MONTREAL, QC – Behind goals from Adam Ruzicka, Byron Froese and Eetu Tuulola and 28 saves from Garret Sparks, the Stockton Heat (10-11-1-0) overcame a second period deficit en route to a 3-1 win over the Laval Rocket (17-5-1-1) Tuesday evening at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The win for Stockton snapped a 12-game point streak for the Canadian Division-leading Rocket that dated back to March 14.
The teams dueled to a scoreless first period before Laval drew first blood with Yannick Veilleux’s score eight minutes into the second stanza. The Heat were able to pull even before the second intermission as Ruzicka took a feed that sprung him on a breakaway before he put the puck past Michael McNiven for a 1-1 tie through 40 minutes.
The game remained deadlocked until late in the third, when Froese fired a puck into the back of the net from a sharp angle, giving the Heat a 2-1 edge with 3:13 to go in the game. Tuulola then added an empty netter with 1:17 on the clock to put the game away.
– Adam Ruzicka’s goal in the second period was the 20th of his AHL career.
– Dmitry Zavgorodniy recorded his first professional point with an assist on Ruzicka’s score.
– Byron Froese’s goal was his fourth of the season and third against the Rocket. It was his first game-winning goal of the season.
– Garret Sparks finishes the season series against Laval with a .938 SVP and 2.07 GAA.
– The win snapped a 12-game point streak for the Rocket. It was their first regulation loss since March 12.
STK PP – 0-5
STK PK – 1-1
First – Byron Froese (1 goal)
Second – Yannick Veilleux (1 goal)
Third – Garret Sparks (28 saves)
W – Garret Sparks (28 saves on 29 shots faced)
L – Michael McNiven (24 saves on 26 shots faced)
The Heat will return to the Scotiabank Saddledome for a three-game series against Belleville starting April 14.