STOCKTON HEAT (9-0-2-0) at ONTARIO REIGN (10-1-0-1)
3:00 p.m. PST | Broadcast: AHLTV, Spreaker
Goals – Adam Ruzicka (9)
Points – Adam Ruzicka (15)
Goals – Martin Frk (9)
Points – Martin Frk (20)
PP – 10-for-42, 23.8% (3rd)/PK – 39-for-46, 84.8% (8th)
PP – 15-for-55, 27.3% (1st)/PK – 38-for-52, 73.1% (31st)
1. HEAT INDEX
It feels like ages since the Stockton Heat last hit the ice after a week-long layoff leading into Sunday’s matinee against the Ontario Reign. The Sunday-Monday double-header promises to be worth the wait as the top two teams in the Pacific Division face off for the first two times on the year. The Heat bring the AHL’s second-longest active point streak into the showdown, sitting at 11 games to tie Stockton’s all-time record, trailing only the undefeated Utica Comets. The Heat enter the game 4-0-0-0 on the road this season and have beaten every divisional foe this year except for the Reign, who they have not yet played.
2. THIS, THAT, THE OTHER
THIS… They’ve done it all together, from entering the league to earning all-star recognition to making NHL debuts in the same campaign. Now, Glenn Gawdin and Matthew Phillips have a shot at history in today’s game. Gawdin will become the Heat’s all-time leading scorer with his next point, currently tied with Ryan Lomberg at 109. Phillips, meanwhile, will tie Andrew Mangiapane with 104 career points the next time he factors into a Heat goal. THAT… Ontario is fueled by its power play, with the top-ranked man-advantage in the AHL. The Reign boast the top-ranked attack in the league thanks to the power play production, which has pitched in 15 of the club’s 52 goals through 12 games, accounting for 28.8-percent of the team’s total scoring. The Heat have killed 39 of 46 opponent power play opportunities thus far this season. THE OTHER… The 11-game point streak Stockton rides may match the longest in team history, but it’s been a truly unprecedented sprint for the Flames’ farm club. Last time Stockton pulled the trick was at the end of the 2016-17 regular season, a stretch in which the Heat went 7-0-3-1 compared to the current 9-0-2-0. The Heat are outscoring opponents 39-24 (plus-15) in the current run while that differential was 40-32 (plus-8) in 2016-17.
3. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Jakob Pelletier
The rookie is riding the longest active point streak for Stockton at four games, with five points and three goals in that span. He’s shown a knack for coming through in the clutch as well, tied for the AHL lead with three game-winning goals.
Reign – Martin Frk
The owner of the fastest recorded slap shot is also the leader of the Reign on the offensive end with nine goals and 20 points on the year. Frk has six goals in his last six games played.
4. MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Glenn Gawdin will take sole possession of Stockton’s all-time points leaderboard with his next point
- Matthew Phillips is one point shy of Andrew Mangiapane’s career AHL output (104 points)
- Kevin Gravel is one goal shy of 20 for his AHL career
“It’s huge for us. We consider them a premier hockey team in our league, which they are. It’s an opportunity to see where we’re at. We want to focus on what we do well, not get lost on that. If you don’t do what you do well as a team and as an individual, you won’t have much success in this business. That’s a focus for us this week, is to hone in on our strengths, correct what we feel are some weaknesses in our team game and make sure we’re ready to go out and compete. We want to go there and try to win some hockey games.” – Mitch Love on the measuring stick series against Ontario