Arena: UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Date: February 11, 2018
Time: 3:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker and iHeartRadio at 2:45 p.m. PST
LEADING SCORER: STOCKTON: LW Andrew Mangiapane (32GP 16-19-35)
MILWAUKEE: C Emil Pettersson (44GP 10-22-32)
The Heat took the bus trip around Lake Michigan last night after an emotional victory over the defending Calder Cup Champions, finishing with the 3-2 shootout win. It’s the third ever meeting between the Heat and Admirals with Stockton having gone 1-1-0-0 in their season series last year.
Stockton in 9-6-0-0 against the Central Division teams all-time.
LAST TIME VS. MILWAUKEE
After David Rittich shut down the Admirals on home ice back on January 7, 2017, the Admirals repaid the favor, with Marek Mazanec stopping all 22 Heat shots for the shutout win on January 27, 2017, 3-0.
Milwaukee got goals Trevor Smith, Andrew O’Brien and Adam Payerl.
WHO TO WATCH
Last night it was all about Brett Findlay, and we’re going to stick with him heading into tonight’s game against Milwaukee.
Findlay got the scoring started for both teams when he got a pass from Joseph Cramarossa and finished the backhand deke past Grand Rapids’ Jared Coreau for the opening tally just 19-seconds into the second period. The Heat would need Findlay again as he got the tying goal late in the third started before Tyler Wotherspoon would bury the wrist shot and send the game to overtime.
It was Findlay’s fifth multi-point game of the season and both of his points came on the power play, tying him for the third most power-play points on the team.
Findlay is quietly having a good season for the Heat, approaching his career-high in points established last season with the Toronto Marlies (24 points) and also approaching his career-high in AHL games played established with Toronto back in 2015-16 (39 games).
A graduate of the ECHL, Findlay has shown that he not only belongs in the AHL full-time, but that he can excel when given that chance. His days in the ECHL are certainly numbered, and with his penchant for recording big points for the Heat, his days in Northern California could only just be beginning.
Look for the Heat centerman to pick up where he left off today as the Heat take on Milwaukee.
GILLIES STOPS THE MOST EXCITING PLAY IN HOCKEY
Last night, Jon Gillies became the only Heat goalie to ever face more than one penalty shot in his Heat career. Last night, Joseph Cramarossa tripped up GR’s Matt Lorito, forcing a penalty shot in overtime, and Gillies stopped the five-hole attempt to keep the game going.
Gillies also faced Bakersfield’s Ryan Hamilton back on Nov. 18 and made the save in his first career penalty shot. Heat goalie’s Kent Simpson (11/7/15 vs. Michael Mersch (ONT)) and David Rittich (11/12/16 vs. Joe Whitney (SA)) have also made penalty shot stops as the Heat are 4-4 all-time.
HEAT DEFENDERS RANK AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Defensemen Tyler Wotherspoon and Rasmus Andersson aren’t just a defensive pair for the Heat, they also rank among the AHL leaders among defensemen.
Wotherspoon is now third among AHL defensemen with 23 assists and seventh in points with 28 also plus-21 and ranks tied for seventh among defenders, while Andersson’s plus-16 is tied for 14th among AHL defensemen. Andersson’s 26 points is tied for eighth while his 22 assists is tied for fourth among AHL defenders.
GETTING THE COMEBACK
Stockton once again struck first last night, but found themselves down by one to Grand Rapids heading into the third, a position that the Heat have found themselves in 13 times this season.
However, unlike the previous 12 occasions, the Heat would be able to get the comeback win, their first of the season when trailing after 40-minutes. Stockton is now 1-9-1-2. All four games the Heat have earned points in when trailing heading into the third have come away from Stockton Arena.
KICKSTART MY POWER PLAY
After a rough go for the power-play unit in the month of January going 3 for 38 (7.9%), the Heat are now 2 for 12 in February (16.7%) having gone 2 for 7 last night in Grand Rapids.
It was the first time since December 9 against Tucson the Heat scored more than one power-play goal in a single game. The club now has three power-play goals in their last four games played.
In six overtime games this season, last night’s shootout win was Stockton’s first win when the game goes past 60 minutes since March 12, 2016 when, oddly enough, the Heat hosted the Grand Rapids Griffins and beat them in the shootout. Since then it’d been 10-straight losses in overtime or the shootout for the Heat.