Pitton's 36 Saves Falls Shy, Pokulok Nets Game-Winner
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Sasha Pokulok snapped a 2-2 tie with a game-winning power-play goal with 5:53 left in regulation, which was enough for the Bakersfield Condors to send the Stockton Thunder (4-5-2, 10 points) to a 3-2 defeat before a crowd of 4,948 at Rabobank Arena on Tuesday night.
The Thunder, who had their six-game unbeaten streak in regulation snapped in the process, were aided with goals from Steve Vanoosten (first of his pro career) and Oren Eizenman. Shawn Weller and John deGray also scored for Bakersfield while Justin Pogge got the win with 18 saves in net.
Vanoosten netted the first goal of his pro career on the power play with 6:12 left in the first period to put the Thunder ahead 1-0, taking Oren Eizenman's feed at the high slot and ripping a one-timer past Pogge's blocker.
Bakersfield tied the game at 1-1 on Shawn Weller's fourth goal of the season with 2:23 gone in the second period, banking a puck into the net from behind the cage which went off traffic.
John deGray put the Condors ahead 2-1 at 4:52 of the third period with his fourth goal of the year. deGray was the recipient of a pass from Kyle Calder from behind the net, who took the threaded pass through traffic and beat Bryan Pitton with a one-timer.
Eizenman tied the game at 2-2 with the Thunder's first shorthanded goal of the season with 6:17 left in regulation, converting on a 2-on-1 attack. Eizenman took Jamie Bates' cross-ice pass and ripped a one-timer past Pogge's glove.
Just 24 seconds later, MacGregor Sharp won an endzone faceoff on the same Condors power-play and found Pokulok at the point, drilling a slapshot through traffic for the game-winning goal.
Pitton made 36 saves in the defeat, falling to 1-3-0.
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Matt O'Dette (injured reserve), Colin Power (injured reserve), Colton Yellow Horn (bereavement leave) and Kelly Czuy (injured reserve)... the Thunder fell to 11-14-8 lifetime against Bakersfield and dropped their fourth loss in the last five games at Rabobank Arena.
The Thunder returns to play at home Friday, facing the Idaho Steelheads for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff at Stockton Arena. The game can be heard and viewed online at www.stocktonthunder.com, courtesy of B2 Networks (audio is free of charge).
The Thunder was voted "Best Local Sports Team" by readers of the San Joaquin Magazine, has led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew 223,854 fans to Stockton Arena in 2008-09. Season Tickets for 2009-10 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit http://www.stocktonthunder.com/.
1. BAK - 4 Sasha Pokulok
2. BAK - 23 Shawn Weller
3. BAK - 19 Kyle Calder
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