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Monday, September 27, 2010

California Natives Among Five to Main Camp In Stockton / #StkThunder

09/27/2010 12:32 PM - Four with California connections among those earning training camp invites

VIDEO: Sanders, Watson Comments after Friday session

STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Thunder, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks, announced the following five player have been extended and accepted training camp tryout agreement offers from the Thunder Free Agent Tryout Camp, which concluded on Sunday:

Brian Cooke (D) - Los Angeles, Calif.

Jason Lindner (G) - North Vancouver, B.C.

Sean Menton (RW) - Monrovia, Calif.

Drew Sanders (F) - Modesto, Calif.

Marcus Watson (C) - San Jose, Calif.

Cooke, a 6-foot-2, 198-pound defenseman, skated as a red shirt freshman for the hockey program at Wayne State University (NCAA) in 2006-07 before the team disbanded and previously was a first team All-star defenseman (South Division) for the Bridgewater Bandits Junior A team of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. A native of Los Angeles, he served as a Head Counselor for the Los Angeles Kings "Kings Camp 2010" during the summer and ended his Amateur hockey career with the LA Kings Midget AAA Major team.

Lindner, a 6-foot, 185-pound goaltender, suited up for Utah Valley University of the American Collegiate Hockey Association and spent two years each with the Weyburn Red Wings Junior A and Delta Ice Hawks Junior B teams. During the 06-07 season with Weyburn, he ranked third in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with 2,753 minutes while recording a .903 save percentage and one shutout in 56 games. He served as a referee last season in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League.

Menton, a 5-foot-8, 180-pound forward, suited up in six games for the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League last season and recorded two penalty minutes. The 21-year old also skated for Salem of the Empire Junior Hockey League in 2007-08 and recorded nine points (4g-5a) and 47 penalty minutes in 37 games. He was also named Player of the Game in three contest of the Provincial Championships in Alberta with the North Peace Navigators and scored two goals and added an assist in three games.

Sanders, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound forward, returns to Thunder training camp for the second time in his career after skating with the team and suiting up in one preseason game in 2007-08. The 27-year old last suited up for the Jersey Rockhoppers of the Eastern Professional Hockey League in 2008-09, ranking tied for second on the team with 41 assists and fourth in scoring with 58 points (17g-41a) in 50 games.

The Modesto native attended local Fred C. Beyer High School and appeared in 129 career games at Sacred Heart University (NCAA) while scoring 26 career points (5g-21a) with 82 penalty minutes. He skated for the local Stockton Colts youth hockey program for two seasons (1992-94).

Watson, a San Jose native, has suited up in 103 career junior games in the Western Hockey League with the Prince George Cougars, scoring 27 points (10g-17a) and adding 50 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound pivot also added an assist and four penalty minutes in six games with Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2006-07. His experience includes an invite to San Jose Sharks development camp in 2007 and participating in the Junior Sharks program.

Training camp opens at Stockton Arena at Sunday, Oct. 3 at 5:00 p.m. A full camp roster will be announced soon.

Opening Night is Friday, Oct. 15, when the Thunder opens the 2010-11 regular season at home against the Ontario Reign, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Stockton Arena. The Thunder and Alaska Aces meet in the preseason opener on Oct. 5 at Sullivan Arena, beginning at 8:15 p.m. The Thunder and Ontario Reign square off in the only preseason game at Stockton Arena on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

A two-time recipient of the ECHL "Award of Excellence," Thunder was voted "Best Local Sports Team" by readers of the San Joaquin Magazine, led the ECHL in attendance for four consecutive seasons and drew over 200,000 fans for the fifth consecutive season in 2009-10. Season Tickets and mini-plans 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

-Written by the Stockton Thunder-


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