Arena: Valley View Casino Center
Date: December 16, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker and iHeartRadio at 6:45 p.m. PST
LEADING SCORER: STOCKTON: LW Andrew Mangiapane (24GP 10-17-27)
SAN DIEGO: C Sam Carrick (23GP 5-10-15), RW Giovanni Fiore (22GP 6-9-15)
Get Fired Up as the Stockton Heat look to avenge Wednesday’s loss against the Gulls tonight as the two teams meet for the final time at the Valley View Casino Center. Stockton is playing their second night of the weekend back-to-back after earning a point last night in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Ontario Reign at Citizen Business Bank Arena. The San Diego Gulls haven’t played since Wednesday night’s matchup with the Heat and they will be fully rested ahead of their Teddy Bear Toss game tonight.
LAST TIME VS. SAN DIEGO
Stockton struck first on Wednesday night, scoring just over a minute into the game with Oliver Kylington’s wrist shot. However, San Diego persisted their way to 5-3 victory, tying the game three separate times before Mitch Hults game-winning goal. Stockton’s loss was their first time this season where the club failed to earn a point against the Gulls in their five meetings.
Marek Hrivik led the way for the Heat with a goal and an assist, which extended his multi-point game streak to three games.
WHO TO WATCH
Hunter Shinkaruk is on quite the run for the Stockton Heat and his ability to create offense makes him the player to key in on tonight.
After five straight games without a point, Shinkaruk has exploded for three goals in his last four games, with his goals in the last ten days having been extremely timely as well.
Last week Shinkaruk scored two early goals, including a marker just 12 seconds into the game, which set a new Stockton Heat record for the fastest goal scored in franchise history. Last night Shinkaruk had another flare for the dramatic with a huge game-tying goal that earned Stockton a critical point on the road.
Shinkaruk’s recent success directly correlates with his new line combination. Shinkaruk is skating with a newfound jump in his game over the last few games and his speed will be critical tonight against a physical San Diego team that can be vulnerable to speedy wingers on the outside.
NOBODY HOTTER THAN HRIVVER
An early poll for Heat MVP through the first 23 games of the year would certainly put center Marek Hrivik on that conversation.
He’s off to a terrific start, recordeing 26 points (9-17-26) in his first 22 games of the season and is on pace to obliterate his career high of 41 points for the Hartford Wolf Pack established in 2015-16.
For the Wolf Pack, Hrivik recorded back to back 40 point seasons, and spent time with the New York Rangers in the last two seasons, but now with the Flames organization, Hrivik could eclipse those highs and earn himself a callup to the big club.
Hrivik tied Andrew Mangiapane on Wednesday with his ninth multi-point game, the most on the Heat this season, and after his shorthanded goal last night vs. Ontario, has points in five-straight games (3-5-8).
FIRST GOAL FRENZY
Stockton’s ability to strike first this year is well documented, but scoring first in 19 of 24 games is very impressive. The club’s ability to score so early into games over the last four contests has given the Heat a big advantage to start their recent tilts. Over the last four games, Stockton’s average time of first goal is just 2:19 into the game!
For the past four games, the Heat have got on the board early on, scoring the game’s first goal 5:11 into last Wednesday’s game in San Jose, 12 seconds into the game on Saturday against Tucson, in San Diego the Heat took the lead 1:28 into the game which led to last night’s shorthanded goal just 2:26 into the game.
Unfortunately, Stockton has been unable to build on their early leads over the last two games, but their fast starts should not be overlooked as a big reason for their success this season, particularly over the last two weeks as the team captured the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Josh Healey made his professional debut last spring, playing in two games with the Stockton Heat. The Ohio State University graduate earned his reputation as a physical, defensive-minded blueliner in college and he has shown great signs of developing through the first third of the season.
Last night Healey notched his first assist on the penalty kill to setup Marek Hrivik’s breakaway goal. The rookie explained following the game that is was great to get the monkey off his back. A well-deserved first AHL point from Healey who continues to try and mix in an offensive touch in his rookie season.
Last season, the Heat were in town for the San Diego Teddy Bear Toss and spoiled the fun, getting goals in the first from Morgan Klimchuk and Austin Carroll and a second period tally from Hunter Shinkaruk.
It looked like the game was going to see the home team get shutout, so the Gulls made the decision to toss the bears during a TV timeout. However, the Gulls would score with 20 seconds left in the game, finally beating Jon Gillies, although the Heat goaltender was dazzling throughout the game, making a career high, 48 saves on 49 shots in the 3-1 win for the Heat.
Stockton will host their own Teddy Bear Toss game on Saturday, January 20th against the Ontario Reign.
HEAT HOLIDAY PACKS ON SALE NOW
Give the gift of Stockton Heat Hockey this Holiday Season with Heat Holiday Packs!
Join Lombo’s Naughty List which includes six (6) vouchers and an autographed Ryan Lomberg puck for $99, get Klimmer’s Holiday Hat Trick featuring a pair of tickets to Teddy Bear Toss (1/20), Safety Night (2/17) & Star Wars Night (3/3) and a Heat Winter Beanie for just $112, or get Mangiapane’s Gingerbread Special, featuring eight (8) vouchers and a special edition Andrew “Eat (Ginger) Bread” t-shirt starting at $125!
Fans can also purchase our New Year’s Eve Pack, which features a pair of tickets to the game on Sunday, December 31 at 5:00 p.m. in either Lower Premium or Upper Premium/Lower End Zone and receive four (4) undated vouchers good for any future Heat home game at Stockton Arena, two (2) Heat hats, two (2) passes to skate at Modesto On Ice and two (2) New Year’s Eve Party Items starting at just $75!