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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thunder Couldn't Stop the Reign

The Stockton Thunder played their second game of the season tonight against the Ontario Reign, and they were greatly improved from the unfortunate defeat the night before. What I saw in the 1st period was a cohesive team, they skated fast, the guys passed to each other as if they'd been doing it their whole life, they were in sync, defense was sharp, and Tyson Sexsmith in goal looked calm and composed. Thunder's Mark Arcobello scored early at 1:14, with assists from Aaron Clarke and Craig Valette. Before 1st period ended, Ryan Constant had scored a second goal on a powerplay. Shots on goal were Stockton-13, Ontario-3.

It didn't take long into the 2nd period for Ontario's Eric Doyle to score on a shot that went over Sexsmith's glove and appeared to hit the crossbar then out, but the refs determined that it went in. This isn't where things started to fall apart for the Thunder though, as Jim McKenzie, with an assist from Chris Lawrence, scored about a minute later to put Stockton up 3-1.

Later on in the 2nd period Ontario scored an a powerplay, and then managed to tie the game at 3-3. Fraser Clair continued his scoring streak and put the Thunder up 4-3 heading into the 2nd intermission.

3rd period, all we wanted was for the Thunder to build on their score. What we got was the Reign tying the game up with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, and they did it on a 5-3 powerplay. And this is where the team we saw last night showed up again. Sloppy passes, couldn't keep the puck out of their defensive zone, poor entry or dump and chase into the offensive zone.

Thunder's Ryan Constant and the Reign's Chaz Johnson got matching roughing calls within the last couple of minutes of regulation. While 4 on 4, Stockton had some great chances to get ahead but just couldn't get the puck past Ontario's goalie Martin Jones.

In overtime, there were scoring chances for both teams, but with a little over a minute left, Ontario's Johnson somehow got the puck past Sexsmith and that was that.

Stockton Thunder's next match, just their third game of the season, is also against the Reign. The Thunder needs a killer instinct, needs to play the whole three periods just like they did in the first. They need to play a complete game. Next Friday, October 22, 2010, the Thunder needs to shut down the Reign. They almost had it tonight, but in sudden death overtime, almost doesn't get a win.

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