NCSF Game 4: Stockton dominant with 6-2 win over Bakersfield in ECHL Battle of California playoff matchup, lead series 3-1

By Jon Swenson - Last updated: Saturday, April 24, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs national conference semifinals Stockton Thunder forward Matt Marquardt
STOCKTON THUNDER FORWARD #37 MATT MARQUARDT DRIVES ZONE IN 2ND

ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs national conference semifinals Stockton Thunder fan mohawk
YOUNG FAUHAWK WEARING STOCKTON THUNDER FAN CHEERS TEAM

ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs national conference semifinals Bakersfield Condors Stockton Thunder J.P. Levasseur
2005 ANAHEIM 7TH ROUND DRAFT PICK J.P. LEVASSEUR 17 SAVES ON 22 SHOTS

The Stockton Thunder exploded for 3 goals in a span of 5:09 against Bakersfield on Friday night. In what has been a very tight ECHL National Conference Semifinal series, both teams combined for 5 goals in a wild second period. One game after being a healthy scratch, left wing Matt Robinson scored a goal and added two assists, and 5 other Stockton players scored in a 6-2 route on home ice.

“I don’t think we scored the first goal all series, or even in the playoffs. It was huge,” Robinson said after the game. “It was very big to get the ball rolling, we were all over them in the first period.”

Right wing James Bates split a pair of defenseman to find Robinson in front of the net with one minute left in the first period. After a slight hesitation, the British, Columbia native snapped it pased Bakersfield Condors goaltender J.P. Levasseur. It was the first time in 8 playoff games the Thunder have scored the first goal.

“As well as we played in the first period, to only score with a minute left, I think if it ends up 0-0 after one there is a potentially different element to the remainder of the game,” Stockton Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said. “It was a huge goal, and a huge play. More importantly it was a play we have been preaching. James Bates doesn’t try to beat a guy one-on-one, he puts it into a space and goes over and gets it. We have good support with Robby driving down the gut… and a good finish. It was an important goal for us, it really got us going and we responded well with that momentum in the second period.”

Left wing Garet Hunt’s hit on Bakersfield defenseman Kevin Morin set the tone physically for Stockton in the second period. The Condors were scrambling in their own zone, resulting in a goal by Jason Pitton with one minute left. Morin tried to retaliate behind his own net with a monster hit that a Stockton forward sidestepped at the last second. Pitton, alone on the right wing, popped in an easy shot far-side against Levasseur. The 5-1 lead carried into the second intermission all but sealed Bakersfield’s fate.

“You want to win every game. Waiting to win a game is something you never want to do. As much as the playoffs are a marathon, for us it is a sprint. You want to get to those wins as quick as you can,” Stockton head coach Matt Thomas said on his team’s approach to Game 5. “At the end of the day, it is a seven game series for a reason. We are looking to take care of business in our own building where we have all of the elements that give us an edge.”

Stockton goaltender Andrew Perugini stopped 27 of 29 shots against. The Thunder were held without a power play for the game, but took 4 minor penalties of their own in the third period. Bakersfield’s only penalty came on matching fighting majors when Pokuluok fought Gongalsky in the first. The Condors finished 1-4 on the man advantage. The Thunder will have an opportunity to advance to the third round of the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs tonight for the first time in their 5-year franchise history.

A photo gallery from the game is available here. Video highlights and postgame reaction from Thunder left wing Matt Robinson, left wing Garet Hunt and head coach Matt Thomas are available from the Stockton Thunder youtube channel here.

Official box score:

Bakersfield Condors 2 at Stockton Thunder 6
Apr 23, 2010 – Stockton Arena

Bakersfield 0 1 1 – 2
Stockton 1 4 1 – 6

1st Period-1, Stockton, Robinson 3 (Bates), 19:00. Penalties-Pokulok Bak (fighting – major), 20:00; Gongalsky Stk (fighting – major), 20:00.

2nd Period-2, Stockton, Eizenman 3 (Caudron, Constant), 0:53. 3, Stockton, Young 1 (Hunt, Eizenman), 4:46. 4, Bakersfield, Goulet 3 (Regan, Stoflet), 7:04. 5, Stockton, D’Alvise 5 (Robinson, Hemingway), 9:55. 6, Stockton, Pitton 4 (Hunt, Bendfeld), 19:00. Penalties-No Penalties.

3rd Period-7, Bakersfield, Regan 2 (Naglich, Calder), 10:07 (pp). 8, Stockton, Marquardt 3 (Robinson, Pitton), 18:50 (en). Penalties-Marquardt Stk (interference), 6:02; Caudron Stk (tripping), 9:34; Constant Stk (high-sticking), 11:52; Robinson Stk (hooking), 16:28.

Shots on Goal-Bakersfield 6-6-17-29. Stockton 11-10-2-23.

Power Play Opportunities-Bakersfield 1 of 4; Stockton 0 of 0.

Goalies-Bakersfield, Levasseur 3-2-1-0 (22 shots-17 saves). Stockton, Perugini 6-2-0-0 (29 shots-27 saves).

A-4,932
Referees-JM McNulty (21).
Linesmen-Steven Berry (77), Wally Lacroix (89).

[Update] GAME 4 RECAP: Stockton 6 – Bakersfied 2, Robinson’s three points help Thunder take 3-1 series lead, put Bakersfield on brink of elimination – StocktonThunder.com.

[Update2] Winning one the easy way – Scott Linesburgh for the Stockton Record.

Stockton scored first to grab its first lead in regulation in the series and used a four-goal second period to overwhelm the Bakersfield Condors 6-2 in front of 4,952 fans at Stockton Arena. Stockton leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 and can finish off Bakersfield at 7:30 p.m. today at the arena…

The Thunder had not scored the first goal in any of its postseason contests until Matt Robinson took a pass from James Bates and beat Jean-Phillippe Levasseur to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead with 59.7 seconds left in the opening period. It was Stockton’s first regulation lead in 199 minutes, 0.3 seconds of play against Bakersfield.

[Update3] Bakersfield digs early hole, faces elimination in Game 5 today – Bakersfield Californian.

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