Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stockton Thunder Lose 4-0 / Game 2 Recap / Game 3 Is On Wednesday In Stockton


05/01/2010 9:50 PM

DRAWING A BLANK
Bachman's 28-save shutout lifts Idaho to 2-0 series lead

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FINAL STATS: BOX SCORE
AUDIO: Game highlights
AUDIO: Matt Thomas postgame comments


BOISE, Idaho - Richard Bachman earned the first playoff shutout of his career with 28 saves and the Idaho Steelheads used two shorthanded goals in the first period to defeat the Stockton Thunder, 4-0, in Game 2 of the National Conference Final of the 2010 Kelly Cup Playoffs before 3,783 fans at Qwest Arena on Saturday.

The Thunder, who fell into a 2-0 series hole despite facing three upcoming games of the series in Stockton, were kept to an 0-for-6 effort on the power-play while Andrew Perugini fell to 7-4 in the postseason with 31 saves.

Idaho, who captured the league's Brabham Cup title with the best regular season record, improved to 6-0 in the playoffs.

STOCKTON VS. IDAHO - NATIONAL CONFERENCE FINALS
Game 1: Stockton 2 at Idaho 4
Game 2: Stockton 0 at Idaho 4
Game 3: Idaho at Stockton - Wednesday, May 5 - 7:00 p.m. (Stockton Arena)
Game 4: Idaho at Stockton - Friday, May 7 - 7:30 p.m. (Stockton Arena)
Game 5: Idaho at Stockton - Saturday, May 8 - 7:30 p.m. (Stockton Arena) *
Game 6: Stockton at Idaho - Tuesday, May 11 - 6:10 p.m. (Qwest Arena) *
Game 7: Stockton at Idaho - Wednesday, May 12 - 6:10 p.m. (Qwest Arena) *
* If necessary

"Obviously Richard Bachman's been the difference in the first two games of this series so we need to find a way to get better scoring opportunities and when do get them, to bear down," said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. "More importantly, our power-play needs to be better. We feel confident that we're in every game, we just have to create more for ourselves and not give them lay-up goals."

Idaho built a 2-0 lead again just like the previous night, after one period but found their source of offense on two opportunistic shorthanded, outnumbered attacks. Brandan Kushniruk connected on a give-and-go at the open, left goal post with Mark McCutcheon for a 1-0 Idaho lead with 10:51 left.

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Andrew Perugini makes a sliding, post-to-post save on Evan Barlow in the first period.
(photo by Steve Conner)

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Matt McKnight then snuck a tap-in off a deflected, cross-ice pass from McCutcheon at the right post for a 2-0 cushion with 6:04 remaining in the period.

Perugini denied a series of close-range saves with the 15 shots he saw in the second period by Idaho, but an inside-out deke to the backhand by Evan Barlow boosted the Idaho lead to 3-0 at 7:30 of the second period, when got behind the Thunder defense from the left wing.

The Thunder's best chance to get back in the game was early in the third period when Chris D'Alvise caught an open lane at the left wing with a burst of speed, but his snap shot was denied by Bachman's shoulder to preserve the three-goal margin.

Marty Flichel's power-play goal made it 4-0 Idaho when he took Mark Derlago's feed into the slot and found the net on a snap shot through traffic.

The game took an emotional complexion with several scraps breaking out toward the end, with several slashing, interference, roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that were issued.

"Our emotions got the better of us at times, but that's expected," said Thomas. "We're going to play hard to the final buzzer. That's the way we play. We did everything in our power to maintain a good work ethic. We're going to make sure they know we're going to play hard to the final buzzer, because we're getting hungry for Game 3. We're a good team at home in the playoffs."

McCutcheon and Weston Tardy each chipped in with a pair of assists.

NOTES: The Thunder scratched Riley Emmerson (inactive list), Brett Hemingway (inactive list), Trevor Hunt (inactive list), Justin DaCosta (healthy) and Kelly Czuy (injury, day-to-day) ... the Thunder had never faced a 2-0 series hole until Saturday's Game 2 ... Stockton was outshot, 35-28 and has fell in the last four lifetime playoff games at Qwest Arena ... the winning team of the Conference Finals has now won 12 consecutive games of the third round, dating back to 2007 ... the game marked the second straight season the Thunder has played hockey into the month of May.

Both teams take the series to Stockton Arena, beginning with Game 3, on Wednesday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m.The game 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 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 2010-11 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. IDH - 31 Richard Bachman
2. IDH - 14 Mark McCutcheon
3. IDH - 20 Evan Barlow

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