Reed, Riendeau help Thunder get last laugh in season series with win
STOCKTON, Calif. - A rock solid Cody Reichard (11-7-5) made 39 saves in goal and helped the Stockton Thunder (22-16-8, 52 points) avoid a winless weekend with a 2-1 victory over the Utah Grizzlies in front of 4,033 at Stockton Arena on Sunday.
Forward Yannick Riendeau and center Harrison Reed each found the back of the net for the Thunder. Defenseman Ryan Constant earned an assist (the 100th of his professional career) on Riendeau's goal and finished with two assists on the night.
Andrew Engelage stopped 30 shots for the Grizzlies.
"I was actually thinking about putting Jody O'Niell in net today," Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said, "to give a little bit of a different perspective for our team. Then, Cody Reichard texted me and said, 'I want the net', and when a goalie does that you listen."
After a scoreless first period, Utah jumped on the board on a power play 4:32 into the second. From behind the left post, Ian Schultz sent the puck across the face of goal to Jimmy Martin at the right circle. Martin beat Reichard glove-side to put the Grizzlies up 1-0.
With time ticking down in the second period, Constant poked the puck ahead to Riendeau for a two-on-one break with forward Garet Hunt (playing in his 300th game in his professional career). Skating into the crease, Riendeau fired a wrist shot that squeezed between Engelage's right pad and the post, tying the game up 1-1 with just 35 seconds left in the period.
At the midway point of the third period, the Thunder were granted a five-on-three power play. On the advantage, center Justin Maylan found Reed at the point. Reed uncorked a wrist shot that sailed through traffic and beat Engelage, giving the Thunder a 2-1 lead 10:16 into the final frame.
"This weekend has been pretty dirty, and there was a lot of chippiness in the game," Reed said, "In turn, that resulted in a lot of five-on-threes. We haven't really been taking advantage of that. It was a little icing on the cake to score on a five-on-three."
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Teigan Zahn, Jesse Fratkin, Matt Ambroz, and Cameron Abney...Ryan Constant is now just one assist away from 100 in his ECHL career...Harrison Reed has scored in three consecutive games and has five goals in his last five games...Cody Reichard has faced 99 shots in the last three games ... the Thunder finished 4-2-1 in the season series against Utah.
Up next, the Thunder will continue its seven-game home stand with a midweek clash with its Central Valley rival, San Francisco Bulls. The puck will drop Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at Stockton Arena.
A two time recipient of the ECHL "Award of Excellence," the Thunder led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the seventh consecutive season in 2011-12. Season Tickets, Group Tickets and Mini-Plans for 2012-13 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
1. STK - C. Reichard
2. STK - H. Reed
3. STK - R. Constant
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