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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stockton Thunder: PB&J and a Hat-Trick

After last nights demolishing of the Bakersfield Condors by the Stockton Thunder with a score of 7-0, I wondered how the Condors would respond in game 2 of the Stockton Thunder Goes Pink series tonight.

The Condors' biggest change was placing Josh Tordjman in goal. The Thunder was without Jordan Foreman and Craig Valette, while Cameron Brodie was activated off Injured Reserve. Bryan Pitton was the starting goalie again.

The first period of the game felt a little slow. There were sloppy turnovers and clumsy play for both teams. The Thunder came by a few excellent scoring chances, but Tordjman turned everything away.

It wasn't until late into the second period that center Chris D'Alvise finally broke the 0-0 tie with a goal, assisted by Steve Vanoosten and Jason Pitton. Once again, Bryan Pitton looked excellent protecting the net. He was especially impressive when the Thunder found themselves on a 5 on 3 penalty kill, fighting off rebound after rebound.

Unfortunately, a little over halfway through the third period, the Bakersfield Condors tied the game at 1 with a goal from Carter Smith and assists from Jean-Francois David and Mika Suoraniemi.

The Thunder regained the lead when Chris D'Alvise scored his second short-handed goal of the weekend and his second of the game, assisted again by Jason Pitton. There was a pretty full house at Stockton Arena tonight and the crowd of 9,015 went wild with that goal and barely finished celebrating when Bretton Cameron scored on a 2 on 1 rush to put the Thunder up 3-1 over Bakersfield.

With approximately 30 seconds left in the game, the Condors pulled goalie Tordjman for the extra attacker, and Stephane Goulet scored on Bryan Pitton to get within 1 point of tying the game with the score at 3-2. Bakersfield kept Tordjman on the bench and there were mad rushes by the Condors to try to tie the game and the Thunder got two icing calls trying to hit the empty net.

The final nail in Bakersfield's coffin was Chris D'Alvise finally getting an empty net goal with 2 seconds left in the game, and with this goal he also got a hat trick. I usually carry a "hat trick hat" with me to the games just in case, but tonight I didn't have it. Fortunately the giveaway of the night was a Thunder Goes Pink baseball cap and I threw it on the ice, happily.

The 4-2 win was a tougher one to get tonight. I think we were all spoiled by how easy all the goals were scored last night. Tonight the Thunder really had to work hard for each goal.

Things I learned from this game:
  • The Condors' Erick Lizon truly is a pest, and a darn good one. He was yapping at the Thunder all night and trying to get a fight going with anybody.

  • Bakersfield's Jean-Francois David likes our penalty box, he made four trips there

  • Thunder's Jason Pitton does not like having his jersey clung to. Jason Pitton got matching slashing penalties with the Condors' Joey Ryan but they were both also hit with roughing penalties after they ended up on the ice and Ryan wouldn't let go of Pitton's jersey, even with two linesmen trying to pull them apart. Pitton eventually began shaking him like a rag doll

Things I can't wait to see tomorrow:

  • Coach Thomas indicated that both Tyson Sexsmith and Bryan Pitton would have a chance to play this weekend. But with Pitton's stellar play, it's hard to say if he'll have Sexsmith in net tomorrow or not

  • NOW how will Bakersfield respond? They were slaughtered in the first game of the weekend. Tonight they came in a little sharper, with better defense. But they seemed to fall apart after the Thunder scored their first goal. Will Bakersfield get their act together tomorrow? Hope not, but with the PB&J line (Fraser Clair, Jason Pitton & Chris D'Alvise) on fire, they can try. If you want to know more about the PB&J line, here's a link to the article in The Record (FYI: there's a typo in this story, they name Bryan Pitton but it's supposed to be Jason Pitton they're talking about)

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