Stockton, Calif. – Goaltender David Rittich put together a masterful performance, stopping all 35 shots he faced, as the Czech goaltender led the Stockton Heat to a 4-0 win over the Milwaukee Admirals Saturday night at Stockton Arena. The shutout, Rittich’s fourth this season, puts him in sole possession of second place in the entire AHL in the category and third in the AHL in goals-against-average (1.81) and save-percentage (.936). Not to be forgotten, forward Emile Poirier notched a pair of goals and added one assist to earn second star honors with his first three-point effort of the season. The Stockton Heat will now look to take this weekend’s home success on the road when they travel to San Diego to kick off a three-game road trip, starting with the Gulls Wednesday night.
HEAT GOAL: F Emile Poirier (5) one-timer from the point gets through traffic and beats the goaltender off the post and into the net (Lomberg, Kanzig assists), 12:18
Shots: STK – 10 | MIL – 10
HEAT GOAL: F Austin Carroll (4) rebound on top of the crease is put back high over the goaltender’s glove and into the net (Poirier, Andersson assists), 2:13
Shots: STK – 13 | MIL – 12
HEAT GOAL: F Emile Poirier (6) backhand shot from the blueline is put into the empty net (unassisted), 18:19 (EN)
HEAT GOAL: F Matt Frattin (9) shot from the blueline on the rush is put into the empty net (Devane assist), 19:21 (EN)
Shots: STK – 11 | MIL – 13
W: David Rittich (35 shots, 35 saves)
L: Marek Mazanec (32 shots, 30 saves)
Three Stars: 1- David Rittich (35-save shutout) 2- Emile Poirier (2 goals, 1 assist) 3- Austin Carroll (1 goal)
Final Shots: STK – 34 | MIL – 35
Power Plays: STK – 0/2 | MIL – 0/5
David Rittich (35-save shutout) moves into second place in the AHL in shutouts (4), and third place in the league in both goals-against-average (1.81) and save-percentage (.936)
Rittich also takes over the all-time team-lead in shutouts, passing Jon Gillies
Emile Poirier (2 goals, 1 assist) earns his fourth multi-point game of the season and his first three-point effort of the season
Jamie Devane (1 assist) is now on a three-game point streak (1 goal, 2 assists)
Rasmus Andersson (1 assist) now has points in back-to-back games (2 assists)
Austin Carroll (1 goal) has scored three goals in his last six games
The Stockton Heat finish perfect on their penalty kill in back-to-back games for the first time since 12/16 – 12/17
“It’s a fantastic feeling. It was good for us as a team because we need to win after going winless in five games there. We must be better and the last two nights we have been.” – David Rittich with his feelings after tonight’s win.
“My guys were so good in front of me tonight. They did a great job clearing rebounds and clearing screens. They blocked shots and helped me so much. I need to say thank you to them.” – Rittich on how his team played in front of him en route to the win.
“I think our line [Ryan Lomberg, Austin Carroll and Emile Poirier] did a great job. We battled hard while keeping our game simple and did good work tonight. Getting in front of the net and battling hard down low was the game plan and the guys did an excellent job.” – Emile Poirier on the play of his line tonight.
“We want to continue this play. It was a great team win tonight. The boys were all behind each other, making the morale in the room great, so it was a huge win and we have to carry the momentum going into the week.” – Austin Carroll on carrying the momentum from back-to-back wins into the road trip.
“Knowing the support that you have from your goaltender is great. If you make a little mistake, [David Rittich] is there for you. The players want to play for him and he was playing for us tonight. He was unreal.” – Carroll on David Rittich’s performance in net tonight.
“[David Rittich] was not supposed to start tonight, but unfortunately Jon [Gillies] got sick during warmups. It was one of those nights where David had to get thrown into a game he wasn’t expecting, making his performance that much more special the way he showed up tonight.” – Head Coach Ryan Huska on the play of David Rittich tonight.
“Our defensemen did a great job again tonight – all of them. When you look at our group, this was one of our more complete games we’ve played all year and it started with our guys in the backend. [Keith] Aulie and [Kayle] Doetzel did an excellent job defending against a very good line, but the rest of the guys kept their game very simple and played hard. It was good for us.” – Coach Huska on the play of his defense tonight.
“Moving forward, we need to play the same way. If we can play a simple, fast game, we’re a hard team to play against. It’s when we complicate things when we start getting into trouble.” – Coach Huska on the focus heading into next week’s road trip.
NEXT HOME GAME
STOCKTON HEAT vs. Bakersfield Condors
January 20 @ Stockton Arena
Doors @ 6:30 p.m., Puck drop @ 7:30 p.m.