The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Islanders and AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, welcomes to town the Utah Grizzlies for its “Thunder Goes Pink VIII” event. Stockton Arena doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the puck dropping at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available at the box office or fans can purchase a special “Pink Ticket Package” through the Thunder front office (209-373-1500) or on StocktonThunder.com.
Fans who can’t make it out to the game can watch and listen live online. Streaming video is available to fans through AmericaONE and live audio of the game is available through StocktonThunder.com or on Spreaker.com.
The Thunder kicks off one of its busiest months of the season with back-to-back games against Utah. Stockton is 2-1-0 on the season and sits third in the Pacific Division standings thanks to a road win over the Bakersfield Condors their last time out.
The Thunder is looking for continued production out of forward Matt Bergland. The reigning “Thunder Rookie of the Year” posted a career-high 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the team’s 5-4 win over the Condors, giving him 5 points on the season. Behind him are Ryan Hayes, Kirill Kabanov and Ben Rosen who are all tied atop the team scoring list with 2 goals apiece.
New goaltender Brian Foster has won both games he’s appeared in for the Thunder, registering a shutout in his first game in the season opener, and picking up the victory against Bakersfield with a 20 save performance. He’s also gotten great offensive support as the Thunder has scored 5 goals in each of the games he’s played in.
Utah comes into the game looking to snap a three-game losing streak. After defeating the Idaho Steelheads in their season opener, the Grizzlies have lost their last three contests, all against Pacific Division opponents. Two of those games ended after regulation, and the Grizzlies are the first team in the ECHL to put a marker in each of the four record categories this season. (win, loss, overtime loss and shootout loss).
The Grizzlies are led offensively by forward Jamie MacQueen who has scored 6 goals in just three appearances, the second-most in the ECHL. Fellow forward David Vallorani is tied with MacQueen for most points on the team with 6 (1 goal, 5 assists). Utah has scored just 10 goals from their four games so far, and the only other player with more than one goal to his credit is rookie forward Brent Gwidt.
Friday’s game is the start of the Thunder’s first back-to-back series as Stockton and Utah meet on both Friday and Saturday night at 7:30. The “Thunder Goes Pink” event includes a silent auction during both games and a live jersey auction of the team’s special pink event jerseys following Saturday’s game. Proceeds from the event will benefit the St. Joseph’s Foundation – Breast Health Services.