STOCKTON, Calif. – Four skaters posted multi-point efforts for Stockton (2-0-1-0), paced by a three-point night from rookie Jakob Pelletier, as the Heat spoiled San Diego’s (0-2-0-0) home opener with a 6-2 final score Friday at Pechanga Arena.
The top line of Pelletier, Adam Ruzicka and Matthew Phillips totaled seven points on the evening, with Pelletier’s goal and two assists leading a score and a helper each from Ruzicka and Phillips. Luke Philp claimed Stockton’s other two-point effort, a goal and assist of his own.
The Heat jumped out to a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the opening frame, Justin Kirkland collecting a loose puck and finding the back of the net for the second consecutive outing. San Diego was able to even the score before the break, Alex Limoges netting the equalizer.
Stockton found some distance in the second, lighting the lamp twice with Phillips and Pelletier burying pucks – the former scoring less than five minutes into the frame and the latter on a redirection at the 18:51 mark of the second stanza for a 3-1 edge through 40 minutes.
The Heat then quickly put the game out of reach in the third, scoring three times in the frame’s opening 5:03, with Ruzicka, Walker Duehr and Philp all finding twine – sandwiched around a Gulls goal – for the decisive 6-2 tally.
- Adam Werner made his Stockton debut in the game, earning the win with a 20-save effort.
- Byron Froese and Glenn Gawdin each skated for the Heat for the first time this season. Froese captained the club and finished with an assist, and Gawdin tallied an assist as well.
- Justin Kirkland opened the scoring for the second-straight game. He has goals in consecutive games for the first time since December 15 and 18, 2019.
- Jakob Pelletier (1g, 2a), Matthew Phillips (1g, 1a) and Luke Philp (1g, 1a) all recorded their first respective multi-point efforts of the season.
- Each of Pelletier’s goals on the year are game-winning goals.
- The Heat are now 3-0-0 all-time when playing San Diego in the Gulls’ home opener, scoring 18 goals in those games.
STK PP – 1-for-5
STK PK – 4-for-6
First – Jakob Pelletier (1g, 2a)
Second – Matthew Phillips (1g, 1a)
Third – Adam Ruzicka (1g, 1a)
W – Adam Werner (20 saves on 22 shots faced)
L – Lukas Dostal (28 saves on 34 shots faced)
The Heat wrap up their road weekend with a Saturday tilt against the Bakersfield Condors, a 7 p.m. puck drop at Mechanics Bank Arena.