LOVELAND, Colo. – Dustin Wolf posted his third shutout of the Pacific Division Finals, setting a club playoff record with 40 saves in the game, and Justin Kirkland netted his third game-winner of the best-of-five series with the Stockton Heat finishing off the Colorado Eagles by a 1-0 score Sunday in Loveland.
It’s the third time in AHL history that a goalie has notched three shutouts in one series, with Wolf joining Mika Noronen (2000) and Gord Henry (1947) in the group.
The game went scoreless through more than 43 minutes of game action, Kirkland netting his third score of the four-game series, assists coming from Luke Philp and Martin Pospisil on what proved to be the game-winner.
The win for the Heat snapped a seven-game home win streak for the Eagles and allows the Heat to advance to the Western Conference Finals, a matchup of the top two regular season teams in the AHL.
- Connor Mackey and Adam Ruzicka made their Calder Cup Playoff debuts in the game.
- Justin Kirkland netted his third game-winning goal of the series, all coming as the first goal scored in their respective contests. He’s the first player since Oliver Bjorkstrand in 2016 to have three GWGs in one series.
- Dustin Wolf is the third-ever goalie to post three shutouts in an AHL playoff series, joining Mika Noronen (Rochester – 2000) and Gord Henry (Hershey – 1947).
- Wolf has set a new Heat playoff record for saves in each elimination game this season, turning away 38 pucks in the clincher against Bakersfield and stopping all 40 shots faced on Sunday.
- It’s the second time in AHL history that a best-of-five series was won with three shutouts.
- Stockton is now 2-1 in elimination games.
STK PP – 0-for-5
STK PK – 4-for-4
First – Justin Kirkland (1g)
Second – Dustin Wolf (40 svs)
Third – Justus Annunen (34 svs)
W – Dustin Wolf (40 saves on 40 shots faced)
L – Justus Annunen (34 saves on 35 shots faced)
Stockton will meet the Chicago Wolves in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals, starting June 3 at Chicago.