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Pokulok’s OT goal sends Thunder to Western final

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POSTED May 1, 2013 1:52 a.m.

NCHORAGE, Alaska – Defenseman Nik Pokulok parked a centering pass by Shawn Weller at the left post to lift the Stockton Thunder to another memorable, come-from-behind victory, 4-3 in sudden death overtime over the Alaska Aces in Game 6 to win the Western Conference Semifinal before 4,868 fans at Sullivan Arena on Tuesday.

Pokulok scored the goal 12:47 left in the first overtime period and the Thunder rallied from down 2-0 in the first period and 3-2 late in regulation to send the Aces into the summer after they captured their third straight Brabham Cup title with the league’s best record.

Andrew Clark tied the game with five seconds left in regulation while Ryan Hayes and Harrison Reed also added goals for the Thunder. Olivier Roy earned the win with 30 saves and is 8-5 in the postseason.

 The Thunder will now meet the Idaho Steelheads in the Western Conference Final (a rematch of the 2010 Conference Final) for the right to advance to the Kelly Cup Finals. Game 1 of the Western Conference Final is scheduled for May 8 at Century Link Arena in Boise at 6:10 p.m.

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