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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Welcome Home, Thunder!

The Thunder returned home to Stockton Arena tonight after a tough road loss to the Bakersfield Condors the day before. The 5-3 loss to Bakersfield broke the Thunder's ECHL streak of not having lost a road game in regulation.

Tonight the Thunder brought a great, energetic product to home ice, taking on the Utah Grizzlies. In net for Stockton was Garrett Zemlak, giving starting goalie Bryan Pitton a break after last night's loss. JP Lamoureux was goaltending for Utah.

Thunder center Marcus Watson, who before today was on a free-agent tryout agreement, played his first game tonight on a professional contract, and scored the opening goal at 5:47 of the first period. Shortly after, Stockton's Bretton Cameron added a goal to make the score 2-0.

Fraser Clair's powerplay goal in the second period put the Thunder up 3-0 and had Grizzlies goalie Lamoureux visibly exhibiting some frustration.

It was a spirited game in front of a crowd of 8,330. In the second period, Thunder left-winger Garet Hunt dropped the gloves with Grizzlies defenseman Matt Sorteberg. Garet was clearly the winner of that fight and both players were escorted to the penalty box charged with five minutes for fighting. Three minutes later, Garet Hunt's brother, Thunder defenseman Trevor Hunt, took on Grizzlies defenseman David Schulz.

Utah scored their first goal late in the second period from center Marcus Carroll on a powerplay. Carroll also brought the score to 3-2 by scoring another powerplay goal in the third period.

There was no love lost between the Stockton Thunder and Utah Grizzlies. According to the ECHL site, a total of 32 penalties were charged overall, including a 10-minute game misconduct for abuse of officials to Utah Grizzlies Matt Clarke after he slammed his stick on the glass while on his way to the penalty box to serve an interference call.

The score remained 3-2 despite opposing goalie Lamoureux being pulled for the extra attacker in the last seconds of the game. Thunder goalie Zemlak made 27 saves for the win.

Three stars of the game, all from the Thunder:
  1. Garrett Zemlak
  2. Aaron Clarke
  3. Marcus Watson

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