Arena: Stockton Arena
Date: March 18, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST (Doors 6:30 p.m. PST)
Giveaway: Heat Replica Jersey to the first 1,000 fans 13-years-old and over courtesy of Ising’s Culligan, Chase Chevrolet and ABC10
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker & iHeartRadio beginning at 7:15 p.m. PST
LEADING SCORER: STOCKTON: F Mark Jankowski (53GP, 23-22-45)
SAN JOSE: F Daniel O’Regan (53GP, 20-32-52)
With the season wrapping up we want to give you all the scenarios to understand what can happen depending on the outcome of tonight’s contests in the Pacific Division, and since it’s not as easy as looking just at the points, we want to show you the playoff scenario, which you can see below, with the teams in GREEN currently sitting in a playoff spot.
|Rank||Team||GP||W||L||OTL||SOL||Current Pts||Current PCT||PCT with W||PCT with OT/SOL||PCT with L|
Stockton regains the fourth-placed spot only if they win in regulation and Bakersfield loses to Tucson in regulation.
Through a few scenarios, San Jose can be the first team in the AHL to lock down a playoff spot tonight. They can do so with a regulation win over the Heat, an OT win and a Condors loss of any kind, or a shootout win and a Condors regulation loss.
HEAT365 – WHERE IT’S ALWAYS HOCKEY SEASON
Heat365 is a new and exclusive all-encompassing membership that provides more value than ever. This membership not only includes your season tickets, but also a wide range of other benefits and year-round activities.
Fans will receive many exclusive perks like access to Member-only events with the team, early entry to Stockton Arena through a private entrance and even membership gifts, which will include a specially designed hat, blanket, collector pin and travel mug during the first season of the new initiative available only through Heat365.
For a list of all benefits and how to join visit StocktonHeat.com/Heat365 or call the Heat Front Office at 209.373.1500.
The Heat look to make it three-straight wins over the top team in the Pacific Division as the Heat have won the last two meetings against San Jose dating back to March 4 and have outscored the Barracuda 11-6. Prior to these two wins over the Barracuda in March, the Heat had only beaten San Jose twice, Opening Night and their first road win against San Jose all-time back on December 8.
The Heat are now 4-4-1-0 against San Jose this season with three meetings left counting tonight. Both teams have one more home game in the season series.
Tonight’s home game is chocked full of fun starting as soon as you enter the building, with the first 1,000 fans 13-years-old and over receiving a Heat replica jersey courtesy of Ising’s Culligan, Chase Chevrolet and ABC10.
Faith and Family Night takes place on Saturday night as well, where contemporary Christian rock band Crusaders for Christ will perform pregame and after the game, KYCC Radio will host a FREE postgame concert, featuring another contemporary Christian rock band, The Resistance.
After the game, head over to the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel as a few Heat players will sign autographs for fans once their postgame obligations are completed!
Make sure you plan on arriving early to the Arena, not only to pick up a jersey and check out the pregame performance, but also to give yourself enough time to allow for traffic and parking.
LAST TIME VS. SAN JOSE
To say last night was wild is an understatement. San Jose got a power-play goal (lets use the abbreviation PPG from here on out because it’s going to be used frequently) courtesy of Barclay Goodrow only to be followed by a beautiful entry into the zone during a Heat power-play with Mark Jankowski responding with a PPG of his own.
Then in a span of 1:36 toward the end of the first, three goals were scored as Garnet Hathaway scored to put the Heat on top, then it was Brandon Bollig who’d get a perfect pass from a San Jose defenseman just 19 seconds later, however another San Jose PPG by rookie points leader Daniel O’Regan with just 31 seconds left in the first cut the Heat lead to one.
Just 1:04 into the second though, Buddy Robinson took a four-minute double minor for high sticking and Stockton capitalized with two PPG’s courtesy of Matt Frattin and Linden Vey to increase their lead 5-2. After going through some penalty trouble of their own, the Heat looked like their penalty kill was getting its groove back, killing off a lengthy two-man advantage, however it’d be a regular 5-on-4 power play that saw San Jose captain John McCarthy tip home a Julius Bergman shot for another Barracuda PPG.
Then past the midway point of the game it’d be Mike Kostka who’d backhand one through Mantas Armalis from a bad angle to take a 6-3 lead into the third. In the final frame, Joakim Ryan blasted home another San Jose PPG but the Heat held on defensively, with goalie David Rittich standing on his head during the onslaught of shots that came his way. Linden Vey recorded his second of the game into the empty net to seal the 7-4 victory for the Heat.
