Thunder finish weekend on top

STOCKTON, Calif. – The Stockton Thunder blew out the Aces for the second consecutive night while extending their winning streak to six games. The Thunder improved to 7-1-1 for the season, with 15 points, moving to first place in their conference and are now tied with Gwinnett for the best record in the ECHL.

Thunder logo - Photo by Jack Lima

Thunder logo – Photo by Jack Lima


Stockton provided the finishing touch to “Thunder goes Pink VII”, a breast cancer awareness three-day campaign, earning the six points while wearing pink sweaters and skating on pink ice.
Stockton Arena - Thunder Goes Pink VIIl. Photo by Jack Lima

Stockton Arena – Thunder Goes Pink VIIl. Photo by Jack Lima


Since 2006-07, Thunder Goes Pink has raised over $226,000 for breast cancer awareness and services while touching the lives of over 105,000 fans who have visited the Stockton Arena. The event helps to promote breast cancer awareness, prevention and raise funds and has become the Thunder’s signature promotional event.
Erik Hunter and Mark Guggenberger - Photo by Jack Lima

Erik Hunter and Mark Guggenberger – Photo by Jack Lima


The action continued from Saturday nights excitement, with the Thunder opening the scoring at 1:17 into the game. Toni Rajala backhanded the puck past Mark Guggenberger for the goal. In the final seconds of the period, Nathan Deck scored on a power play to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead going into the break.
Yannick Riendeau celebrates his goal - Photo by Jack Lima

Yannick Riendeau celebrates his goal – Photo by Jack Lima

In the second period, Yannick Riendeau scored on a power play at the 3:13 mark, to extend the Stockton lead to 3-0. Despite outshooting the Thunder in the 16-9 in the second frame, the Aces could not find a way to get past Tyler Bunz in the net.
Face off: Matt Bergland and Nick Mazzolini - Photo by Jack Lima

Face off: Matt Bergland and Nick Mazzolini – Photo by Jack Lima

Stockton’s Justin Maylan and Harrison Reed added goals in the third. Alaska’s only goal came at 9:49 in the third from Alex Imbeault, but the Thunder held them until the final buzzer, with a final score of 5-1.
At the 9:44 mark of the third, Thunder Captain Garet Hunt and Sean Curry dropped the gloves and went toe-to-toe. Curry, 6’5″, 227-pounds, had the height and weight advantage, but Hunt (5’8″, 190-pounds) has a reputation of not letting the bigger guys best him and he held his own in this match as well.
Garet Hunt and Sean Curry - Photo by Jack Lima

Garet Hunt and Sean Curry – Photo by Jack Lima


“I think we’ve shown that we’re a top team in the league,” Bunz said. “We have a lot of guys step up and make plays for us. Rajala’s been doing a great job. So have Reed and [Matt] Reber. Guys like Hunt, it’s pretty amazing to watch what they do. Hunt doesn’t get a lot of the credit, but for me, being a young player, he’s been one of my favorite captains to play under.”
Thunder Salutes the crowd - Photo by Jack Lima

Thunder Salutes the crowd – Photo by Jack Lima


Bunz improved to 5-1-1, earning the win with 30 saves, while Guggenberger took the loss with 27 saves. Center Harrison Reed collected three points (1 goal, 2 assists) to lead the Thunder offense. Toni Rajala extended his point streak to six games, scoring at least a goal in the last four.
The Thunder outscored their opponents for the weekend 18-6 over their last three games.
 
The Thunder will travel to the Bay Area to begin a three-game road trip next Friday, Nov. 9 against the San Francisco Bulls. The Aces continue their five-game road trip next week in Las Vegas with games on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
 
Contact the writer at Shellie.Lima@prohockeynews.com
Contact the photographer at Jack.Lima@prohockeynews.com
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