Bakersfield Condors goalie Brian Stewart may have edged out Olivier Roy of the Stockton Thunder for ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors earlier this week, but Roy was the winner when the two went head-to-head on Thursday night (Feb. 21).
In his third start since being assigned to Stockton from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League last week, Roy recorded 38 saves and was credited with an assist on a second-period goal by Matt Bergland as the Thunder claimed a 4-1 victory over Stewart and the Condors before a crowd of 8,023 at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, CA.
The game pitted Roy and Stewart against each other just two days after Roy was a runner-up to Stewart for the Goaltender of the Week award for the period ending Feb. 17. Roy has won all three of his starts since being assigned to the Thunder, and he has allowed a total of just two goals in those games.
“He has been real confident,” Thunder Coach Matt Thomas said by telephone after the game when asked about Roy. “He has controlled the pace of the game really well. He has gobbled up rebounds when teams have had pressure on us. You want your goaltender to control the flow, and he has done a great job of that.”
The Thunder (28-21-9) supported Roy with goals by Bergland, Shawn Weller, Tony DeHart and Matt Reber. Weller and DeHart scored on power plays as the Thunder went 2-for-4 on extra-man opportunities, and 10 Stockton players had at least a point.
“All three lines contributed a goal and our power play really stepped up,” Thomas said. “It was a solid game for us.”
Despite being outshot 12-9 in the first period, the Thunder took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to the power-play goal by Weller, who netted his eighth goal of the season with not quite four minutes remaining before the break. DeHart and Eric Hunter had assists on the goal, which was Weller’s first since being obtained by the Thunder in late January.
Bergland pushed Stockton’s lead to 2-0 when he scored on a rebound almost six and a half minutes into the second period. The goal was Bergland’s ninth of the season and came off assists from Roy and Garet Hunt.
DeHart made the score 3-0 when he tallied his fourth goal of the season on a Stockton power play at 8:25 of the second period. Hunter and Brandon Davidson were credited with assists on DeHart’s goal, which was scored just 11 seconds after Bakersfield’s Jake Morley was sent to the penalty box for hooking.
The Condors (18-35-5) trimmed their deficit to 3-1 when Evan Trupp scored a power-play goal off assists from Jacob Legace and Francis Verreault at 10:38 of the middle period. Trupp’s goal was his fifth of the season and came while Bergland was serving a hooking penalty.
The score remained 3-1 into the second intermission, at which time the Condors held a 25-16 edge in shots. Reber accounted for the final margin of victory for the Thunder when he scored his ninth goal of the season off assists from Maxime Boisclair and Gabriel Levesque with about five and a half minutes left in the third period.
“Reber’s goal was a big one,” Thomas said. “If they had been able to score and get within 3-2, it might have gotten a little hairy.”
Stewart, who was riding a four-game winning streak, was replaced by Scott Greenham after Reber’s goal. Stewart was credited with 21 saves before exiting.
The box score from Thursday’s game can be viewed here: