STOCKTON HEAT (0-1-0-0) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (3-2-0-0)
6 p.m. MST | 5 p.m. PST | BROADCAST: AHLTV, Spreaker
Points – Luke Philp/Martin Pospisil/Colton Beck (1)
Goals – Luke Philp (1)
Points – Tyler Gaudet (6)
Goals – Tyler Gaudet/Calle Rosen (3)
PP – 1-for-2, 50.0% (1st)/PK – 0-for-2, 0.0% (28th)
PP – 4-for-13, 30.8% (3rd)/PK – 6-for-7, 85.7% (7th)
1. HEAT INDEX
Sunday was the start of the season for Stockton, but perhaps it’s Tuesday that the team can get going. The season opener was more an exercise of a team finding its footing, the Heat making up for lost time and a 348-day layoff against a Toronto Marlies club with four games already to its record at the Saddledome. The result, 7-1 for the visiting team.
“We’ll reflect on (Sunday’s game) for sure, in good and bad ways,” said Cail MacLean following the opening day setback. “I thought there were some excellent things in the beginning of the game, in the first period and in the first half of the game. Then as the game got out of reach I thought other things crept in on the negative side that we need to grow from.”
While the details may still have some ironing out to do in game two, there’s little doubt a Heat club with its game legs under it should be poised to challenge a Marlies Club that sits in second through five games of its own.
2. THIS, THAT, THE OTHER
THIS… Last October, Heat alternate captain Zac Leslie declared that Stockton would not allow itself to make back-to-back losses a habit. The result in the season was a 14-6-1-2 record after losses of any kind but an even better 11-4-1-0 following regulation losses. We’ll see if that runs into this club’s DNA as well this evening. THAT… Luke Philp sure knows how to fill the net. The second-year forward popped his 20th pro goal in the season opener, coming in his 53rd game. The scoring all comes following a drought of 10 games at the start of his Heat tenure. Philp’s lamp-lighter Sunday was the first power play goal conceded by the Marlies this season. THE OTHER… With Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom dealing with an upper-body ailment, Artyom Zagidulin dressed for his first NHL game last night while backing up Stockton alumnus David Rittich. ‘Big Save Dave’ posted Calgary’s first-ever shutout in Toronto, turning away all 34 pucks that came his way.
3. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Matthew Phillips
The small-in-stature but big-in-scoring forward was held off the score sheet in the first game, though he was able to flash his skills while setting up multiple scoring chances for the home team. Wearing an ‘A’ for the Heat this season, Phillips will look to get on the board in game two.
Marlies – Kenny Agostino
Agostino still owns the Heat’s team record with 57 points in a season, set in Stockton’s first season. The veteran forward is off to a solid start to the season, clicking at a point-per-game through the first five, and scored a goal in Sunday’s meeting.
4. MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Alex Petrovic will be playing in his 200th-career AHL game
- Justin Kirkland is three points away from 100 in the AHL
- Matthew Phillips is three points away from 75 in the AHL
“Energy was no problem for anybody, we were all pretty excited and more than ready to get into a game. Personally I thought I got my touches going better as the game went on, and I think that’s to be expected. I think the whole team would probably say the same thing. We came out really strong, for a first game like that that’s all you can ask for is the effort that we had.” – Matthew Phillips on the season opener