Wroblewski nets two goals while Ellsworth stops 24 shots
FRESNO, Calif. - Forward John Wroblewski scored two goals while the Fresno Falcons benefited from three power-play goals to send the Stockton Thunder (20-13-8, 48 points) to a 3-1 loss before an announced crowd of 14,023 at Save Mart Center on Saturday.
Capitalizing on a spirited scrap between Thunder enforcer Adam Huxley and Fresno counterpart Riley Day, the Thunder drew first blood for a 1-0 lead just 3:02 into the game on rookie defenseman Eric Main's second goal of the season. Forward Stephen Slonina produced a rebound that Fresno goaltender Ryan MacDonald originally stopped on an up-ice rush, followed by Main pouncing on the loose puck in the slot and blasting a shot over MacDonald's shoulder.
Stockton netminder Cam Ellsworth made nine saves in the first period on a myriad of quality scoring chances by Fresno, including a breakaway save on forward Brian McConnell and a point-blank stop with the blocker on the Falcons' John Morlang.
Fresno retaliated with two power-play goals in a span of 2:53 to grab a 2-1 lead through two periods, beginning with John Wroblewski's 12th goal of the year at 2:39. Morlang fed defenseman Dustin VanBallegooie covering at the point, whose wrist shot deflected off Wroblewski's stick and past Ellsworth to knot the game at 1-1.
Wroblewski added his second goal of the game at the 5:32 mark for the 2-1 advantage, deflecting Luke Curtin's shot from the slot past Ellsworth's glove. Cory Murphy set up Curtin at the right wing half boards, who curled out to the slot unchecked.
Curtin scored his 10th goal of the campaign for a 3-1 Fresno lead with 11:35 gone in the third, firing a one-timer from the right point that beat Ellsworth with traffic in front of the goal. Stockton provided a healthy comeback attempt which fell short on one shot apiece by Slonina, Mike Lalonde, and Tim Sestito, who all had shots deflect off the goal post in the final stanza.
Ellsworth made 24 saves in net for the Thunder and his record moves to 7-8-2. MacDonald made 36 saves for Fresno, while Morlang picked up two assists to aid Fresno's offense. Thunder right wing Troy Bodie, who ranks second on the team in goal-scoring, missed his second consecutive game due to injury.
The Thunder continues its three-game road trip with an upcoming duel against the Phoenix RoadRunners at U.S. Airways Center, beginning at 6:11 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6. The game can be heard live on the internet (free-of-charge) and is available for viewing for a $6 "pay-per-view" charge at www.stocktonthunder.com (courtesy of B2 Networks).
Thunder season tickets, mini-plans and individual tickets for the 2006-07 season 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.
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