Matchup: Stockton Heat (28-14-4-3; 2nd Pacific) at Tucson Roadrunners (31-16-1-2; 1st Pacific)
Arena: Tucson Convention Center | Tucson, Arizona
Date: Saturday, February 22, 2020
Time: 6:05 p.m. PST
Broadcast: Watch tonight’s game on AHLTV or hear Stockton’s radio call on Spreaker and iHeartRadio.
Join the Conversation: For live, in-game tweets, follow the Heat on Twitter. Join the conversation by replying to our updates or using the hashtag #STKvsTUC.
Chase Chevrolet Big Moment of the Game: Stay tuned on Twitter following the game for a chance to enter to win a puck signed by Austin Czarnik with our Chase Chevrolet Big Moment of the Game selection!
The Heat look to earn a weekend split against the Tucson Roadrunners with a Saturday night rematch. Stockton earned a point on Friday, erasing an early deficit en route to a 3-2 overtime loss against the Roadrunners.
Goals in the game for the visiting team came from Corey Schueneman and Martin Pospisil, while Beau Bennett scored a pair in regulation for Tucson before Michael Bunting netted the winner. Jon Gillies made 35 saves in the game. Stockton remains within striking distance of first place, the Heat two points back of first-place Tucson following Friday’s result.
The penalty kill got plenty of action in Friday’s game, having to defend nine Tucson power plays while limiting the Roadrunners to just 1-for-9 on the man-advantage. The second period featured more than 10 minutes of game time down a skater, and the unit came up clutch in preserving a tie through 40 minutes. Stockton has killed off 27 of its opponents’ last 28 power play opportunities over the last six games and has limited Tucson to just 5-for-37 on the man-advantage in the season series.
Martin Pospisil recorded a pair of firsts in Friday’s game with his first pro goal and his first multi-point game in the AHL. Pospisil’s marker came in the second period on the power play, finding a loose puck in the blue paint and pushing it past the goal line. The goal came a period after he notched an assist on Corey Schueneman’s game-tying goal in the opening frame. After going without a point in his first eight pro games, Pospisil has five points (1g,4a) in his last 12 contests.
Corey Schueneman has points in each of the last three games for the Heat, netting a pair of goals and adding an assist in that span. Schueneman has played his way into an increased role along with call-ups for Brandon Davidson and Alexander Yelesin to Calgary, and he has totaled six points in Stockton’s last eight games with a pair of three-game scoring streaks.
A packed February schedule may not have been busy enough for the Heat, who have played beyond regulation in four of their last six games – winning three of those contests. Friday’s game was also just the latest in a series of tightly-contested games with Tucson, now with four overtime or shootout games and five one-goal contests through six meetings.
FIRST GOAL FIRST
Both Stockton and Tucson have excelled on the year when scoring first, the Heat owning a record of 19-3-2-2 and the Roadrunners 19-4-1-0. The first goal has been critical thus far in the season series, as the team that scores first has gone 5-0-0-1 through six games between the Pacific Division clubs.