HEAT (26-13-3-3) vs. ROADRUNNERS (30-15-1-1)
6:00 p.m. PST | AHLTV | Spreaker | iHeartRadio
2019-20 Season Series: 0-2-1-1
2019-20 Heat Home Record: 11-7-3-1
2019-20 Roadrunners Road Record: 16-8-0-0
Power Play – 42-for-66 (25.3%); 2nd
Penalty Kill – 161-for-185 (87.0%); 2nd
Power Play – 43-for-231 (18.6%); 14th
Penalty Kill – 143-for-178 (80.3%); 21st
2019-20 Leading Scorers
Points – Quine (43)
Goals – Froese (18)
Points – Burke (49)
Goals – Burke (21)
Stockton looks to get back on track following a Friday night setback to the Ontario Reign, a game in which the Heat gave up a goal in the opening minute and fell behind 4-1 in the second period before a comeback bid fell short. The Heat were paced on the night by rookie forwards Eetu Tuulola and Adam Ruzicka with a goal and an assist each, and veteran forwards Alan Quine and Byron Froese each extended their respective point streaks to eight games. Stockton did not take a penalty in the game, the first time all season that the Heat went without shorthanded time. Tonight’s game is the second of a three-games-in-four-days sprint over the holiday weekend, with Monday’s matinee against the San Diego Gulls closing out the brief homestand.
Tucson was idle Friday but limps into tonight’s game 3-6-0-1 in the club’s last 10 games, the Roadrunners trying to maintain a four-point cushion for the top spot in the Pacific Division. The Roadrunners have won two of their last three following a six-game skid and are set to play in their sixth of seven consecutive road dates with Saturday’s game. Last time out, the Roadrunners earned a split in a two-game set with the Colorado Eagles thanks to a 5-2 win Wednesday, led by multi-point efforts from Jordan Gross (1g,1a), Barrett Hayton (2a), Kyle Capobianco (1g,1a), Michael Bunting (1g,1a) and Brayden Burke (1g,1a). Ivan Prosvetov, who has played between the pipes for Tucson in six of the club’s last seven, made 31 stops on 33 shots faced in the game.
US VS. THEM
Tucson has had the upper hand with wins in all four meetings this season, the Heat salvaging a point in two of those contests. The Roadrunners have gotten the better of Stockton since the start of the all-time series, coming into tonight’s game 19-8-1-0 against Stockton with a record of 11-2-1-0 at Stockton Arena. This year’s series has been tighter than the record would suggest, though, with Tucson earning a trio of one-goal wins – two going past regulation – and the teams have not met since November. Glenn Gawdin paces Stockton’s roster with six points (2g,4a) against Tucson while Michael Bunting (1g,5a) is at the top of Tucson’s group against Stockton.
The kids are alright. Stockton’s tandem of freshman forwards Eetu Tuulola and Adam Ruzicka each recorded multi-point games with a goal and an assist on Friday – Tuulola’s first multi-point effort since Stockton’s home opener on October 12 and Ruzicka’s third such burst of the season. Ruzicka is on a four-game scoring run with a goal and four helpers over that span, while Tuulola’s lamp-lighter was his first since the calendar flipped to 2020. The depth scoring is an added bonus to a Stockton team whose veterans have bared the brunt of the scoring load of late with Quine, Froese and Austin Czarnik each pitching in as the Heat enter the playoff push.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Alan Quine
Quine rides an eight-game point streak into tonight’s game and netted the Heat’s third goal in Friday’s contest. The red-hot forward is 10th in the AHL and second in the Pacific Division in scoring with his current run reaching 12 points (5g,7a) in eight games.
Roadrunners – Brayden Burke
Burke is the only skater in the Pacific Division with more points on the year than Quine and he comes into tonight’s contest riding a nine-game point streak, with four goals and nine assists in that span. All four of Burke’s goals over his current run have come in the last three games, all multi-point efforts.