Arena: AT&T Center
Date: October 24, 2015
Time: 5:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker & iHeartRadio beginning at 4:45 p.m. PST
Leading Scorer: STOCKTON: LW Kenny Agostino (3GP, 0-4-4)
SAN ANTONIO: LW Andrew Aggozino (3GP, 4-3-7) & C Ben Street (3GP, 1-6-7)
The Stockton Heat finish the first half of their first 4-game road swing of the season as they enter rainy San Antonio, Texas to face the San Antonio Rampage for the first time this season.
The Heat are outscoring opponents 9-4 to this point in the season, but have only scored two goals in as many games, as the defense and goaltending has carried them since the opening night offensive outburst.
Head Coach Ryan Huska will look to right the ship offensively tonight against a solid offensive team in a hostile barn.
WHO TO WATCH
KILLING (PENALTIES) IS OUR BUSINESS AND BUSINESS IS GOOD
Yes it’s early, but there is no denying that the Heat penalty kill has been a huge asset thus far in the season.
Sporting a flawless 100-percent killing percentage, Coach Huska’s PK is on fire out of the gates with 10 trips onto the ice and 10 successful kills, the only team to have not surrendered a power play goal yet.
Hard work and compete level have been preached all summer and all throughout camp. Nowhere are those two aspects more evident with any team than on their penalty kill and the Heat have the best right now.
The Calgary organization is jammed full of guys that are willing to throw themselves in front pucks and get into the lanes with whatever’s necessary to make a play. That’s what killing penalties is all about and the Heat have themselves an entire roster of guys to choose from to help out when down a man.
Add to that a goaltender who has registered two shutouts already and scoring on the power play against Stockton becomes a pretty tall order.
SPEAKING OF THE CREASE
Big news rolled through the Calgary organization this week with the announcement that not only had veteran goaltender Karri Ramo been put on waivers, but that he had cleared and would be assigned to Stockton for the time being.
The news was interesting for various reasons, one of which certainly being that the Flames had apparently solved their issue with having three goalies.
The other reason, more directly pertinent to Stockton was that now the Heat had yet another more then capable goaltender at their disposal.
Ramo hasn’t been in the AHL since 2008-09 when he suited up for the Norfolk Admirals, the then AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that drafted the goalie back in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
In total, Ramo has suited up in 77 AHL games, all of which had previously been in the Lightning organization. After a spell in the Kontinental Hockey League (Russia), the goalie returned to the NHL with the Calgary Flames, suiting up in 77 games since 2013-14 including three this season. The goalie also appeared in seven playoff games for Calgary during last season’s postseason run.
Of course Ramo will bring leadership to the group in the net which includes Jon Gillies, who is just days removed from his second shutout of his rookie season, stopping 36 shots during the Heat’s 1-0 win over the Texas Stars.
A starter for tonight has yet to be announced, but one thing is for sure whoever gets between the pipes tonight. Scoring on the Heat will be a tough task for whomever is attacking.
Despite a tough start to the season, especially at home, the Calgary Flames put together a great come-from-behind effort vs. Detroit last night to come away with a 3-2 OT win.
Mark Giordano had two goals including the winner during the 3-on-3 overtime while Joe Colborne’s goal late in the third tied things up.
The Flames head on the road now with the next game seeing the Flames take on the New York Rangers on Sunday.
In addition to the NHL club winning, the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Adirondack Thunder won the first of a three-in-three last night in a 5-4 OT win over the Brampton Beast. The Thunder will take on the Manchester Monarchs in a home-and-home that opens up tonight in Glens Falls, New York.
Jon Gillies’ 2 shutouts lead all rookie goaltenders and are tied for best in the league with Ontario Reign netminder Peter Budaj.
Both Gillies and Budaj have made three appearances for their respective teams, with Gillies facing about 27 shots per night and Budaj facing just under 20 a night.
In case you’re not aware of whom Peter Budaj is, he’s played 296 games in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens. He’s registered 124 wins and has played over 16,000 minutes in the best league in the world.
Obviously it’s extremely early and Gillies is just a rookie, but he is already showing signs of being mature beyond his years with his crease presence and is showing that he absolutely belongs at this level.
Having comparable stats to a guy like Budaj when you’re only 21-years-old is a solid start to a pro career for Gillies.