Hear from Manteca’s Alex Laurel and coach Reis about their historic season:
Hear from Manteca’s Alex Laurel and coach Reis about their historic season:
The Thunder won its first game in 13 days on Saturday, and will get a chance to enjoy it for a little while.
Stockton beat the Idaho Steelheads 4-3 to end a five-game winless streak. It was the Thunder’s first real slump of the season, and it certainly had its ugly moments. After a very busy November, the team also gets to slow down, schedule-wise.
It doesn’t play against until next Saturday, when it meets the San Francisco Bulls at the Cow Palace. On Dec. 15 Stockton hosts the Bakersfield Condors.
At the Dec. 15 game, the franchise is holding a “Diaper Drive.” Fans are encouraged to bring a pack of diapers (no loose diapers) to the game, and those who do will receive a $3 off voucher to any regular season home game.The diapers will be donated to the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless.
The Ontario Reign won its third consecutive game against the Stockton Thunder, but it needed an eight-round shootout to pull it off.
Ontario’s Matt Register scored in the top of the eighth round and Stockton couldn’t respond as the Reign won 3-2 Wednesday in front of a crowd of 9,584 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.The teams meet again Friday at Stockton Arena.
The Thunder (11-4-2) fell behind 2-1 in the third period, but was able to force overtime when Greg Miller scored 9:03 into the period. It was less than a minute after Everett Sheen had given the Reign (11-2-4) the lead.
Brett Beebe gave Ontario a 1-0 lead in the fifth round of the shootout, but Brayden Irwin staved off defeat for the Thunder by tying it up. After Register’s score, J.P. Burkemper couldn’t convert for Stockton.
Stockton goalie Brian Foster still hasn’t lost in regulation in 11 games (9-0-2) and had 43 saves. Michael Hutchinson of Ontario (9-1-2) had 37 saves.
There will be an extended game story and preview of the next game in The Record’s Friday edition.
Brad Phillips was out of hockey for a year, and finally made it back into the pro game on Sunday. He played well and got plenty of support in the Thunder’s 4-3 win.
He was brought in after Parker Milner was promoted to Bridgeport. Stockton was scheduled to play four times in five days, and that’s too much to ask of the exceptional Brian Foster.
Instead Foster played three in four days and won them all. Phillips’ job was to shake off the rust and give the Thunder a chance to stay in the game and have a chance to win, which he did well. Interestingly, all three goals he allowed were on his glove (left) hand.
But he hung tough until Andrew Clark came up with the game winner. He’s here at least a few weeks, perhaps longer, and it was a very nice start.
A style clash will tip-off at Spanos Center in a few minutes as Western Illinois visits Pacific.
The Leathernecks like to slow it down and play tough, hard-nosed man-to-man defense under coach Jim Molinari. Western Illinois is 0-2 with losses to Idaho and Nebraska.
The Tigers have looked great on offense (82 points per game) through season-opening victories and coach Ron Verlin wants his team to play at an even faster tempo.
The team that can impose its will/style on the game is likely to prevail. The home court advantage should give Pacific the edge in that regard. The Tigers prevail 72-65 with the new handchecking rules still wreaking havoc.
J.P. Burkemper was waived after training camp, resigned and then put on the inactive list.
He finally got to play hockey for the Stockton Thunder, and he found a great way to celebrate — a Gordie Howe hat trick.
Burkemper had a goal, an assist and a fight in his first pro game, a 6-2 Stockton win against the Bakersfield Condors on Thursday.
“Burky hadn’t played at all, and he appeared a little nervous in practice (Wednesday),” Thunder coach Rich Kromm said. “He certainly played well, and it was good to see him have that kind of game.”
Another Thunder rookie, James Henry, had the first two-goal game of his career.
The Tigers take the floor for the first time since their thrilling 80-78 victory at Nevada on Friday against former Big west Conference rival UC Irvine now.
The familiarity should make for competitive game as the teams split the regular season meetings last season, before the Tigers handled UC Irvine in the Big West Conference championship game to earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
UC Irvine’s strength is its backcourt of Chris McNealy and Alex Young, though Sacramento’s Will Davis III and and 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye present an intriguing frontcourt. Pacific’s front court is experienced and deep and look for Tony Gill, Ross Rivera and guard Sama Taku to carry them to a 77-71 victory in their 2013-14 home opener.
