It’s not unusual for scouts to come to Stockton Arena. But this time it wasn’t a player who was getting a good long look.
NHL officiating manager Rob Shick was in town for the Thunder’s 4-1 win in the regular season finale. Shick, who was an official for 25 years, said he was observing ECHL referee JM McNulty, who is on the NHL’s list of prospects. If he impresses the right people, McNulty’s next step would be the American Hockey League.
A few notes from Fan Appreciation night at the arena:
* Stockton’s three-goal first period was one of the Thunder’s best of the season. Coach Matt Thomas told the players before the game he wanted to see playoff-caliber hockey, and he got it.
* Thunder Defenseman Colton Hayes proved to be quite agile in his second-period fight with Idaho’s Chase Schaber. At one point Hayes fell down, bounced back up and never stopped swinging. He landed two good, hard punches right before landing on Schaber to end the fight.
* Talk about quality late season pickups. Stockton forward Andrew Clark, fresh out of college, had a hat trick in his third game as a pro and two assists against Idaho. He has played his way on to the playoff roster.