Arena: Stockton Arena
Date: October 10, 2015
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST/Doors 6:30 p.m. PST
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker & iHeartRadio beginning at 7:15 p.m. PST
Giveaway: The first 2,000 fans at Stockton Arena will receive a Heat Magnet Schedule
The Heat open their inaugural AHL season against the Rockford IceHogs in a non-divisional tilt at Stockton Arena.
Rockford will be a good initial test for the Heat, as the IceHogs won 46 games last season and made it to the conference semifinals before being eliminated by Grand Rapids.
Newly named captain and NHL veteran Aaron Johnson and company will look to have their preseason success bleed into the regular season after going 2-0-0 and outscoring opponents 8-3 in those games.
ROCKFORD ALREADY 1-0 ON THE SEASON
The IceHogs kicked off their season last night in San Jose and it didn’t take long for the team to get going.
Just 1:01 into the contest, Tanner Kero found the back of the net off of a Jeremy Morin pass to kick off their season on a positive note. It didn’t stop there as both Kero and Morin had three points each to help lead the IceHogs over teh San Jose Barracuda by a 4-2 final.
WHO TO WATCH
Let’s stick with the newly minted captain Aaron Johnson as the player to watch for the season opener.
Johnson had a solid preseason showing and proved throughout camp that he can lead this team the way Coach Huska and company like.
As an offensively gifted defenseman, Johnson fits the mold that the entire Calgary organization looks for in a blueliner – active puck skills and the ability to jump up in the play when needed.
Johnson, 32, will be a big minute guy for the Heat tonight and look for him to let a few bombs go from the point.
INAUGURAL ROSTER SET TO GO
The Heat announced their inaugural roster Friday morning.
The roster consists of 28 players (2x goaltenders, 8x defensemen, 18x forwards) and features a couple familiar faces and a ton of new ones.
11 of the 28 players have NHL experience, including a veteran of 477 NHL games Colton Orr.
Last year’s leading scorers in Adirondack Kenny Agostino and Emile Poirier return for their sophomore campaigns as pros, while former Stockton Thunder players Kent Simpson and Garet Hunt have earned spots on the opening night roster as well.
ASSISTANT CAPTAINS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED
Head Coach Ryan Huska and his staff made the announcement of who their captain and assistant captains will be for the 2015-16 season earlier today.
As we said before, defenseman Aaron Johnson was named the captain. The assistant captains were also named and they are: Turner Elson, Garnet Hathaway and Blair Riley were named as assistant captains.
The assistant captains also were not very surprising as all three have served as captains in their playing careers at some point in time.
Elson, the youngest of the selected captains, served as an assistant captain for a good period of time last season in Adirondack and is thrilled to start the season with a letter on his sweater.
Johnson, Elson, Hathaway and Riley will lead the Heat out onto the ice at Stockton Arena for the first ever time Saturday night when the Stockton Heat take on the Rockford IceHogs in the Heat’s inaugural AHL season and home opener.
CALGARY FLAMES VISIT VANCOUVER TONIGHT
The parent club will be in action again tonight as they visit the Vancouver Canucks on the second half of a home-and-home series.
The Flames look for retribution tonight as the Canucks won the opening night matchup 5-1. The lone Flames goal was scored by Jiri Hudler. The game kicks off in Vancouver at 7:00 p.m. Pacific.
October 10, 2015 will forever be remembered as the day of the first ever AHL game played in Stockton, California.
For a decade, the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder occupied Stockton Arena, winning a Western Conference Championship and taking a trip to the Kelly Cup Finals along the way.
The Calgary Flames and the Stockton Heat now usher in a higher brand of hockey to Stockton and fans are excited to see just what the future holds for the sport in the 209.