Weekly Weather Report: Weekly News and Notes of the Stockton Thunder
The Thunder took to the road for a grueling five-game road trip that began last Tuesday in Southern California when the team took on the Ontario Reign for the second time this season, but unfortunately for the team with the same results, as the Thunder would again fall to the Reign, this time by a 7-1 final score. Ontario scored the first five goals of the game, four of which came in the second period before the Thunder finally got on the board with Lukas Sutter's first career pro goal. The assists on the play came from Roberts Lipsbergs and Prab Rai, and for Lipsbergs it was his first pro point.
So while the Thunder couldn't carry the momentum from their win against the Grizzlies into Ontario, the team had to shake off the Ontario loss and focus on a tough three-in-three in frigid Anchorage, Alaska. Philippe Trudeau got the nod in the first game between the Thunder and Aces and got some immediate offensive support thanks to Keith Seabrook on the power play, scoring his third goal of the year. Alaska would tie the game in the first and scored two quick goals in the second to take the lead. Loic Leduc picked up the Thunder again when he blasted home his second goal of the season and in his pro career but a number of odd man rushes given up by the Thunder resulted in a few more Alaska goals on way to defeating the Thunder 6-2.
Game two started the same way but took a bit longer as the Ryan Hayes' power-play goal with just 18 ticks on the clock put the Thunder ahead after the first period, but then in the second period the Thunder got in some penalty trouble. With Tyler Shattock already in the box for kneeing, Shawn Boutin headed to the sin bin for boarding giving the Aces the two man advantage. Alaska scored nine seconds into the two-man advantage and tacked on another power-play goal in the dying seconds of Boutin's penalty. After tying in shots with the Aces in the first period with eight a piece, the Thunder were held to just three and four shots in the next two periods as they fell once again to the Aces 2-1. For the Thunder it was a season low output in shots with 15 total.
The final game in Anchorage until February got underway when the Aces scored with just over three minutes gone in the game. However another Thunder power-play goal, this time by Ryan Constant knotted the game up again with the teams heading into the dressing rooms after 20 minutes of play. With James Henry's second period penalty set to expire, it looked like the Thunder had killed off another Alaska power play, which in fact they did, but as Henry stepped on the ice Olivier Archambault put a rebound past Owen for the "almost" power-play tally. The Aces would eventually tack on a real power-play goal with Henry once again in the box and hold on to sweep the Thunder with the 3-1 win.
11/18 - ADD Ryder (Traded from Allen)
11/18 - DEL Astles (Traded to Allen)
11/17 - ADD Simpson (Loaned by NYI)
11/14 - ADD Sivak (Loaned by Bridgeport)
11/11 - ADD Shattock (Returned from WOR)
11/9 - DEL Soudek (Traded to Rapid City)
Goals: Ryan Hayes with 4
Assists: James Henry & Jack MacLellan with 8
Points: James Henry & Jack MacLellan with 10
PIMs: Lukas Sutter with 55
Wins: Shane Owen with 3
Losses: Shane Owen with 6
GAA: Shane Owen with 3.51
SV%: Shane Owen with .904
Season-long Home Stand Upcoming
The Thunder have a tied season-long seven-game home stand that begins on November 22 and continues through December 6. The Thunder are set to play three straight games against the Bakersfield Condors at home (after playing the team in the finale of their five-game road trip) before hosting the Utah Grizzlies on Black Friday and welcoming in the Aces for three straight games on December 4 through 6.
After playing 10 of the team's first 15 games on the road, an extended stay in Northern California will be welcomed by the team as they try to dig themselves out of this hole they've dug for themselves.
The Thunder have one other seven-game homestand this season, set to occur on February 11 and continue through February 22 through Pink Weekend.
Welcome to the Thunderdome
The Thunder have welcomed two new members of the team including goaltender Kent Simpson who was reassigned to the Thunder from the New York Islanders. Simpson was acquired by the Islanders from the Chicago Blackhawks in the same trade that sent Nick Leddy to Long Island. He has played a total of 79 pro games with the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Rockford IceHogs (AHL), Toledo Walleye (ECHL) and Colorado Eagles (ECHL).
The second new face is former Colorado Eagle and Ontario Reign defenseman John Ryder, who was acquired by the Thunder from the Allen Americans in exchange for forward Jessey Astles. Ryder is a defensive defenseman who should help solidify the Thunder on the blueline, providing some toughness, grit and intelligence we've seen the defenseman exhibit against the Thunder in seasons past.
While he split last season with the Colorado Eagles and Ontario Reign (being acquired as the defenseman coming over from the Eagles to the Reign in the Kyle Kraemer deal), the defenseman was involved during the Idaho Steelheads run to the 2013 Western Conference Finals in which they lost to the Stockton Thunder. Ryder also played in three of the four games during the Thunder's sweep of the Ontario Reign in last season's quarterfinals.
Interesting News and Notes
Lukas Sutter is third in the league with 55 penalty minutes and is the top rookie in that category. He has penalties in a league-high nine-straight games
Loic Leduc is tied third in penalty minutes among rookies with 32.
Ryan Constant's 6 power-play assists is tied tops in the league. Constant's 7 power-play points ties him with former Thunder defenseman Landon Oslanski for the ECHL's best among defenseman
Shane Owen is second in the league with 310 saves made, just two saves behind Bakersfield's Ty Rimmer for first in the league.
Stockton averages 21.36 penalty minutes per game behind Wheeling and Missouri.
The Thunder's goal differential at home is just -1 while the Thunder are -23 on the road.
The Thunder have the fifth best power play in the league as they've converted 22.4% of their chances.
The team also has the eighth best penalty kill in the league as they've killed 84/5% of opposing power plays.
The Thunder have allowed a league high 520 shots on goal and a league high of 58 goals.
Tyler Maxwell leads the team in shots taken with 41.
Shane Owen is one win away from 25 in his ECHL career
Peter Sivak is just 4 points away from 150 career ECHL points and 10 games away from 150 career ECHL games.
James Henry is 4 points away from 50 career points in the ECHL and his pro career. He's also 20 games away from 100 played in his career.
Jack MacLellan is 11 games away from 100 career professional games played.
J.T. Barnett is 8 games away from 50 career ECHL and pro games played.
Ryan Constant is 5 goals away from 50 in his ECHL career. He's 9 assists away from 150 career ECHL assists and just 14 points away from 200 career ECHL points.
Garet Hunt is 9 games away from 400 career ECHL games played. He's 10 assists away from 100 and 9 points away from 150 in his ECHL career.
Recently Accomplished Milestones
Tyler Maxwell played his 50th ECHL game against Alaska on 11-15-14.
Lukas Sutter scored his first pro goal against Ontario on 11-11-14.
Roberts Lipsbergs registered his first pro point, an assist, on Sutter's first pro goal against Ontario on 11-11-14.
Keith Seabrook played in his 200th professional game against Ontario on 11-5-14.
Jack MacLellan played in his 50th ECHL game against Utah on 11-7-14.
John Ryder played in his 100th ECHL game with the Allen Americans against the Rapid City Rush on 11-1-14.
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