Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thunder Wins Game 1 In Overtime / A Thunder Game Recap


04/16/2010 10:58 PM

CAN-DO CAUDRON
Caudron's OT winner at 10:18 gives Stockton 1-0 series lead at Bakersfield

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FINAL STATS: BOX SCORE
AUDIO: Game highlights

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -J.F. Caudron scored a game-winning goal with 9:42 left in sudden death overtime to lift the Stockton Thunder to a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory over the Bakersfield Condors in Game 1 of the National Conference Semifinal round of the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs, before 5,208 fans at Rabobank Arena on Friday.

The Thunder, who seized home-ice advantage in the series with a 1-0 series lead and battled back from a 2-1 deficit with less than three minutes left in regulation, tied the game on a clutch power-play goal from Kelly Czuy and also received a second period goal from Jason Pitton.

In net, Andrew Perugini improved to 4-1 in the postseason with 43 saves.

STOCKTON VS. BAKERSFIELD - NATIONAL CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Game 1: Stockton 3 at Bakersfield 2 (OT)
Game 2: Stockton at Bakersfield - Saturday, Apr. 17 - 7:00 p.m. (Rabobank Arena)
Game 3: Bakersfield at Stockton - Wednesday, April 21 - 7:00 p.m. (Stockton Arena)
Game 4: Bakersfield at Stockton - Friday, April 23 - 7:30 p.m. (Stockton Arena)
Game 5: Bakersfield at Stockton - Saturday, April 24 - 7:30 p.m. (Stockton Arena) *
Game 6: Stockton at Bakersfield - Tuesday, Apr. 27 - 7:00 p.m. (Rabobank Arena) *
Game 7: Stockton at Bakersfield - Wednesday, Apr. 28 - 7:00 p.m. (Rabobank Arena) *
* If necessary

"It's playoff hockey - you have to earn your goals and all three goals were scored from the paint," said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. "It's that time of year where you have you go in there and pay the price. I liked how we went in there and did that. J.F.'s play in overtime was reflective of our effort. Our penalty kill did give up two goals but the way we responded late in the game, our penalty killers could have arguably been the collective first star of the game, along with Perugini."

Bakersfield outshot Stockton, 12-7 in the opening period which featured a scoreless duel between Perugini and counterpart Jean-Philippe Levasseur. Perugini's highlight reel save in the period featured a post-to-post stop on the Condors' Dan Kissel in the early minutes.

Ryan Menei's power-play goal gave Bakersfield a 1-0 edge with 13:48 left in the second period, when he buried a rebound from the base of the left circle. Yet, just minutes after a Bakersfield penalty kill, Pitton's goal leveled the score at 1-1 just 2:59 after the Condors game-opening goal, when he converted Igor Gongalsky's centering pass from behind the net.

A power-play goal by Mark Voakes restored Bakersfield's lead to 2-1 just 2:08 into the third period, when he converted on a one-timer at the doorstep after Andrew Ianiero fed him from behind the net.

The Thunder got the clutch, game-tying goal when Czuy buried a rebound off a Matt Marquardt one-timer from the right point with just 2:57 remaining in regulation.

A tripping penalty that was issued to Bates put the Thunder penalty kill into action and a series of stops on Sasha Pokulok and MacGregor Sharp kept the score tied heading into sudden death overtime.

Following another penalty kill, the Thunder finally found the back of the net and sent Rabobank Arena into shock with Caudron's game-winner. After Levasseur stopped a Czuy slapshot from off the rush, Oren Eizenman fed the rebound to Steve Vanoosten, open at the right point.

Levasseur deflected Vanoosten's drive away, but Caudron picked up the rebound at the doorstep and slipped it past Levasseur's glove, sending the Thunder spilling off the bench in pandemonium.

Levasseur, making his first ever appearance in net, took the loss with 32 saves and fell to 2-2 in the playoffs.

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) ... Stockton improved to 2-5 in playoff overtime games and grabbed its first OT winner on the road (1-1) ... Czuy's multi-point game was his fourth of the postseason ... the Thunder improved to 4-2 in Game 1 situations and 2-1 on the road in the 2010 postseason ... Kyle Calder, a ten-year veteran with five teams in the National Hockey League and playing on an NHL contract with Anaheim, was held scoreless after leading Bakersfield with seven points (5g-2a) in the first round.

The Thunder and Condors return to play for Game 2 of the series tomorrow at Rabobank Arena, starting at 7:30 p.m. before the series returns to Stockton for Game 3 on Wednesday, Apr. 21. Game 2 can be heard and viewed online exclusively at www.stocktonthunder.com, courtesy of B2 Networks (audio is free of charge). Tickets for Thunder home playoff games are available by calling (209) 373-1700 or by visiting 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 - 12 J.F. Caudron
2. STK - 35 Andrew Perugini
3. BAK - 9 Andrew Ianiero

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