HEAT (18-6-2-3) vs. BARRACUDA (10-16-0-2)
5:00 p.m. | AHLTV | Spreaker | iHeartRadio | Fox Sports AM 1280
2019-20 Season Series: 5-0-0-0
2019-20 Heat Home Record: 6-3-2-1
2019-20 San Jose Road Record: 4-6-0-2
Power Play – 30-for-113 (26.5%); T-1st
Penalty Kill – 111-for-129 (86.0%); 4th
Power Play – 21-for-109 (19.3%); 13th
Penalty Kill – 80-for-105 (76.2%); 31st
2019-20 Leading Scorers
Points – Gawdin (31)
Goals – Phillips (14)
Points – Letunov (23)
Goals – Blichfeld (11)
The Heat are back home to close out the 2019 portion of the schedule with their sixth matchup of the season against San Jose. The Heat suffered their first regulation loss since December 4th on Saturday night, falling 4-3 to the Bakersfield Condors. Stockton earned three of a possible six points on their three-game road trip, including the 8-2 win in San Jose following the Christmas break. Tonight marks the start of a four-game homestand, tied for their longest home stretch of the season. Dating back to December 7th, Stockton has earned points in three straight home games, posting a 2-0-1-0 record.
San Jose holds the worst record in the AHL following two straight regulation losses over the weekend to Stockton and Bakersfield. The top affiliate of the San Jose Sharks has just 22 points in 28 games for a .393 win percentage. Following San Jose’s ugly 8-1 loss to Stockton on Friday afternoon, they followed it up with another poor defensive showing, losing 7-5. San Jose allowed 15 goals over the weekend on just 37 shots, posting a .594 save percentage since the Christmas break.
US VS. THEM
Stockton has dominated the season series, earning four straight regulation victories, including two on Stockton Arena ice. The Heat have outscored San Jose 22-9 in the first five games. Jon Gillies has played three of his best games this season against San Jose, posting a 1.62 goals against average and .953 save percentage to go along with three victories. Stockton’s special teams has dominated San Jose through five games, scoring five power play goals on 15 opportunities and killing off 22 of San Jose’s 24 power plays. The five wins in the season series ties the most victories in a season series against San Jose.
There is no place like Stockton Arena for the Heat penalty kill this season. The Heat carry the league’s best home penalty kill coming into tonight at 90.4%, killing off 47 of 52 power plays. The stingy penalty kill has allowed just one power play goal over the last seven games, holding the visiting team to just one power play goal over the last 26 opportunities.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heat – Austin Czarnik
Since clearing waivers on December 19 all Austin Czarnik has done is score goals. He comes into tonight’s game with points in five straight games and goals in four straight. Czarnik’s four-game goal streak is the longest current streak in the AHL and it is the first time in his impressive AHL career he has goals in four straight games. Through six games with Stockton, Czarnik has four goals and eight points with an impressive plus-5 rating.
Barracuda – Noah Gregor
The rookie forward is in the AHL for his third stint this season with the Barracuda. The former fourth round pick of San Jose back in 2016 has played in 18 games this season for the Sharks, scoring one goal. Gregor notched his first two goal performance of his pro career in Sunday’s 7-5 loss to Bakersfield. His scoring touch has given San Jose a needed bump on their man advantage; Gregor has his last three goals on the power play.