Just as one familiar face returned to the Stockton Thunder, another was deleted from the team’s roster on Thursday (Mar. 21).
Forward Harrison Reed has been returned to Stockton after spending six weeks on loan to the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, but defenseman Nathan Deck has been reassigned to the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL.
Additionally, Stockton has signed rookie defenseman Daniel Gibb and released goalie Matt Cooper and forward Matthew Lyall ahead of back-to-back games against the San Francisco Bulls at the Cow Palace in Daly City on Friday and Saturday nights.
Reed, 25, rejoins the Thunder after playing in 14 games with Lake Erie, where he had a goal and an assist. Before being loaned to the Monsters on Feb. 7, Reed appeared in 43 games with the Thunder and registered 43 points, including a team-high 21 goals. Reed’s ECHL totals this season also include 12 power-play goals, ranking him fifth in the league in that department.
Reed was a runner-up for ECHL Player of the Week honors for two consecutive weeks immediately before being loaned to Lake Erie, and his 43 points make him the leading scorer on Stockton's current roster.
Reed is the second player this week to return to Stockton from the AHL. Earlier in the week, center Eric Hunter was reassigned to the Thunder by Oklahoma City.
Deck, 22, has split time this season between Stockton and Oklahoma City. He has recorded 22 points in 28 games with the Thunder, and has posted six points in 25 appearances with the Barons. Deck was honored with Stockton’s Unsung Hero award last season, when he amassed 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 60 games.
Gibb, 20, has signed with the Thunder after four seasons of junior hockey with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League. During his career with Prince George, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Gibb had 28 points and 227 penalty minutes in 247 games. Per club policy, details of Gibb’s contract were not disclosed.
Cooper and Lyall were released from their contracts on Wednesday. Cooper appeared in two games with the Thunder and was 1-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.32 and a save-percentage of .923. Lyall had no points in three games with Stockton after recently signing with the team following the conclusion of his collegiate career.
Stockton will enter play Friday clinging to a five-point lead over the Colorado Eagles for fourth place in the ECHL’s Western Conference. The top four teams in the conference at the end of the regular season will earn home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
After facing the Bulls in the two upcoming games at the Cow Palace, the Thunder will close out the regular season by meeting the Idaho Steelheads on Mar. 30 at Stockton Arena.