The Thunder hasn’t done anything the easy way throughout the postseason, so it’s not surprising there would be one more hurdle as it moved the the verge of an ECHL National Conference championship.
Stockton led 3-2 with 1.4 seconds left in the game when they was a mad scramble in front of the Thunder net and Nathan Deck knocked the goal off its moorings. The officials called Deck for delay of game on a scoring opportunity, and awarded the Steelheads a penalty shot.
Austin Smith missed against Thunder goalie Olivier Roy, and Stockton is a game away from it’s first Kelly Cup Final.
It was tough to tell if the refs made the right call. I will say it’s tough to do it with that many people thrashing around the net. But it is a judgement call.
Said Thunder coach Matt Thomas: “It’s the right call, if it’s intentional. That’s the argument by me, that Deck didn’t do it intentionally. He was just scrambling back there.”
Deck stated: “I was battling in there, it wasn’t on purpose.”
It was just one more challenge the Thunder successfully overcame. Now it will try to finish this series tonight and avoid a return trip to Boise, Idaho.
Thomas spoke on a few subjects after the game, and he’s a few of his comments:
On Game 4: “It was another war. It was a hell of a game, man, just like every other game in this series. Our entire team played a very hard-nosed game. We ended up making one more play than them.”
Game 5: “Let’s put this way — we can’t make a mistake. You have to expect that it will be harder than tonight.”