Before a bunch of youngsters went out and painted its ice with everything from flowers to turtles, the Thunder finished 2013 with a very good performance.
It beat the S.F. Bulls 5-1 at Stockton Arena, thanks mostly to a four-goal first period and a fine outing by goalie Parker Milner, who got a much-needed win.
The game turned early when Matt Bergland scored and James Henry contributed a shorthanded goal, which was a back breaker for the Bulls. Mike Dalhuisen, Nick Larson and Landon Oslanski also scored, and Milner took care of the rest and had 31 saves.
This was the third out of what amounts to a five-game series between the franchises, and it got pretty nasty on Sunday. There was four fights — Thunder captain Garet Hunt had two — and plenty of shoving and pushing.
Sunday was “Kids Takes Over” Day at the arena, with children taking up various jobs around the arena such as announcing, running the music board, etc. It was a fun event, and at the end of the game they were allowed on the ice to paint it. The Thunder and Bulls will play on the newly decorated ice on Friday.