STOCKTON, Calif. – Justin Kirkland lit the lamp twice Wednesday night but the Stockton Heat (22-7-2-1) dropped the divisional clash against the San Diego Gulls (13-13-2-0) by a 3-2 final at Stockton Arena.
Each team scored in the first period, Brent Gates Jr. putting the Gulls on top 6:48 into the action before Kirkland evened the tally with 6:09 to go in the frame.
San Diego got the lone lamp-lighter in the second, Axel Andersson finding the back of the net with 2:03 remaining in the stanza to take the lead into the second intermission.
The Gulls then extended the lead to 3-1 with 2:26 left, Greg Printz scoring what proved to be the game-winning goal as Kirkland scored his second of the night in the waning seconds to produce the 3-2 final.
The teams played to a scoreless stalemate on special teams, and Stockton’s run of 14 consecutive games outshooting opponents came to a close in the contest.
- Justin Kirkland notched his first multi-goal outing since February 9, 2018. His nine goals match his career-best output for a season.
- With an assist on Kirkland’s goal, Duehr has helpers in back-to-back games for the first time.
- Adam Werner started for the second consecutive game, his second back-to-back nods of the season.
- The game was Stockton’s second home regulation loss of the season, the Heat now 12-2-2-0 at Stockton Arena.
- The Heat now lead the season series against San Diego 3-2-0-0, with the team to score first winning all five games.
STK PP – 0-for-3
STK PK – 5-for-5
First – Lucas Elvenes (3a)
Second – Justin Kirkland (2g)
Third – Axel Andersson (1g)
W – Francis Marotte (28 saves on 30 shots faced)
L – Adam Werner (28 saves on 31 shots faced)
The Heat continue their home stand with a pair of contests Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. against the Henderson Silver Knights at Stockton Arena.