CALGARY, AB – The Stockton Heat (2-2-0-0) started fast and poured it on in the second, led by three-point efforts from Slovakian forwards Adam Ruzicka and Martin Pospisil to an emphatic 8-1 win over the visiting Toronto Marlies (4-4-0-0) in the finale of a season-opening, four-game set.
Seven Heat skaters put up multiple points in the game, with Ruzicka and Mark Simpson each potting a pair of goals, the first of Simpson’s pro career.
Emilio Pettersen got the scoring started with his first goal, assisted by Pospisil and captain Alex Petrovic. After Toronto’s Timothy Liljegren evened the score midway through the frame, the Heat jumped on top with two scores prior to the horn sounding on the opening stanza off the sticks of Simpson and Ruzicka, respectively.
It was in the second period that the Heat took control of the game, beating netminder Andrew D’Agostini five times to snag an 8-1 lead through 40 minutes. Luke Philp netted his second of the season 1:05 into the period, followed by Ruzicka’s second lamp-lighter of the day just 1:16 later. Simpson’s second score followed at the midway point, and Pospisil and Matthew Phillips punctuated the scoring in the middle frame with goals in the latter half.
Neither team found the back of the net in the third period. Goalie Dustin Wolf finished his third pro start with his second win and 26 saves on 27 shots faced.
– Pettersen and Simpson each recorded their first professional goals in the first period, then Simpson added his second in the second frame. It was the first multi-point game of each of their respective careers.
– Dmitry Zavgorodniy recorded his first pro point.
– Colton Beck picked up his first points as a member of the Heat with a pair of assists.
– Alex Petrovic’s helper on the rookie’s marker gives him points in each of the last two games.
– Ruzicka is the first Heat player since Alan Quine to record back-to-back three-point efforts (February 17 and 20, 2019). He and Phillips have back-to-back multi-point efforts.
– For the second consecutive game, Stockton held Toronto scoreless on the power play.
STK PP – 3-5
STK PK – 2-2
First – Adam Ruzicka (2 goals, 1 assist)
Second – Mark Simpson (2 goals)
Third – Emilio Pettersen (1 goal, 1 assist)
W – Dustin Wolf (27 shots faced, 26 saves)
L – Andrew D’Agostini (26 shots faced, 18 saves)
ND – Kai Edmonds (3 shots faced, 3 saves)
Stockton will now hit the road for a seven-game road trip, starting Wednesday at Belleville with a 5 p.m. MST, 4 p.m. PST puck drop.