STOCKTON HEAT (8-0-1-0) vs. HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS (5-4-1-0)
7:00 p.m. PST | Broadcast: AHLTV, Spreaker, Fox Sports Stockton 1280
Goals – Adam Ruzicka (7)
Points – Adam Ruzicka (12)
Goals – Pavel Dorofeyev/Sven Bartschi (4)
Points – Pavel Dorofeyev/Sven Bartschi (7)
PP – 7-for-32, 21.9% (11th)/PK – 31-for-37, 83.8% (8th)
PP – 10-for-46, 21.7% (12th)/PK – 41-for-51, 80.4% (18th)
1. HEAT INDEX
‘If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.’ That’s the quote that hangs on the home locker room door at Stockton Arena, and tonight the Heat have a chance to knock off the first of the team’s never-have-I-evers. A win Friday would be uncharted territory for the Heat, being the ninth consecutive victory if Stockton can top the visiting Henderson Silver Knights. A stretch of excellent hockey has led to this home weekend, with the Heat outscoring opponents 33-17 over the last eight and needing overtime just once as they’ve dispatched divisional foe after divisional foe.
2. THIS, THAT, THE OTHER
THIS… Hay there, new nay-bors. The Heat and Silver Knights meet for the first time ever Friday, with eight scheduled bouts between the clubs on the season. There is one Stockton connection on the Silver Knights’ roster in forward Alan Quine, who sits sixth in the all-time scoring records with the Heat with 98 points in a Stockton sweater, surpassed by Glenn Gawdin and Matthew Phillips in the early days of the 2021-22 season. THAT… Speaking of Gawdin, he remains an example of production and consistency. The center has at least a point in every game this season with the Heat and is up to nine points (1g, 8a) on the year. Gawdin is now only two points away from tying Ryan Lomberg for the all-time Heat scoring record at 109 points, and at north of a point-per-game clip, it’s conceivable he could be on top come Sunday. THE OTHER… It was a forgettable night for Connor Zary on Wednesday, the centerman going 0-0-0, minus-3 in his season debut. It was his first competitive action since suffering a lower body injury while blocking a shot in a Flames Prospects vs. Oilers Prospects game in September, so it was more about shaking off the rust than anything for the 2020 first round pick. Last season, he went scoreless in his first two before rattling off a five-game scoring streak.
3. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Jakob Pelletier
Scoring with both quality and quantity, Pelletier is up to second on the roster with 11 points on the year and leads the AHL with three game-winning goals, including the OT walk-off on Wednesday.
Silver Knights – Sven Bartschi
A Flames first round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Bartschi will face the Flames’ farm club for the first time. He skated in three seasons with the Flames’ development squad, two years with the Abbotsford Heat and one year with the Adirondack Flames. Bartschi had a three-game point streak snapped in Henderson’s last game.
4. MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Adam Ruzicka is two goals away from 30 in his AHL career
- Adam Werner will play in his 50th AHL game
- Adam Werner is one win away from 30 in his AHL career
- Glenn Gawdin is two points behind Ryan Lomberg for the Heat all-time career scoring record of 109 points
“Guys are really settling into roles and understanding how they can individually help the team and for us as a whole, how we need to play together and have success. Everything’s looking good but we’re looking to build.” – Matthew Phillips on the Heat gelling as a team