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Thunder Hockey Team Gears Up For Successful Season On The Ice
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The Stockton Thunder, a two-time recipient of the ECHL "Award of Excellence," has released its promotional and giveaway calendar for the upcoming regular season. The calendar features a lineup of popular, familiar and anticipated attractions for the 2010-11 season, the sixth for the Thunder in the San Joaquin Valley.

With the Thunder looking to reclaim the lead in ECHL attendance for the fifth time in six seasons, the regular season launches on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16 for Opening Night presented by AT&T against the Ontario Reign, starting the first weekend series with two 7:30 p.m. games at Stockton Arena.

"Promotional nights are just another piece to the puzzle in providing our fans with a greater experience when coming to see Thunder hockey," said Thunder president Dan Chapman. "We're proud of how the promotional lineup for the 2010-11 season is very diverse and is intended to appeal to fans young and old alike."

As a part of 'Opening Night,' the first 2,000 fans will receive a Thunder schedule poster at the Friday game and the first 1,000 kids (ages 12 and under) will receive a commemorative Thunder T-shirt on Saturday. Returning for the fifth season as the flagship fundraising event, the wildly popular "Thunder Goes Pink" is back as an expanded three-day event on Friday through Sunday, Nov. 5-7 against the Bakersfield Condors. Losing only once in regulation, the Thunder have carried a lifetime 5-1-2 record in the "Thunder Goes Pink" series that turns the games at Stockton Arena into a pink-themed spectacle for local breast cancer awareness and fundraising for the cause. A tradition that headlines the annual event, newly designed special pink-accented jerseys will be worn by the Thunder during all three games and will be available for silent auction to all fans in attendance for the weekend, while a handful of the game-worn jerseys will be available for bidding during live auction immediately following the Saturday, Nov. 6 game. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society - Stockton Field Office and the St. Joseph's Foundation - Breast Cancer Services. Last year, $32,480 in funds raised was split evenly between the event beneficiaries. The Thunder has boosted its all-time, four-year total of funds raised through 'Pink' to over $14 5,000 while over 16,000 fans were in attendance for the two games last year.

Additionally, the sixth annual "Teddy Bear Toss" is scheduled to return to Stockton Arena on Saturday, Jan. 22 against Ontario at 7:30 p.m. Fans are invited to bring and throw teddy bears or other stuffed animals onto the ice immediately following the Thunder's first goal of the game. Last year's Teddy Bear Toss, played before a sellout crowd of 9,737, netted over 4,348 bears and other stuffed animals to donate to the United Way, which in turn distributed them to local children's charities. It brought the three-year total to over 19,800 animals distributed by the United Way of San Joaquin County to various children's charities, hospitals and police and fire departments.

For fans looking to expand their cold weather items and show their Thunder pride, Thunder fleece blankets will be given away to fans (ages 13 and over) on Saturday, Dec. 11 when the Thunder host the Utah Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. Thunder replica jersey giveaways are scheduled for the upcoming season, including two games on Saturdays, March 5 and March 19; an exclusive Thunder skateboard deck giveaway is set for Saturday, Feb. 5 and replica wood hockey sticks, similar to what the pros use on the ice, will be given away Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 29-30.

The third annual "Easy Being Green" event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 25-26. The two-day event, which drew over 13,500 fans last season, featured a pre-game 'Green Fair' (before each game) featuring local eco-friendly businesses and organizations distributing information and green-themed giveaways. Headlining the lineup of green-themed giveaways are eco-friendly Thunder 'green' bags, free to the first 2,000 fans (ages 18 and over) in attendance, reusable for the home, grocery store, leisure trip, as well as school materials.

The Thunder will celebrate "Fan Appreciation Night" on Wednesday, March 30 against the Las Vegas Wranglers at 7:00 p.m. for its final regular season home game.

A four-time leader in ECHL attendance, the Thunder averaged over 6,000 fans per game and drew over 200,000 fans at the gate last season for the fifth straight year. The Thunder are freezing Season Ticket prices for the 2010-11 season, which are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (209) 373-1500 or by visiting The Thunder was voted "Best Local Sports Team" by readers of the San Joaquin Magazine. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit