The Thunder won three of five games this year against the Steelheads, but four of those games were played in California. Stockton is fresh off a semifinal series victory over top-seed Alaska, and riding a ton of momentum into the Treasure Valley.
"Ontario and Stockton were two of the best teams in the conference down the stretch. They are fast, physical, they go hard to the net, but they play at a tempo no one else in the Western Conference does," said head coach Brad Ralph.
"It's important for us to play our level of game. Any time we get down to another team's level of game we've got to pull ourselves out of it quick, because it could mean bad business," said Steelheads forward Chase Schaber.
Stockton has four open roster spots, and their AHL affiliate is one game from elimination in the Calder Cup Playoffs. So the Thunder may get a few reinforcements during the series.
Game 1 is Friday night just after 7 pm (MTN). There's no game Saturday, because Roller Derby takes over CenturyLink Arena. Game 2 will be Sunday at 5:10 pm (MTN).