The Stockton Heat travel down to the SAP Center to take on the San Jose Barracuda to complete a home-and-home series that started last night at Stockton Arena for Teacher Appreciation Night. Stockton dropped the first of the two games 5-2 to San Jose. Stockton kept it close throughout the entire game, but San Jose added some late insurance goals to earn their fifth win of the season. Stockton will look to earn their first victory against the Barracuda as they play their first of six games this season in San Jose.
Can’t make it to the game? Head over to Channel Brewing Co. in Downtown Stockton as the brew pub will be serving up delicious craft beer and pizzas while the Heat take on the Barracuda on their TV’s at 110 N. San Joaquin Street!
LAST TIME VS. SAN JOSE
Last night, San Jose squeaked out a victory over Stockton despite a very tight game through the first two-and-a-half periods. San Jose struck first mid-way through the first period on a breakaway goal from Maxim Letunov. The score would remain 1-0 until Andrew Mangiapane tied things up early third period with his first goal of the young season. Just over six minutes later, Letunov scored his second goal of the night to take the 2-1 lead. San Jose would never look back, adding two more goals to make it 4-1. Glenn Gawdin would score his second goal of the season to make it 4-2 San Jose and the Barracuda would add a late empty netter to seal the deal. Jon Gillies stopped 34 shots in the loss.
WHO TO WATCH
After making his Stockton Heat debut last night, there were some encouraging signs last night for defenseman, Matt Taormina. The former AHL All-Star skated in his first game last night after missing the first four games of the season due to injury. Taormina will be relied on heavily to help bolster the Heat power play, which went 1 for 4 last night. Taormina played alongside Andrew O’Brien last night and the play of that pairing will be paramount to the Heat’s success especially against a speedy San Jose group.
TOSS THOSE HATS
We couldn’t keep the Heat’s top goal scorer out of the blog for long!!
Kerby Rychel put on quite the performance in the third period of Saturday’s game against San Jose, scoring three goals in the third period in just a span of 7:17 to record the fifth hat trick in Heat history and his first career hat trick.
Rychel adds his name to the list of Mark Jankowski, Hunter Shinkaruk (whom he was traded for), Spencer Foo and Brett Pollock, and accomplished his hat trick 17:32 faster than the next fastest in Heat history (Foo, 24:49). With his big night, Rychel now leads the Heat with 6 points, ranks in the Top 10 of the AHL in points and his 4 goals are tied for the second most in the league.
Last Saturday, Curtis Lazar suited up in his first AHL game since November 18, 2016, and while he was held off the scoresheet initially, he’s easily found himself back on it in the last two games. Lazar scored his first AHL goal since that Nov. 18 game on Friday, his first goal since February 15, 2018 while with the Calgary Flames, and followed that up with his first AHL multi-point game in the AHL with another power-play goal and an assist.
With both of his goals coming on the man advantage, Lazar is tied for the second most power-play goals in the AHL.
Andrew Mangiapane is one assist away from recording his 50th AHL assist and is just 10 points back of recording his 100th AHL point. Mangiapane has been a force for the Heat for two seasons prior to the 2018-19 campaign and has suited up in 109 AHL contests in his career, giving him .830 points-per-game at the AHL level.