Arena: Bojangles’ Coliseum
Date: February 11, 2016
Time: 3:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker & iHeartRadio beginning at 2:45 p.m. PST
LEADING SCORER: STOCKTON: F Mark Jankowski (39GP, 15-16-31)
CHARLOTTE: F Andrew Poturalski (47GP, 9-20-29)
For the live, in-game tweets, follow @AHLHeat. Stay tuned at the end of the game for the Chase Chevrolet Big Moment of the Game with your chance to win an autographed puck from Flames winger Garnet Hathaway.
The Heat complete their season series against the Charlotte Checkers tonight. Stockton is 2-1 vs. Charlotte this season with the home team winning on each occasion. The Checkers have won five of their last seven while the Heat have gone winless in a team record long seven-straight games.
LAST TIME VS. CHARLOTTE
Mark Jankowski scored his team leading 15th goal off of a great start to the game last night, beating Michael Leighton over his left pad.
However, Dennis Robertson’s seeing eye shot in the second tied things up and Phil Di Giuseppe’s goal with under 50 seconds left in the period to take the lead. Captain Patrick Brown would bank one off of Gillies and in to put the game out of reach in Charlotte’s 3-1 win.
WHO TO WATCH
It certainly seems like the player to bet on is Mark Jankowski tonight! While the offense has dried up, it’s been Mark Jankowski and his line who have been producing.
For Jankowski, he has scored in back-to-back games and it’s been two vastly different goals. Last Saturday against the Condors, his goal tied things up and helped Stockton earn a point, but it wasn’t a great shot or fancy backdoor feed, but rather a loose puck in the slot that Jankowski put past Jonas Gustavsson.
Last night in Charlotte was everything you didn’t get from that hard working, greasy goal he scored on Saturday. Behind the net, Jankowski deked around two defenders at the side of the net, came into the slot and ripped a well-placed shot on Michael Leighton, above his left pad but below his glove hand, to give Stockton the lead in the first.
Look for Jankowski, the team’s leading point getter, to continue to try and do his best to pull the Heat out of the funk they are in.
NEARING & SURPASSING MILESTONES
While he’s still trying to snap a streak of 20 games without a goal, Linden Vey has put up 8 assists in that span and is just one point away from his 200th career AHL point.
With an assist last Friday and Saturday, Hunter Shinkaruk recorded his 50th and 51st career AHL assist which happened to be his 100th and 101st AHL point of his career.
Morgan Klimchuk played in his 100th career AHL game last night.
POWER PLAY STRUGGLING TO GAIN TRACTION
Unfortunately for the Heat, the power play has had a tough go since the turn of the calendar year. Through 13 games in 2017, the Heat power play has scored just once back on January 20 in 44 opportunities.
In three games against the Checkers, Stockton is 1 for 11 on the power play and has not allowed the Checkers to score with an extra man in 16 chances.
VERSUS AN ALL-TIME GREAT:
Stockton has played against the AHL’s all-time leader in shutouts twice last year while Michael Leighton played for the Rockford IceHogs.
The first game saw Leighton last just 14:35 as the Heat blitzed him for 4 goals on 14 shots in the Heat’s first ever game and 7-0 win on October 10, 2015. However, Leighton would repay the favor with a 23-save shutout for Rockford on January 16, 2016.
Leighton has a 9-7-3 record with two shutouts this season in 20 games played for the Checkers, and has started the last two in Tucson, splitting the weekend with a win and a loss.
Before that Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack played two games for the Checkers during a conditioning stint while Daniel Altshuller and Alex Nedeljkovic have also shared the goaltending load in recent weeks. During the resurgence of the Checkers, Leighton has gone 2-2-1, Lack 1-1-0, Altshuller 1-0-0 and Nedeljkovic 3-0-0.
AGAINST THE CENTRAL:
The Heat have played 14 games against the Central Division, going 8-6-0 all-time, including 3-3-0 record this season. The Heat are even in terms of scoring against the Central, scoring 14 and giving up 14 this season.
Stockton’s road record has taken a hit recently and it’s due in part to their last 10 games on the road, which has seen the team has go winless. That’s the longest in team history, longest current active streak in the AHL and is the third longest such streak this season in the AHL.
Stockton is 7-13-2 on the road this season and hasn’t picked up a win on the road since December 17 in San Diego. They’ll look to buck that trend tonight.