 ). Check out the shirts by clicking here! Both will be available while supplies last for $20, however if you are a Thunder Season Ticket Holder, both shirts are the Season Ticket Holder items of the night, meaning a $5 off discount ($15 price per shirt) if you chose to purchase.
Game jerseys will be auctioned throughout the weekend including the jerseys of Tyler Maxwell, Robin Soudek, Jack MacLellan, Brad Stebner, Mike Pereira and Prab Rai tonight at the silent auction table on the fan deck.
Jerseys from Tyler Shattock, Jessey Astles, James Henry, Adam Phillips, Roberts Lipsbers, Michal Spacek, and a team signed Thunder jersey will be up for bid at the silent auction on Saturday. Landon Oslanski's jersey will be won by the lucky raffle winner on Saturday.
The live auction, which begins after the game tomorrow, will feature jerseys from Thor, Shawn Boutin, Lukas Sutter, Philippe Trudeau, Ryan Hayes, Loic Leduc, Shane Owen, Peter Sivak, Ryan Constant and Garet Hunt while Keith Seabrook's jersey will be available via an online auction set to begin on Monday.
Operation Troop Outreach Collecting
Operation Troop Outreach will once again have barrels in the North and South Entry collecting basic supplies to send overseas for our troops. The items collected will be shipped during the holiday season to service personnel as a token of our appreciation for their services during the holidays.
Items that make great donations include:
Eye Drops/Saline Drops
Hand/Body Lotion (travel size)
Hand Sanitizer (travel size)
Kleenex (travel packs)
Body Soap (liquid only) (travel size)
Mouthwash (travel size)
Powder (baby, body, foot) (travel size)
Shampoo/Conditioner (travel size)
Sun Block/Sunscreen (small sizes)
Wet Wipes/Handy Wipes Food/Drink:
Individually Wrapped Candy (fun size)
Dried Fruit/Raisins (snack sizes)
Hot Cocoa (singles)
Nuts/Corn Nuts (snack sizes)
Pre-sweetened Drink Mix (singles)
Ramen Noodles (no cup o noodles)
Tea Bags (individually wrapped)
Trail Mix (snack size)
Black Electrical Tape
Unused Christmas Cards
Peter Sivak is on a fourth best (leaguewide) point streak of three games with points as the Cheb, Czech Republic native has found the back of the net once while also chipping in 3 assists in his first three games with the Thunder.
His countryman from Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, Robin Soudek, is on a third best (leaguewide) two game goal streak.
"It's going to be tough. They've proven over the years that they are one of the best teams in this league and are always competitive, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting the games going." - Ryan Constant on playing the Alaska Aces
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