STOCKTON HEAT (21-6-2-1) vs TUCSON ROADRUNNERS (12-12-2-1)
7:00 p.m. PST | Broadcast: AHLTV, Spreaker
Goals – Matthew Phillips (12)
Points – Jakob Pelletier (31)
Goals – Matias Maccelli (9)
Points – Matias Maccelli (26)
PP – 24-for-124, 19.4% (10th)/PK – 109-for-122, 89.3% (1st)
PP – 21-for-113, 18.6% (16th)/PK – 92-for-111, 82.9% (10th)
1. HEAT INDEX
It’s been a long road back to Stockton Arena, with the Heat playing six games in five cities in an 11-day span, and now the Heat open a five-game home stand with a Saturday night fight against the Tucson Roadrunners. Stockton enters the game off a 5-2 setback against the Henderson Silver Knights and will look to improve to 9-0-0-0 on the year following losses this season should they win on Saturday.
2. THIS, THAT, THE OTHER
THIS… Greg Moro has quietly been assembling a productive start to his season in a 200-foot game, the blue-liner offering up a point-per-game pace on the offensive end with five points in five games, points in four of five. The second-year blue-liner is a plus-2 with two penalty minutes, and he fired a season-high five shots on goal in Stockton’s Wednesday game at Henderson. THAT… If shot volume is the name of the game, the captain has been leading the way for Stockton of late. Byron Froese has peppered opposing netminders with 16 shots on goal over the last two contests, setting new season-high totals in consecutive games with seven at Ontario and nine at Henderson. THE OTHER… A change of scenery may be just what the Heat need,, with Stockton owning the AHL’s best point percentage on home ice with a gaudy .857, 11-1-2-0 on home ice. The Heat, as strong as they’ve been, are coming off a relatively-adverse (by team standards) 3-3-0-0 road trip, a testament to the team’s hot start to the season.
3. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Matthew Phillips
With the changes to Stockton’s lineup to injury and illness, Phillips has remained a constant and has stepped up his play on the offensive end with a four-game scoring streak and goals in three of those contests. Phillips has clicked at a point-per-game pace against Tucson this season with three goals and three assists in six contests.
Roadrunners – Hudson Fasching
Fasching has gone 1-3-4 in six games against Stockton this season, scoreless in the Heat’s 5-2 win over the Roadrunners in the teams’ last meeting. He’ll look to lead a Roadrunner rebound after Tucson was blanked by San Jose on Friday.
4. MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Kevin Gravel is one goal shy of 20 in his AHL career.
- Matthew Phillips is three goals shy of 50 in his AHL career.
“We haven’t really dealt with a ton of adversity as a group in terms of wins and losses to this point. It’s been good for our guys to see. Again, we understand now, each and every night no matter who we play, we’ll get the best effort possible from our opponent. If you’re not in tune with what we need to do as a team, in terms of the way we need to play the game to be successful, you’re not going to have success as a hockey club. Our guys are starting to figure that out. There’s a few games we haven’t been at our best in this last stretch, but hopefully (Sunday’s) come-from-behind win gives us some confidence and getting back and being more consistent in our team play.” – Mitch Love on Stockton’s recent play