HEAT (12-3-1-2) vs. EAGLES (9-8-0-0)
6:05 p.m. | AHLTV | Spreaker | iHeartRadio| Fox Sports Radio 1280
2019-20 Season Series: 2-0-0-0
2019-20 Heat Road Record: 8-1-0-1
2019-20 Eagles Home Record: 3-5-0-0
Power Play – 21-for-73 (28.8%); 2nd
Penalty Kill – 74-for-85 (87.1%); 6th
Power Play – 8-for-71 (11.3%); 27th
Penalty Kill – 54-for-69 (78.3%); 23rd
2019-20 Leading Scorers
Points – Phillips (19)
Goals – Lomberg/Robinson/Froese (9)
Points – Dries (14)
Goals – Dries (8)
The Stockton Heat enter Friday’s game riding a four-game win streak, with victories in each of the first three stops of the season-long, five-game road trip. Stockton rattled off eight goals in Wednesday’s win over Ontario, a game in which 15 skaters and netminder Artyom Zagidulin all pitched in at least a point while building an 8-1 lead in the third and held on for an 8-5 victory at Toyota Arena. The offensive output, which included a five-goal first period, pushed the Heat past the four-goals-per-game mark as the top attack in the AHL comes into the weekend averaging 4.11 goals-per-contest. Stockton comes into the weekend set with a record of 8-1-0-1 on the road this season and will look to cap off the road trip on a high note at the Budweiser Events Center.
The Colorado Eagles have been treading water while maintaining playoff position in the Pacific Division, going 5-5 in the club’s last 10 games and alternating wins and losses in the last four. The Eagles have found it difficult to string together wins this season, posting back-to-back victories just three times in the early running. The Eagles have been hamstrung by lackluster special teams play – ranking 27th on the power play and 23rd on the penalty kill – as well as an average of less than three goals per game. Fast starts have been critical for Colorado in wins this season, the club coming in at 8-1 when leading after the first period, but the Eagles are winless (0-7) this season when behind after 20 minutes of play.
US VS. THEM
Stockton has owned the all-time series against the Eagles, going 8-1-0-1 against Colorado since the Eagles made the jump to the AHL from the ECHL prior to the 2018-19 season. Included in that record is an impressive 5-1 mark at the Budweiser Events Center for Stockton with an opening weekend sweep this season, a 5-2 win on opening night and 4-2 the following evening. Six members of the Heat left with at least two points following the team’s first trip to Loveland, the team led by Justin Kirkland with a goal and two assists in the pair of early season victories.
Stockton is the AHL’s best road team and shows no signs of slowing down, now at 8-1-0-1 on the year for a .900 point percentage coming into this weekend’s set of games. The Heat are undefeated in all road rinks outside of Tucson and have outscored opponents 16-9 on the current road trip with a hat trick of divisional wins over Bakersfield, San Diego and most recently Ontario. On the flip side, the Eagles have staggered out of the gates with a sub-.500 home record through eight games at the Budweiser Events Center this season, coming in at 3-5 on the year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Glenn Gawdin
Gawdin is tied with Tucson’s Lane Pederson for the longest active road point streaks in the AHL, both at eight games coming into this weekend’s action. Gawdin’s run, which stretches back to Oct. 18, includes five goals and five assists – most recently a first period marker in Wednesday’s win over Ontario.
Eagles – Michael Joly
Joly has found a way to make an impact against the Heat, recording a goal in each game this season between the teams in addition to last season’s output of five points (4g,1a) in six meetings. Joly is currently tied for sixth on the Eagles this season in scoring with seven points, third-best among active members of the club.