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New Season Giveaways Set For Stockton Thunder
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The Stockton Thunder, a two-time recipient of the ECHL "Award of Excellence," announced its promotional and giveaway calendar for the 2009-10 regular season with a lineup of popular and anticipated attractions for the Fifth Anniversary Season of hockey in the San Joaquin Valley.

Hockey returns to San Joaquin County for the fifth season on Friday, Oct. 23 when the Thunder and Ontario Reign meet at 7:30 p.m. in the first rematch of last season's first round playoff series in which the Thunder emerged with a seven-game upset. As part of "Opening Night" at Stockton Arena, the first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative Thunder poster, celebrating the Thunder's first four seasons of play.

A fan favorite series that has drawn rave reviews for a notable cause, "Thunder Goes Pink," returns for its fourth annual run on Nov. 6-7 at Stockton Arena, when the Thunder hosts the Alaska Aces at 7:30 p.m. for both games. The Thunder have a 5-1 record in the lifetime "Thunder Goes Pink" series and last season raised over $40,000 for the American Cancer Society - Stockton Field Office and the St. Joseph's Foundation - Breast Cancer Services. Nearly 18,000 fans (including a sell-out crowd of 9,737 on Nov. 8) attended the two games.

 A budding tradition headlining the annual event, special-themed pink jerseys will be worn by the Thunder during both games and will be available via silent auction to all fans in attendance at both games, while a handful of jerseys will be available for bidding via live auction immediately following the Saturday, Nov. 7 contest. 

Free commemorative giveaway items for fans in attendance that weekend will include pink-colored headwear for the first 2,000 fans, ages 17 and over, in attendance.

The Thunder's fifth annual "Teddy Bear Toss Night" is slated to take place on Saturday, Jan. 16 against the Utah Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. Fans are invited to bring and throw a teddy bear or other stuffed animal onto the ice immediately following the Thunder's first goal of the game.

 Last year's Teddy Bear Toss netted over 3,500 stuffed animals as a crowd of over 7,400 showered the ice with stuffed animals on a first period goal by Igor Gongalsky, bringing the three-year total to over 14,500 animals distributed by the United Way of San Joaquin County to various children's charities, hospitals, police and fire departments. 

In a salute to "old time hockey," the team will be donning special Thunder-inspired throwback jerseys on Saturday, Jan. 23 when the Thunder face the Alaska Aces at 7:30 p.m. Fans will have an opportunity to take the actual game-worn jersey home in a special postgame jersey auction, held immediately following the game with proceeds benefiting the Stockton Thunder and Lightning Foundation.

For the fan looking to stock up on hockey apparel for the outdoors, Thunder knit caps will be given away free to the first 1,000 fans (ages 13 and over) when the Thunder face Bakersfield on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Two separate "Replica Jersey Nights" on Sunday, Jan. 10 vs. Bakersfield (4 p.m.) and Saturday, March 20 vs. Utah (7:30 p.m.) will have the first 2,000 kids (ages 12 and under) in attendance take home a replica Thunder jersey, just like what the pros wear on the ice.

 New to the giveaway lineup are the popular Webkinz stuffed animal character, with a series of seven different plush animal figures slated to be given away at each Sunday game (Nov. 15 vs. Idaho, Jan. 10 vs. Bakersfield, Jan. 17 vs. Ontario, Jan. 24 vs. Bakersfield, Jan. 31 vs. Alaska, March 21 vs. Utah and March 28 vs. Las Vegas) to the first 500 kids, ages 12 and under in attendance.

 Also new to the giveaway lineup are Thunder desktop mousepads on Saturday, Dec. 5 vs. Bakersfield (7:30 p.m.), free to the first 2,000 fans (ages 13 and over) in attendance.

Among the popular returning items are Player Poster Giveaway nights (series of three during the season). Following the posters distributed on the opening weekend of Oct. 23-24, the Thunder will unveil a unique, player poster on Friday, Dec. 4 against Bakersfield. The posters will be distributed to all fans in attendance.

The Thunder will celebrate "Fan Appreciation Night" on Wednesday, March 31 against Bakersfield at 7 p.m. for its final regular season home game. A team poster celebrating the fifth anniversary season for the Thunder will be distributed to all fans in attendance.