San Jose Leads Series 2 – 2
Arena: SAP Center
Date: May 2, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker and iHeartRadio at 6:45 p.m. PST (Sportsnet 960 the Fan to join after NHL Hockey Concludes)
PLAYOFF LEADING SCORER: STOCKTON: F Linden Vey/Mark Jankowski (4GP, 4-1-5/1-4-5)
SAN JOSE: F Ryan Carpenter (3GP, 3-3-6)
Pacific Division Semifinals
Game 1 – Stockton at San Jose – L 0-4
Game 2 – Stockton at San Jose – W 6-4
Game 3 – Stockton vs. San Jose – L 3-5
Game 4 – Stockton vs. San Jose – W 5-3
Game 5 – Stockton at San Jose – Tuesday, May 2 at 7:00PM
The #4 seeded Stockton Heat conclude their Pacific Division Semifinals series with the #1 seeded San Jose Barracuda one way or another tonight in their best-of-five series. After San Jose shut the Heat out in Game 1, Stockton won a shootout in Game 2 at the SAP Center before the series shifted to Stockton.
In Game 3 the Heat were able to tie the game in the second but a timely goal late in the third would lead San Jose to a 2-1 series lead after the 5-3 win. During Game 4, San Jose led the game until Andrew Mangiapane scored late in the third to knot the game up and Linden Vey scored moments later to seal the win and force the series back to San Jose for the decisive Game 5.
Can’t make it to San Jose? No problem, join us at the Official Watch Party hosted by the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel located next to Stockton Arena, open to all fans for free.
Fans will be able to watch the game with some terrific food and drink options at the hotel’s restaurant, the Delta Bistro, which will be offering a family pizza special (a two-topping pizza, a pitcher of soda and a salad for four people for $24.99) and for fans 21-years-old and over, Coors Light and Blue Moon bottles will be $1 off! Plus, a number of raffle prizes will be given away over the course of the evening.
Learn more by calling 209.373.1500 or by visiting StocktonHeat.com.
WHO TO WATCH
While the attention has been placed on many of the leading scorers like Linden Vey and Mark Jankowski, there’s quietly been a defenseman for the Heat who has emerged as a real game changer and it’s been Brett Kulak who’s been the consistent driving force from the back end.
That’s not to say there aren’t others, but Kulak has been noticeably consistent every game in this series. He’s been even or better in every game, including Stockton’s shutout loss to San Jose in Game 1, and has picked up points in every game since, currently putting up a three-game assist streak in tonight’s decisive game.
Kulak has been sharp offensively. His long stretch pass to Garnet Hathaway in Game 2 was a thing of beauty, his feed to Brandon Bollig in Game 3 showcases his hockey IQ in the best way possible, and his helper on the tying effort in Game 3 helped keep the Heat season alive.
We’ve loved Kulak since we saw him don a Colorado Eagles (ECHL) sweater in Stockton Arena, but we love him even more when he plays for the home side! For the Heat to win, you better believe Kulak will be front and center on both sides of the ice tonight.
Linden Vey has been a real gem for the Heat all season long, ending the regular season as the second leading scorer on the Heat, just one point behind Mark Jankowksi, and now, Vey finds himself tied with Jankowski for the team lead in points in the postseason with five, four of which are goals for the veteran centerman.
Vey has recorded two multi-goal games in the series and recorded his first three-point game in the postseason, the second of his career. Even with 23 games of Calder Cup Playoff experience before this season, Vey recorded his first ever game winning playoff goal on Sunday.
BATTLE OF THE TOP TWO ROOKIES
Young Mark Jankowski and Danny O’Regan were not only the Heat and Barracuda leading scorers, but were the top two point scoring rookies in 2016-17. While Jankowski was held off the scoresheet with the rest of his team during Game 1, he bounced back beautifully to score the first playoff goal in Heat history and record the first multi-point effort in Heat playoff history, ending Game 2 with a goal and two assists.
Jankowski kept it rolling in Game 3 and ended the game with an assist and added another helper on Sunday to pick up points in three-straight (1-4-5). O’Regan had yet to register a point in the series through the first two games but was able to contribute a goal and an assist for his first playoff points in Game 3 and added a goal in Game 4.
PK LAYING IT ALL ON THE LINE
The Stockton Heat went a perfect 4-4 on the penalty kill to open up the series against the AHL’s second best power play and followed that performance up going 6-7 in Game 2 and went perfect in Game 3 and Game 4, both 3-3 nights.
San Jose’s power-play unit was the second best in the AHL this season at 23.8%, and against the Heat in the regular season went 20.7%, but through the series the San Jose Barracuda have a 5.9% conversion of their 17 chances for the third worst power-play in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Heat’s penalty kill is the third best in the playoffs, killing off 94.1% of their penalties taken.
IT TAKES TWO BABY
With his 20th of the season on the regular season finale, Andrew Mangiapane joined Mark Jankowski as the only players to reach the 20-goal plateau. Jankowski and Mangiapane were the only pair of rookie teammates in the AHL this season to hit the 20-goal mark.
It’s the first time a pair of rookies skating for the Flames Top Affiliate scored 20 in a single season since Chuck Kobasew and Matthew Lombardi did it for the Saint John Flames back in 2002-03.
Both Jankowski and Mangiapane bring in three-game point streaks tonight with Jankowski scoring a goal and adding 4 assists since Game 2 and Mangiapane recording a goal and 2 assists since Game 2.
The pressure is squarely on both teams to try and avoid the heartbreaking loss in a final and decisive game, and while Stockton and San Jose have never had to go to a decisive series ender in their brief histories, the affiliates that came before them have.
For the Flames Top Affiliates, they’ve appeared in four decisive games going 2-2 in those contests. Most recently, the Abbotsford Heat took out the Rochester Americans 2-0 in a Game 7 during Round 1 of the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs.
As for the Sharks Top Affiliate, they are 4-2 in decisive games, most recently seeing the Worcester Sharks take down the Toronto Roadrunners in the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs when the team had to win a Best of Three Qualifier to move on. Roy Sommer, who’s been the head coach of San Jose’s top affiliate since 1998, is 2-2 in decisive games, outscored in those games 15-12.
The most recent loss for a Calgary affiliate was in 1997 when the Saint John Flames fell to Hamilton Bulldogs in Game 5 by a 3-1 score while San Jose’s affiliate, the Kentucky Thoroughblades, lost in Game 7 during the second round in 1999 to the Philadelphia Phantoms by a 9-3 score.
In the three other series ending Game 5 matchups in the Division Semifinals round, the road team has won two of the three matchups as Providence was able to knock off the top seed in the East, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and Hershey Bears edged the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The only home team to win was the Chicago Wolves, who beat the Charlotte Checkers to advance.
All of these games though were decided by one goal.
Both Pacific Division games are going to series ending games tonight.
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.