Cedar Park, TX. – The Stockton Heat once again showed their teeth on the penalty kill, going a perfect 9-for-9 and scoring two shorthanded goals, courtesy of Turner Elson, as they down the Texas Stars by a final score of 5-3 Saturday night in Cedar Park, Texas. Elson’s two shorthanded goals were his first two goals on the season, while both goals were assisted by Aaron Johnson, earning his first multi-point game of the year in the process. Goaltender Kevin Poulin stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced to earn his first victory of the season, as he started on back-to-back nights during this Texas road trip. Also, Markus Granlund continues to pace the Heat offense, as his two assists tonight give him back-to-back multi-point games. The Stockton Heat will return to Stockton Arena for the next game when they take on the San Diego Gulls Wednesday, November 18 in Stockton.
HEAT GOAL: F Garnet Hathaway (2) one-timer is put past the goaltender off the 2-on-1 rush and a cross-cage pass out just outside of the diving defender’s reach (Nakladal, Granlund assists), 4:50
HEAT GOAL: F Austin Carroll (2) shot slowed by the goaltender but after a scrum on top of the crease trickles into the net (Granlund assist), 9:22
HEAT GOAL: F Turner Elson (1) partial breakaway leads to a forehand-backhand move and the puck is put over the goaltender’s blocker (Johnson assist), 18:02 (SH)
Shots: STK – 16 | TEX – 12
Texas goal: F Branden Troock (3) shot from the top of the nearside faceoff circle is put through traffic and past the goaltender’s outstretched pad (Lindell, Johns assists), 8:27
Texas goal: F Gemel Smith (4) broken play on a rush leads to a rebound that is just chipped over the goaltender’s skate and into the net (Troock, Hulak assists), 14:16
Shots: STK – 6 | TEX – 15
Texas goal: F Cory Kane (3) partial breakaway leads to a shot that is chipped just under the goaltender’s blocker and into the net (Johns, Ully assists), 3:11
HEAT GOAL: F Blair Riley (1) rebound in traffic at the side of the net is put past the goaltender and into the net (Shore, Lomberg assists), 14:54
HEAT GOAL: F Turner Elson (2) puck is chipped across the ice on a rush and is put into the empty net from the slot (Johnson, Wotherspoon assists), 19:40 (EN, SH)
Shots: STK – 12 | TEX – 7
W: Kevin Poulin (34 shots, 31 saves)
L: Jack Campbell (33 shots, 29 saves)
Three Stars: 1- Blair Riley (Game-Winning Goal) 2- Branden Troock (1-1-2) 3- Gemel Smith (1-0-1)
Final Shots: STK – 34 | TEX – 34
Power Plays: STK – 0/3 | TEX – 0/9
Turner Elson’s 2 shorthanded goals were the second and third shorthanded goals for the Heat and were his first two goals on the season
Blair Riley scored his first goal of the year and it was the game-winner
Kevin Poulin stopped 31 of 34 shots for his first win of the season
Markus Granlund (0-2-2) now has back-to-back multi-point games
Garnet Hathaway (1-0-1) now has a goal in back-to-back games
Drew Shore (0-1-1) now has at least one point in back-to-back games
Aaron Johnson (0-2-2) earns his first multi-point game of the year
Ryan Lomberg (0-1-1) earns his first ever AHL point
Colton Orr left the game in the first period, but was cleared following the game
“It was a bit of a broken play. [Drew Shore] got the puck and just threw it to the net. I was just trying to drive through and get some traffic. It hit me in the foot and I just tried to get a piece of my stick on it. Obviously it was a big goal in that state of the game. To be able to comeback from giving up a three-goal lead showed a lot of character for us.” – Blair Riley on his game-winning goal.
“We battled out there tonight. Guys were blocking shots and laying their bodies on the line for the team. I have to hand it to [Aaron Johnson] because he was really the catalyst to that penalty kill tonight. He was battling and made some big plays on the kill.” – Turner Elson on the success of the penalty kill tonight.
“[Aaron Johnson] forced the turnover and was patient with the puck. He saw me blowing through the middle and was patient in getting me the puck. It was a nice outlet to me for a short little breakaway. I just tried to protect the puck and throw it low-blocker and fortunately it went in for me. Can’t say enough about the game our captain had tonight and it really drove the whole team.” – Elson on his first shorthanded goal in the first period.
“It feels great. We had 20 guys that were battling for 60 minutes. We lost a couple guys and forwards stepped up in their place. A huge team win and hopefully we can build off this and move towards a few more wins here coming up.” – Aaron Johnson on how this win feels in the locker room.
“I try to be a leader out there and keep everything calm on the backend. Coach Todd Gill does a great job with that from the bench and he helps me with that as well. With more and more experience, the guys will get calmer and calmer. We have a great group of guys that can play in any situation, so I think that always pushes us to make the right plays when we need to.” – Johnson on his calming presence on a young, talented blueline.
“[The Heat penalty kill] was really good. Obviously you never want to see them tested that much in a game and I thought we needed to do a better job of not taking some of those penalties, but the kill really was great for us tonight on a night where we needed a good road win.” – Head Coach Ryan Huska on the play of his team’s penalty kill tonight.
“We had a really good first period. I thought [Texas] gained a little momentum in the second, but I thought that our third period was very good again. We kept pushing and we did a lot of things the right way. Our older guys played extremely well tonight and they led our group. Aaron Johnson had a great game for us. Blair Riley had a great game for us. Those guys are critical to us if we’re going to have success.” – Coach Huska on his overall thoughts of tonight’s game.
“It’s not easy playing the right way and we need to realize that this was a big weekend for us. You have to pay a price and you have to work hard, but we got three out of four points in tough buildings on the road. It’s really us gaining an understanding of how we have to play, as well as holding ourselves accountable to make sure we play the same way all the time.” – Coach Huska on taking three of four possible points in Texas this weekend.
NEXT HOME GAME
STOCKTON HEAT vs. San Diego Gulls
November 18 @ Stockton Arena
First 1,000 fans receive a Markus Granlund oversized trading card
Doors @ 6:00 p.m., Puck drop @ 7:00 p.m.