Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stockton Thunder Wins Game 3 With A 5 Goal 3rd Period Outburst / A Game Recap

04/09/2010 10:10 PM

SEVEN HEAVEN
Thunder sends Alaska to brink of elimination in five-goal third period rally

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FINAL STATS: BOX SCORE
VIDEO: Highlights and postgame locker room reaction
AUDIO: Game highlights


STOCKTON, Calif. - All-star center Chris D'Alvise scored two goals and added an assist, Andrew Perugini made 39 saves and the Stockton Thunder scored a playoff club record five goals in the third period, en route to a thrilling 7-4 victory over the Alaska Aces in Game 3 of the National Conference Quarterfinal of the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs, before 4,212 fans at Stockton Arena on Friday.

The Thunder, who took a 2-1 series (best-of-five) lead and sent Alaska to the brink of elimination in the first round, scored five times in a span of 6:42 in the third period, ending with Ryan Constant's second goal of the night, an empty-netter with 1:55 left.

STOCKTON VS. ALASKA - NATIONAL CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS
Game 1: Stockton 3 at Alaska 4
Game 2: Stockton 5 at Alaska 2
Game 3: Alaska 4 at Stockton 7
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

"In this whole series to date, the third period has won it," said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. "I know we learned a very good lesson. Ultimately, we found a way to win and when it was on the line, we made it happen. We didn't have that playoff inch at first but we really earned it with our effort and lift in momentum in the end. We have to be ready for the challenges that lie ahead for tomorrow night."
Kelly Czuy picked up his third consecutive multi-point game in the postseason and the game-winning goal. (photo by George Steckler)

The Thunder, who has scored nine goals in the third period of the last two combined games, also received a goal each from Jason Pitton, Matt Marquardt and the eventual-game winner from Kelly Czuy with 5:16 left in the game.

A pair of power-play goals by two defensemen left the score knotted, 1-1 after the first period beginning on Bryan Miller's backdoor finish with 12:58 left when he finished Judd Blackwater's cross-ice pass at the left circle.

Constant helped the Thunder retaliate with 2:57 left in the period when he finished off a pass by Marquardt from between the circles with a one-timer that beat Scott Reid to the blocker side.

The Thunder grabbed the lead for the first time in the game on D'Alvise's breakaway goal, his second of the playoffs, with 1:42 gone in the second period when he converted Matt Robinson's lead pass on a backhand deke.

The eight-goal third period for both teams started when Alaska countered with back-to-back goals from Miller, his second of the game, and rookie Dion Knelsen and took a 3-2 lead with 14:13 left in the game.

Following a timeout, the Thunder regrouped and began the remarkable rally on Pitton's game-tying goal, on the power-play, with 8:37 left when he re-directed a pass from the left corner, off traffic at the goal mouth.

Marquardt then took an Igor Gongalsky drop pass and beat Reid with a snap shot from the right circle with 5:55 left, sending Stockton Arena into pandemonium with a 4-3 Thunder lead.

On the ensuing shift, J.F. Caudron slipped a pass to Czuy at the base of the left circle and fired a wrist shot past Reid for a 5-3 Thunder lead just 41 seconds later, when Reid came off the blocker side of the post.

The Aces called a timeout and capitalized on the following faceoff. Driving down the left wing, Blackwater snuck a wrist shot past Perugini from off the rush to cut the deficit to 5-4, just nine seconds after Czuy's goal.

D'Alvise restored the Thunder two-goal cushion with 3:01 left in the game on a four-on-four skating situation, converting James Bates' centering pass from between the hash marks with a one-timer past Reid's blocker.

Constant then put the Aces away with an empty-net goal from his own blueline with 1:55 remaining.

The Thunder fired 20 shots on goal in the third period and victimized Reid, who was making his first start of the playoffs, with the loss on 39 saves.

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 converted at a 2-for-3 rate on the power-play ... Stockton's seven goals, a team playoff record as well, toppled the six-goal mark achieved twice (last: Apr. 11, 2009 at Ontario - 6-5 win) ... the Thunder improved to 2-3 in lifetime in Game 3 situations and have won five of the last seven home playoff games ... Czuy's third straight multi-point game gave him 21 points in 16 career first rounds games with Stockton and Las Vegas.

The Thunder, who can advance to the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year with a win on Saturday, host the Aces, at Stockton Arena at 7:30 p.m. The game can be viewed online exclusively at www.stocktonthunder.com, courtesy of B2 Networks (audio is free of charge). Tickets are available by calling (209) 373-1700 or by visiting http://www.stocktontickets.com/ .

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. STK - 10 Chris D'Alvise
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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