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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stockton Thunder Goes For The Kelly Cup / Yesterdays Game 1 Recap


04/05/2010 11:41 PM

FINISHING WITH THE CRUMS
Crum's two goals lifts Alaska to late rally, lead series 1-0

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FINAL STATS: BOX SCORE
AUDIO: Game highlights

WASILLA, Alaska - Defenseman B.J. Crum scored back-to-back goals, including the game-winner with 2:51 left in regulation to snap a 3-3 tie and help the Alaska Aces rally in a third period comeback, defeating the Stockton Thunder, 4-3 in Game 1 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs National Conference Quarterfinal round at the Menard Memorial Sports Center on Monday.

Alaska, who took a 1-0 series lead, were led by Crum's two goals in the game, who mounted half of his three-year career total (4) in just a five-minute span. Kelly Czuy led the Thunder with a goal and assist, while Chris D'Alvise and J.F. Caudron also scored for Stockton.

STOCKTON VS. ALASKA - NATIONAL CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS
Game 1: Stockton 3 at Alaska 4
Game 2: Stockton at Alaska - Tuesday, April 6 - 8:30 p.m. (Menard Memorial Sports Center)
Game 3: Alaska at Stockton - Friday, April 9 - 7:30 p.m. (Stockton Arena)
Game 4: Alaska at Stockton - Saturday, April 10 - 7:30 p.m. (Stockton Arena) *
Game 5: Alaska at Stockton - Monday, April 12 - 7:00 p.m. (Stockton Arena) *
* If necessary

"It's pretty evident we're in the playoffs now," said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. "Territorially, we dominated the game. But we got beat in a nine minute span. We learned we have got to be better when the game is on the line and it counts. We ran around making mistake after mistake and it cost us."

The Thunder rallied from a 2-0 hole with three unanswered goals and at one point, owned a 21-17 shots advantage after two periods.Alaska took a 2-1 edge after one period, beginning on back-to-back goals from T.J. Fast and Jason Ryznar.

Fast drilled a wrist shot from the left wing with 7:17 gone in the game for a power-play goal, and Ryznar followed with a shorthanded goal with 8:45 left when his wrist shot from the right wing snuck through Andrew Perugini's five-hole.

Czuy silenced the partisan crowd just 27 seconds later with a power-play goal to cut the gap to 2-1, taking Oren Eizenman's pass and blasting a slap shot under the crossbar.

The Thunder continued to build on momentum with two goals in the second period, outshooting the Aces 9-6 and taking a 3-2 lead. D'Alvise scored the first playoff goal of his career with 10:43 left in the period when his one-timer beat Billy Sauer from between the circles.

Caudron then struck for a shocking, 60-foot slapshot goal before the buzzer to put the Thunder ahead for the first time of the game, 3-2 with less than three seconds left.

The Thunder continued to apply physical force in the opening minutes of the period but were hemmed in the defensive zone for Crum's tying goal, with 7:04 left in the game, when he took Brock McBride's cross ice pass at the left wing and buried his first of the playoffs from the left circle.

Following a timeout by the Thunder with less than four minutes left, the Aces' Crum notched his second of the game with 2:51 remaining, when his slapshot at the high slot seared its way through traffic after he cradled a Thunder clearing pass.

"The easy thing is to know we weren't going undefeated in the playoffs and learned a valuable lesson in game one," said Thomas. "We learned a lot can happen and we can correct it moving forward."

Perugini took the loss, making 15 saves while counterpart Billy Sauer won in his playoff debut with 18 stops.

NOTES: The Thunder scratched Riley Emmerson (inactive list), Brett Hemingway (inactive list), Trevor Hunt (inactive list), Justin DaCosta (healthy) and Colin Hemingway (injury, day-to-day) ... the Thunder fell to 3-2, lifetime in game one contests ... their only other game one loss was to Ontario in last year's first round, 4-3, and Stockton won the seven-game series, 4-3 ... Alaska's leading scorer, Nick Mazzolini, left the game in the first period due to injury when he fell to the ice in a post-whistle altercation with Jordan Bendfeld and did not return.

Game two series is Tuesday at the Menard Center in Wasilla beginning at 8:30 p.m. between Stockton and Alaska. The game can be heard on radio at 1280 KWSX and viewed online exclusively at www.stocktonthunder.com, courtesy of B2 Networks (audio is free of charge).

The Thunder was voted "Best Local Sports Team" by readers of the San Joaquin Magazine, has led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew 223,854 fans to Stockton Arena in 2008-09. Season Tickets for 2009-10 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit http://www.stocktonthunder.com/


THREE STARS:
1. AK - 2 B.J. Crum
2. STK - 34 Kelly Czuy
3. AK - 15 Bryan Miller


*Reprinted by Oilers Jambalaya with permission from Stockton Thunder Professional Hockey Club, ECHL. The Stockton Thunder are a proud 'AA' affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers (NHL) and Springfield Falcons (AHL) *

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