CALGARY, AB – Stockton’s return to the ice after a long offseason started on a sour note, the Heat (0-1-0-0) dropping their Canadian Division debut by a 7-1 final at the Scotiabank Saddledome against the Toronto Marlies (3-2-0-0). Luke Philp registered the lone score for the home team, a power play goal in the third frame to reach the 20-goal mark for his young career.
The Heat raced out to a 7-0 lead in shots on goal in the game’s opening minutes, but a pair of goals from the Marlies in a five-minute span at the midpoint of the first – netted by Scott Pooley and Kenny Agostino – gave the visitors a 2-0 edge through the game’s opening frame.
Toronto then seized control of the contest with four goals in the second stanza, a shorthanded marker and power play tally book-ending a pair of even-strength goals to complete the period’s scoring, yielding a 6-0 lead for the Marlies through 40 minutes.
The teams then closed out the contest by trading goals in the third, Toronto striking first and Philp putting the Heat on the board with 7:22 remaining, his 20th professional goal. Martin Pospisil continued his scoring run dating back to last season with an assist on Philp’s goal, extending his scoring streak to three games with four points in that span. Colton Beck also notched his first point as a member of the Heat with a secondary assist.
Tyler Gaudet and Hudson Elynuik paced the Marlies with a goal and an assist each, and netminder Andrew D’Agostini was strong throughout with 31 saves.
– Colton Poolman, C.J. Lerby, Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Emilio Pettersen, Connor Zary and Dustin Wolf all made their professional debuts in the contest.
– Connor Mackey, Alex Petrovic, Colton Beck and Garret Sparks each made their Stockton debuts.
– Dustin Wolf became the second-youngest goalie to play for the Heat in team history at 19 years, 10 months and six days old. Only Nick Schneider was younger at 18 years and eight months for his debut on March 30, 2016.
– Alex Petrovic wore the C as team captain, while Zac Leslie and Matthew Phillips wore A’s as alternates.
– Luke Philp’s goal was the first of the season for Stockton and his 20th professional marker. It was the first power play goal conceded by Toronto on the year.
– Martin Pospisil extended his scoring streak to three games, with four points (2g, 2a) in that span dating back to last season.
– Colton Beck earned his first point with Stockton with an assist on Philp’s goal.
– The game marks the first time that Stockton did not earn at least a point in its home opener, now 4-1-1-0 all-time.
STK PP – 1-2
STK PK – 0-2
First – Andrew D’Agostini (32 shots, 31 saves)
Second – Tyler Gaudet (1 goal, 1 assist)
Third – Hudson Elynuik (1 goal, 1 assist)
W – Andrew D’Agostini (32 shots, 31 saves)
L – Dustin Wolf (11 shots, 6 saves)
ND – Garret Sparks (17 shots, 15 saves)
The Heat and Marlies will battle once again on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MST, the second game of a four-game set this week at the Saddledome.