WHO TO WATCH
When we come up with these, sometimes we just go with a gut feeling, other times we go with the easy pick. No doubt the easy pick is to keep Mike Kostka here, but just like today’s game will pose a challenge to the players on the ice, we want to pose a big challenge to ourselves by not keeping our Kostka pick from last night rolling. More on Mike Kostka in a moment though.
Instead we’re going with a gut and that gut tells us tonight is the night Hunter Shinkaruk breaks his goal scoring drought. His last goal came in this building back on February 17 against San Jose, going his last 12 games goalless, and we think that’s far too much for such a talented scorer.
While he’s picked up a couple assists in recent games, for whatever reason Shinkaruk finds himself snakebitten. The winger, who scored 16 goals in his rookie season followed by 27 during his sophomore campaign split between the Utica Comets and the Stockton Heat, has just 8 goals on the year with only 12 games remaining on the schedule. We have a feeling that tonight Shinkaruk will snap out of the streak in a big way against San Jose, so keep an eye on number 16 in red tonight at Stockton Arena!
Linden Vey has been a force to be reckoned with! Vey has points in 10 of his last 12 (6-11-17) and tied two Heat records in recent games, the all-time record of five-straight games with an assist set by D Colby Robak to start this season and a point in seven-straight games joining both Derek Grant and Mark Jankowski as the only players to accomplish that.
After the scoring streak snapped on Wednesday against the San Diego Gulls, Vey picked up where he left off with a great performance on Friday in San Jose, scoring twice and adding a helper for fifth three-point night and first two-goal night of the season.
JANKOWSKI JOINS ELITE COMPANY
Mark Jankowski became the second rookie this season to reach the 20-goal mark and is one of just five rookies who’ve suited up for the Flames AHL affiliate since 2005-06 to reach the 20-goal plateau including David Wolf in 2014-15 (ADK-20G), Markus Granlund in 2013-14 (ABB-25G), Dustin Boyd in 2006-07 (OMA-27G) and David Moss in 2005-06 (OMA-21G). Not only that, Jankowski is the third ever Heat player to reach 20 in a season. Jankowski is just the second Heat player to ever record a 20-goal, 20-assist season as Kenny Agostino had 23-34-57 last year.
He is the rookie goal scoring leader with 23 and is just 7 points back of the rookie scoring leader Daniel O’Regan (SJ) who has 52 points. We saw the two rookies put on a show last night as the pair traded power-play goals and added an assist in the contest. The biggest difference between the two? Mark Jankowski went plus-3 last night while O’Regan was a minus-2.
KOSTKA IS LIGHTS OUT
We don’t have the ability to keep this record but unofficially, Mike Kostka has become the quickest fan favorite in Stockton Hockey history. It’s only taken four games (if that) for the defender to torch the opposition for 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points.
That’s one way to make an impression!
While his debut in a Heat sweater saw the defender go pointless, Kostka had chances and showed flashes of why he’s played 591 professional games in the AHL and NHL. Then the points started to fall with the defender picking up his first multi-point effort in a Heat sweater against Grand Rapids with two assists, followed by a goal on Wednesday against the San Diego Gulls and a HUGE game on Friday night against San Jose with a goal and 3 assists for his second ever four-point night of his career!
Not only does that tie his best offensive output in a single game, it also ties the Heat’s record, which has been accomplished nine previous times with five of those coming this season. Kostka is the first to have a four-point night since Mark Jankowski (3-1-4) and Hunter Shinkaruk (0-4-4) accomplished this on January 20 against the Condors.
Speaking of Mike Kostka, on this day back in 2012, the current Heat defenseman was part of the Norfolk Admirals team who broke the AHL record with 18-straight (previous record was 17-wins by the Adirondack Phantoms) wins tonight with 5-0 win over the Charlotte Checkers.
That Norfolk team, who also had Mike Angelidis and Keith Aulie as part of the squad (but not during the AHL record busting night as Aulie was in the NHL and Angelidis wasn’t dressed), would end up breaking the professional hockey record as well during the 2011-12 campaign with 28-straight wins in the regular season (the Peoria Rivermen of the original International Hockey League had 18-straight wins which was the record set in 1991).