Arena: Bojangles Coliseum
Date: February 10, 2016
Time: 4:15 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker & iHeartRadio beginning at 4:00 p.m. PST
LEADING SCORER: STOCKTON: F Mark Jankowski (38GP, 14-16-30)
CHARLOTTE: F Andrew Poturalski (46GP, 9-20-29)
Stockton takes on the Charlotte Checkers on back-to-back nights in North Carolina, the farthest east the Heat have ever been. Stockton is 2-0 vs. Charlotte with both wins coming at Stockton Arena by a combined 7-3 score. Those two wins for Stockton came during a stretch of seven games without a win for the Checkers.
However, the Checkers have now won four of their last six games.
LAST TIME VS. CHARLOTTE
Sergey Tolchinsky got the scoring started for the visitors but Andrew Mangiapane, Linden Vey and Matt Frattin scored three unanswered goals to earn the 3-1 win. David Rittich stopped 27 of 28 shots while the Heat were held to a season-low 15 shots on goal, with Alex Nedeljkovic stopping 12 of 15.
WHO TO WATCH
We’ll go with Hunter Shinkaruk for our who to watch tonight as the winger has assists in his last two games.
While scoring has been tough to come by, the last two games has seen the Heat get goals from the line of Shinkaruk, Mark Jankowski and Morgan Klimchuk, and while Shinkaruk hasn’t scored a goal, he had set up both Klimchuk’s goal a week ago today and Jankowski’s goal last Saturday.
Shinkaruk has gone 12 games without scoring a goal so we think there is one in that stick tonight. For Hunter, he has scored just 7 goals in 25 games this season and will have to pick up the pace to try and surpass his totals from his first two seasons. The forward recorded 16 goals during his rookie season in Utica and had 27 goals last season for both Utica and Stockton.
NEARING & SURPASSING MILESTONES
While he’s still trying to snap a streak of 19 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 will also be playing in his 100th career AHL game the next time he’s on the ice.
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 12 games in 2017, the Heat power play has scored just once back on January 20 in 40 opportunities.
In two games against the Checkers, Stockton is 1 for 7 on the power play and has not allowed the Checkers to score with an extra man in 13 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.
The Heat have played 13 games against the Central Division, going 8-5-0 all-time, including a 3-2-0 record this season. The Heat have outscored the Central 12-8 this season, are 6.67% on the power play and 95.7% on the penalty kill.