Arena: SAP Center
Date: December 6, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker and iHeartRadio at 6:45 p.m. PST
LEADING SCORER: STOCKTON: LW Andrew Mangiapane (20GP 9-13-22)
SAN JOSE: LW Rudolfs Balcers (18GP 2-12-14)
After a 6-4-0-0 November, the Stockton Heat opened up December with a point and will look to pick up their first win of the season against their other big rival, the San Jose Barracuda, tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Having played just two games in the 12-game season series, the Barracuda have picked up where they’ve left off, continuing to be the thorn in the side of the Stockton Heat with two wins over the club this season. Stockton is just 8-15-3-0 all-time against the Barracuda.
LAST TIME VS. SAN JOSE
Despite Stockton’s top line of Andrew Mangiapane, Garnet Hathaway and Mark Jankowski scoring first and recording multi-point games in the last meeting between the Heat and Barracuda back on October 18, it’d be the Barracuda who’d use three, third-period goals, which powered San Jose to a 5-2 win over the Heat at the SAP Center.
That game was a schedule change as the October 18 game was originally supposed to be played on February 28.
WHO TO WATCH
We got a good feeling about defenseman Oliver Kylington tonight as he’ll look to get back on the scoresheet and try and keep pace with fellow blueliners Tyler Wotherspoon and Rasmus Andersson who lead the Heat defenders with 12 points on the season.
Kylington is just 2 points away from recording his 50th AHL point, and the defender still is only 20-years-old! He ended up picking up an assist during the morning game in Bakersfield last week, which snapped a stretch of four games where the defender was held off the scoresheet.
While the points slowed for Oliver in November (just 2 assists in 10 games), his October was terrific, posting a goal and 6 assists in 9 games played. Last year, Oliver had 2 goals and 3 assists in 9 games during December before heading overseas to join Team Sweden in the World Junior Championship.
Kylington has suited up in 20 career games against the Barracuda in the regular season, but has only picked up a single point (an assist). As an 18-year-old in 2015-16, Kylington was a minus-10 in eight games against the Barracuda, but a lot has changed and matured in Oliver’s game since then, having been a plus-5 in his last 12 games against the Barracuda during the regular season.
We know Oliver has found a lot of success in his defensive game this season, and tonight is the night we think Oliver gets back on the scoresheet, which will help kickstart a successful individual month of December!
HEAT BLUELINERS CONTRIBUTE IN COMEBACK
With the Heat down a pair of goals heading into the third period last Friday, Tyler Wotherspoon provided the lifeline the Heat needed to get back in the game, scoring his second goal of the season to pull the Heat within one. Just 13 seconds later, Wotherspoon found Joseph Cramarossa for the game tying goal, the fastest two goals ever scored by the Stockton Heat in team history, shaving off 2 seconds from the Heat’s previous record of 15 seconds from Teddy Bear Toss on January 21, 2016.
While Bakersfield captured the lead again, it’d be fellow defenseman Rasmus Andersson who’d provide the primary helper on Morgan Klimchuk’s game tying goal in the third period. Both Wotherspoon and Andersson are tied for the team lead in points from the blueline (2-10-12) and also rank tied for 15th among AHL defenders.
FIRST & THIRD
The Stockton Heat outscore opponents in first and third periods this season with a plus-10 margin in both periods, despite being outshot in the first by 31 shots and by 2 shots in the third. The Heat outshoot opponents in second periods by 11 this season but are minus-4 in the goal differential during the second periods.
ON THE ROAD
The Heat conclude a six-game road swing tonight in San Jose, having gone 2-2-0-1 through the first five games. The club has now played 10 of 34 road games on the season, having gone 5-3-0-2. Through the first 10 road games of the year last season, the Heat were 5-5-0-0 but ended the season with a 13-17-3-1 record away from Stockton Arena.
The Heat are 2-8-3-0 all-time against San Jose at the SAP Center, winning on Dec. 8, 2016 4-0 and again 7-4 on March 17, 2017.
Last Sunday, San Jose Barracuda Head Coach Roy Sommer won his 700th AHL game, becoming the first coach in the American Hockey League’s 82 seasons to reach the 700 win milestone with the Barracuda’s win over the Condors.
Sommer has been the head coach of the San Jose Sharks top affiliate for the last 20 seasons, including this season.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Heat return home this Saturday against the Tucson Roadrunners during Sing 4 Santa Night, where the first 1,000 fans will also receive a Mark Jankowski bobblehead! Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be in the building to spread the holiday cheer and take photos with all the boys and girls over the course of the evening, which will actually kick off at 4:00 p.m. with our FREE to attend Heat Zone Pregame Party featuring food trucks, kid’s zone, live music and a beergarden.
Fans will have a chance to win a Heat game worn jersey off a player’s back on Saturday, and, fans will be able to meet the Heat after the game as the team exits the Arena from the North Concourse, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans after the game!
We’ll also be collecting new toys during our Toy Drive benefitting the United Way of San Joaquin County. Bring in a new toy to the Stockton Arena Ticket Office on December 9 and receive a FREE ticket to the game against the Tucson Roadrunners. Learn more about all the fun things going on this Saturday by reading this week’s Track’s Ahead presented by Amtrak!
Afterwards, the Heat head back out on the road for a season-long, seven-game road swing before returning home for our Kid’s New Year’s Eve Celebration against the Bakersfield Condors on Sunday, December 31 at 5:00 p.m.
HEAT HOLIDAY PACKS ON SALE NOW
Give the gift of Stockton Heat Hockey this Holiday Season with Heat Holiday Packs!
Join Lombo’s Naughty List which includes six (6) vouchers and an autographed Ryan Lomberg puck for $99, get Klimmer’s Holiday Hat Trick featuring a pair of tickets to Teddy Bear Toss (1/20), Safety Night (2/17) & Star Wars Night (3/3) and a Heat Winter Beanie for just $112, or get Mangiapane’s Gingerbread Special, featuring eight (8) vouchers and a special edition Andrew “Eat (Ginger) Bread” t-shirt starting at $125!
Fans can also purchase our New Year’s Eve Pack, which features a pair of tickets to the game on Sunday, December 31 at 5:00 p.m. in either Lower Premium or Upper Premium/Lower End Zone and receive four (4) undated vouchers good for any future Heat home game at Stockton Arena, two (2) Heat hats, two (2) passes to skate at Modesto On Ice and two (2) New Year’s Eve Party Items starting at just $75!