STOCKTON, Calif. – Before 4,298 fans at the Stockton Arena, the Thunder accomplished another come from behind win, in overtime, to pull ahead of the Alaska Aces in the Western Conference Semifinals with a final score of 2-1.
Despite being outshot in the first period 11-3 by the Aces, the Thunder outshot the Aces in the end, 35-34. Olivier Roy made a stellar appearance in the net tonight, which happened to be exactly what this team needed.
The Thunder got off to a slow start, while the Aces took the lead mid-way through the first period. Nick Mazzolini scored his second goal of the post season at 11:52 on a powerplay, with assists by Brad Gorham and Gary Nunn. But that would be the end of their goal opportunities.
The two teams would be scoreless through the second, and midway through the third period. At 10:25, after the Thunder pounded away at Gerald Coleman in the net for the Aces, Eric Hunter’s shot found an opening to even the tally. Garet Hunt and Ryan Hayes collected assists on the play. This was Hunters first post season goal.
Heavy hitting and aggressive skating continued through until the final buzzer, forcing overtime.
There were several excellent scoring opportunities for both teams, but the goaltending was relentless. But a rebound opportunity, gave Andrew Clark a chance to poke the puck into the corner of the net, at 13:03, to give Stockton the win. Hayes and Hunt were credited with assists on the shot.
This was Stockton’s ninth overtime win in a row, including games from the regular season.
Aces Coleman took the loss, with 33 saves, while Roy gets another win in the 33 save effort. The Aces were one for four on the powerplay, while Stockton went zero for four.
The three stars of the game went to Clark, Roy and Coleman.
Alaska faces elimination in game five, scheduled for Sunday evening at the Stockton Arena.