Raley Field in West Sacramento, Calif. – On a cold California night with the backdrop of downtown Sacramento, and 9,357 fans cheering for the Stockton Heat, the Heat defeated the Bakersfield Condors 3-2 in the first-ever AHL outdoor game on the west coast. Raley field, home of the Sacramento River Cats Triple-A baseball team, played host, as the Heat and Condors did battle in a cold, but dry, night in Northern California. Heat forwards Derek Grant and Drew Shore scored a goal apiece, while Oliver Kylington earned first star honors with the go-ahead goal early in the third. Bakersfield’s Kyle Platzer made it difficult on the Heat, scoring two goals of his own, but goaltender Joni Ortio and company stalled the Condors offensive push down the stretch and came out of the game with the win. The Stockton Heat will now have to avoid a proverbial “hangover” from the spectacle that was the outdoor game experience and move on to an afternoon game Sunday against the San Jose Barracuda.
WATCH THE GAME ON THE NHL NETWORK AT 3 P.M. EASTERN, 12 P.M. PACIFIC
Bakersfield goal: F Kyle Platzer (3) centering pass from the nearside corner ricochets off of a defender in front of the crease and through the goaltender’s five hole (Chase, Ford assists), 5:12
Shots: STK – 18 | BAK – 11
HEAT GOAL: F Derek Grant (10) shot from the farside faceoff dot makes its way through traffic in front of the netminder and into the net (Agostino, Poirier assists), 11:35 (PP)
Shots: STK – 12 | BAK – 8
HEAT GOAL: D Oliver Kylington (4) shot from the slot goes 5-hole past the goaltender after skating through two Condors defenders on the half-wall (Arnold, Nakladal assists), 7:26
HEAT GOAL: F Drew Shore (3) wrist shot from the high slot makes its way through traffic and past the goaltender (unassisted), 10:59
Bakersfield goal: F Kyle Platzer (4) wrist shot through traffic goes past screen and into the net (Miller, Hamilton assists), 16:22 (PP)
Shots: STK – 8 | BAK – 16
W: Joni Ortio (35 shots, 33 saves)
L: Ben Scrivens (38 shots, 35 saves)
Three Stars: 1- Oliver Kylington (1 goal) 2- Derek Grant (1 goal) 3- Joni Ortio (35 shots, 33 saves)
Final Shots: STK – 38 | BAK – 35
Power Plays: STK – 1/5 | BAK – 1/5
Drew Shore (1 goal) nets the game-winner in the first ever AHL outdoor game on the west coast
Derek Grant (1 goal) now has at least one goal in back-to-back games (3 goals)
Kenny Agostino and Emile Poirier both now have at least one assist in back-to-back games
It was the largest crowd of the season to attend a Stockton Heat game (9,357 fans in attendance)
The Heat won just their second game when surrendering the first goal and first at “home”
There were 719 days between the last AHL Outdoor game between Grand Rapids and Toronto at Comerica Park on December 30, 2013
“I got the puck at the boards and I felt like I got a lot of time and got some space in the slot and made a pretty decent shot between his legs and it went in. It was pretty good feeling.” – Oliver Kylington on his goal that earned him first star honors.
“It was a great win for the boys and for the team. We lost against them the other night and it’s nice to get the win and it’s a good boost for us.” – Kylington on what this win meant.
“It was daylight when we went out there and it faded into the night which is pretty cool. The ice wasn’t too bad for how it was earlier today. I think we did a good job sticking with our game-plan and we were able to get the two points.” – Derek Grant on playing in the elements at Raley Field.
“It was a great experience. It was something I’ve never done before, or been a part of, so obviously it was a little weird with what happened last night, but it was an awesome experience and getting the win made it even better.” – Drew Shore on what it was like to play in his first outdoor game.
“I think when it got dark out after the first period that was my favorite part. With all the lights and stuff, it was pretty cool coming out for the second period and it was a blast.” – Shore on his favorite time during the game.
“It was a good turnout. They were obviously into it and it was a little different because they were further back, but it was cool to see a lot of people there and it was a good event.” – Head Coach Ryan Huska on the fans support despite the postponement from the previous day.
“It was different for sure but I think that’s what made it awesome. People were a little bit further away from you and it had a different feel to it, but it’s suppose to. That’s what makes this event a cool one. We’re thrilled we had an opportunity to play here this year. Hopefully our fans enjoyed what they saw. It was a pretty good experience for everyone involved.” – Coach Huska on the overall experience of playing outdoors.
“We’ve had a lot of nights where I thought we played well and we’ve been on the wrong end of these games. Tonight we found a way to get a win. We held on a little bit at the end, we have to do that at times, I thought our goaltender was good at the end and we had a few key shot blocks at the end. Bill Arnold for instance – that allowed us to get the win. Hopefully its something that’ll help us jump into tomorrow’s game before we hit our Christmas break and we can finish this first part .500” – Coach Huska on tonight’s win and moving forward.
NEXT HOME GAME
STOCKTON HEAT vs. Ontario Reign
December 29 @ Stockton Arena
Kids Take Over – first 500 children age 12 & under receive a free Heat t-shirt
Doors @ 6:00 p.m., Puck drop @ 7:00 p.m.