BAKERSFIELD – Scott Greenham made 44 saves, including 18 in the third period to help the Bakersfield Condors send the Stockton Thunder (13-6-4, 30 points) to a 4-1 defeat at Rabobank Arena on Sunday.
The Thunder saw its five game unbeaten streak (regulation) snapped with the loss and fell to three points behind the Ontario Reign for first place in the Pacific Division. Stockton outshot the Condors 45-18 in the game.
After the two teams battled through a scoreless tie in the opening minutes, Bakersfield erupted with a trio of goals in a span of over ten minutes for a 3-0 lead. Francis Meilleur buried his second goal of the season on a wrist shot that deflected off traffic with 7:06 elapsed.
Tyson Gimblett hiked the Bakersfield lead to 2-0 with 3:40 left on his wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Levi Nelson followed with a power play goal with 2:45 left in the period when he buried a slap shot from the right circle.
Both teams played through a scoreless second period and the Thunder owned the lead in shots at 12-4. Greenham stopped a flurry of Thunder scoring chances in the middle of the period, including two half open net attempts by Gabriel Levesque and Phil Mangan.
Matt Bergalnd’s power play goal got the Thunder on the board, trailing 3-1 with 3:34 gone in the third period when he deflected Tony DeHart’s slap shot from the center point position.
The Thunder continued to pound away at the Condor net but Greenham kept every chance out of the net, including a one timer bid by Yannick Riendeau on a two man advantage.
Jacob Lagace wrapped up the game with an empty net goal with 31.2 seconds left.
Tyler Bunz took the loss with 14 stops and the Condors earned their first win in regulation since Oct. 12.
NOTES: The Thunder scratched Matt Reber, Kevin Noble and Kristians Pelss… Yannick Riendeau had his six game scoring streak snapped … the Thunder went 1-of-8 on the power play … Stockton fell to 4-1-1 in the season series against Bakersfield.
The Thunder returns to play on Thursday, ending a three game road trip against the San Francisco Bulls at 7:15 p.m. (1280 KWSX/StocktonThudner.com) at the Cow Palace.