We are live at Lawlor Events Center for the 2013-14 season opener between the Wolf Pack and Tigers.
One of Pacific’s enduring non-conference rivals, the Wolf Pack are hoping for a duplication of its 78-54 thrashing of the Tigers here two years ago. The Tigers won 78-72 in overtime last season at Spanos Center and are hoping for a repeat of that.
Pacific’s experience should keep them in this game, especially if its point guards, senior Andrew Bock and freshman T.J. Wallace, can hang with Nevada’s leading scorer Deonte Burton. The Wolf Pack was just 12-19 last season after winning the Western Athletic Conference title in 2011-12 under coach David Carter.
Ron Verlin will use Bock, Sama Taku, Trevin Harris, Tony Gill and Khalil Kelley as his starters in his first game as Pacific’s head coach after 19 years as an assistant under Bob Thomason, who retired after an NCAA Tournament appearance in March.
Pacific leads the all-time series 53-45 and has won four of the past five meetings. Look for the Tigers to keep the roll going and eke out another win.
The eighth annual charity event to benefit breast cancer awareness finished up on Saturday night at Stockton Arena. It’s always the most emotional weekends of the year, filled with sadness, joy and inspirational stories.
The Thunder certainly help up their end of the bargain on the ice, winning both games against the Utah Grizzlies. Saturday’s 6-1 win was dominating, and it could have been worse for Utah if the Thunder actually had a power play. Strangely, Stockton never had a PP despite it being a pretty physical game, and the Thunder leads the league in PP with a .438 success rate.
Here’s a few observations from the Thunder’s win and its 4-1-0 start:
* Defenseman Mike Dalhuisen, whose mother died from cancer in 2007, had her initials on his stick and had a good weekend. He scored in Friday’s 3-2 win and played well Saturday. He also won his fight with Danick Pacquette, and played to the crowd from the penalty box by flexing his muscles.
* Goalie Brian Foster is off to a fantastic start for the Thunder. After Saturday’s win, he’s 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and a .938 save percentage, with 75 totals saves.
* Returning forward Ryan Hayes, a star in the playoffs last season, has four goals in the first five games. But most impressive is how well balanced the Thunder has been — six different players scored on Saturday.
* Defenseman Sean Escobedo, who left the ice on Friday with what appeared to be a lower body injury, was put on the injured reserve list on Sunday.
Fans at Stockton Arena will get a chance to see the Thunder’s other goalie on Wednesday.
And the team can only hope he does as well as the first one.
Thunder coach Rich Kromm announced on Tuesday that rookie goaltender Parker Milner will start o against the Ontario Reign at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Milner is a New York Islander propsect and will be making his pro debut.
Brian Foster started the season opener on Saturday and had 29 saves in a 5-0 shutout against the Colorado Eagles. Kromm said he decided before the opener that the goalies would split the first two games and he’d go from there.
“We want to get them both some action, that was the plan going into the season,” Kromm said. “As we get going here, we’ll have decisions based on who’s hot. But both are going to play.”
Milner led Boston College to the 2012 NCAA title.
Defenseman Mathieu Gagnon had a spirited debut on Saturday with the Thunder, playing well and getting into two fights. But after the first one, there was a little mix up on where he should go.
Gagnon got the best of his battle with Colorado’sAlex Hudson 6:33 into the game, and skated to the visiting penalty box. He was quickly re-routed to the Thunder box by off-ice officials.
“I had no clue. Both doors were open, and I jumped into the first one I saw,” Gagnon said. “I was pumped by the fight, and it happened quick.”
The Thunder went 3 for 3 on the power play in the first game, and it hasn’t work on it that much in practice. But Kromm still put the players through strenuous special teams drills on Monday.
“We spent some time on it, and it’s always frustrating for the power play guys in practice because there’s no pressure on the penalty kill guys and they can be as aggressive as they want.,” Kromm said. “But it’s good, because you have to really work to make it effective. That’s what you want.”