STOCKTON HEAT (12-2-2-0) vs SAN DIEGO GULLS (8-7-1-0)
6:00 p.m. PST | Broadcast: AHLTV, Spreaker
Goals – Adam Ruzicka (10)
Points – Jakob Pelletier (18)
Goals – Jacob Perreault (7)
Points – Jacob Perreault (15)
PP – 14-for-66, 21.2% (8th)/PK – 61-for-70, 87.1% (t-2nd)
PP – 15-for-64, 23.4% (3rd)/PK – 54-for-67, 80.6% (18th)
1. HEAT INDEX
Low and slow, like barbeque, gets the job done. The Heat started slow on Friday, notching one shot on goal in the first period, but that shot found its way to the back of the net for an edge through one period. Stockton then poured it on in the second, dominating with a 21-3 shots-on-goal differential and adding a pair to the cushion, goals from Connor Zary and the first of two on the night for Connor Mackey, for a three-goal lead after two. Each team lit the lamp on the man-advantage in the third for a 4-1 win for the Heat, Stockton’s second on the year over San Diego. Tonight, the Heat look for their first two-game sweep of a team since defeating Abbotsford on back-to-back nights the first weekend of November.
2. THIS, THAT, THE OTHER
THIS… The assignment was simple for Juuso Valimaki, as Flames head coach Darryl Sutter put it. “He’s a young guy, he’s gotta play. Just very clear. He’s gotta play lots.” The blue-liner saw a heavy workload Friday, seeing nearly 20 minutes of ice time including shifts on both the power play and penalty kill. He was rewarded with an assist in the third period. THAT… The monkey’s off the back for defenseman Connor Mackey, who had his first professional two-goal night in Friday’s win with scores on both the power play and penalty kill. He’s the first Heat player to score on both the power play and penalty kill for the Heat since Curtis Lazar on December 8, 2018 a 3-2 win over the Manitoba Moose. THE OTHER… Four times the Heat have lost this year, and now four times they have responded with a win. Dustin Wolf has minded the net in all four of those contests and boasts gaudy marks of a 1.75 Goals Against Average and .943 Save Percentage.
3. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Andy Welinski
Facing off against his former team and featured on the power play, Andy Welinski looks to figure into the scoring Saturday. He was held without a point in six power play chances Friday, a night where the Heat were limited to 1-for-6 on the man-advantage. The defenseman is tied for the team lead with six power play points on the year, all assists.
Gulls – Jacob Perreault
The Gulls’ leading scorer was held quiet with a minus-2 on Friday, and he’ll look to bounce back Saturday against the Heat. His next point will put an end to a five-game scoreless skid that he brings into the contest.
4. MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Kevin Gravel is one goal shy of 20 in his AHL career.
“It was a different game, the ice wasn’t great, a lot of penalties. The rhythm to 5-on-5 hockey was tough because of so much special teams play. Overall I think we did a good job on the power play, a lot of shots. The PK was really good today. Overall, I’m pretty happy to get a win. It always feels good to get a win.” – Juuso Valimaki on his first game with the Heat this season