STOCKTON – Goaltender Olivier Roy made a career high 48 saves while Jordan Fulton chipped in with a three point game (1g-2a) to help the Stockton Thunder (17-17-4, 38 points) hold off the Las Vegas Wranglers in a 4-2 victory at Stockton Arena before 4,097 fans on Sunday.
The Thunder went 2-1-0 in a three game, three day series against the first place Wranglers, moving into a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with the idle Utah Grizzlies. Chris Doyle, Matt Foy and Nathan Deck also chipped in with goals for Stockton.
Roy’s exploits came in a game where he stopped 20 shots in the first period and 37 through the first 40 minutes.
“We capitalized on a few mistakes and the difference tonight was the goaltender,” said Thunder head coach Matt Thomas. “Olivier was phenomenal. Sometimes you’ve got to win games that way and thankfully that was one of them.”
Doyle’s ninth goal of the season broke the scoreless tie with 13:41 left in the first period, when he converted off the rush, following a relay feed by Fulton, with a snap shot at the left circle.
Foy then converted a wraparound attempt on Thomas Speer, making his Wranglers debut, at the right post with 11:03 remaining in the period for a 2-0 Thunder advantage.
Roy’s first remarkable save in the game came in the first period when he made a diving save at the right post, denying a wraparound attempt by Eric Lampe.
Las Vegas got back into the game on Sean Wiles’ third goal of the season, re-directing a rocket centering pass by Fritsch at the goal mouth past Olivier Roy.
Fulton expanded the lead to 3-1 at the 14:05 mark of the second period on a deflection at the front of the net, following a Nathan Deck blueline shot.
Las Vegas got back into the game again at a 3-2 deficit on Lampe’s shorthanded goal at the 3:26 mark of the third period.
The Thunder fended off the final Las Vegas attack and Deck sealed the game with an empty net goal from 180 feet with 26 seconds left, lobbing a clearing attempt out of the defensive zone that hit the open net.
Speer took the loss in net with three goals allowed on eight shots. Joe Fallon replaced him to begin the third period and stopped all five shots he saw.