The busiest month of Stockton’s regular-season schedule is in the books.
In thirteen November games, including eight road tilts, Stockton went 7-6.
As the calendar turns to December, Stockton is in the midst of their longest homestand of the season, a six-gamer that began this past Friday with a 4-2 win over the Ontario Reign and a 6-4 loss to the Pacific’s top team, the San Jose Barracuda, on Saturday.
Friday night’s win marked another strong outing from Nick Schneider, who backstopped the Heat to a victory with 27 saves on 29 shots.
Good goaltending, a strong penalty-kill and timely scoring reigned king for Stockton in their win over Ontario.
Down early in the tilt, Josh Healey scored his first pro goal in his 71st game with the Heat. After the tally, 2,367 pairs of socks came flying down on the ice as a part of a promotion, all of which will be donated to charity.
“Sock toss was pretty cool, too, can’t say I’ve been a part of that,” said Healey. “Definitely a one-time thing for sure.”
It was a big weight lifted off the shoulders of the hard-hitting blueliner, who said he now has a memorable story attached to the special night.
Equally as important in the win were Healey’s penalty-killing efforts, as he helped Stockton kill off all three Ontario powerplays.
At the beginning of November, the Heat ranked dead last in the AHL on the PK. Since then, the penalty-kill is operating at 88.5% over their last 10 outings, holding opponents to just four goals on 35 chances.
On Saturday night, Stockton’s struggles continued against their NorCal rival as San Jose scored three in the first period en route to the win.
The Heat have won just once in six games this season against the 12-3-1-2 Barracuda.
Offensively for Stockton over the weekend, Spencer Foo started to find his stride with three goals. He’s now second on the team with eight tallies.
“I’d say I’m finding my game a little bit,” said Foo. “It hasn’t been the exact start I wanted, but I’ve been grinding, and like we talked about, I’m playing with Quine and Rychel and it’s been a great line for the team and just as a group we’ve been playing well.”
From one highly-touted Flames prospect to another.
Dillon Dube‘s confidence and speed were on full display in his first two games in Stockton.
Paired with fellow rookies Glenn Gawdin and Matthew Phillips, the trio of speedy forwards created scoring chances all weekend long.
The three former WHLer’s combined for six points in the two games, including a beautiful goal initiated on the Dube forecheck and finished off by Phillips, his fifth tally of the season.
Dube was around the puck in both games, but he is still looking for his first AHL goal. He nowhas seven assists in eight career AHL games.
- After the weekend, Kerby Rychel (1 goal, 1 assist) and Alan Quine (1 assist) share the team lead with 19 points.
- Dillon Dube recorded three assists over the weekend and now has points in five of his last six American Hockey League games, dating back to last season.
- The Heat play two home games this weekend against the Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate, on Friday and Saturday.
“Just getting to the right spots and the pucks finally come my way. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting some bounces and that’s how it seemed this weekend.” – Spencer Foo on his recent offensive effort
“Great for him; great shot, it was an excellent play. Matt Phillips tipped a pass across and it’s a good story for his first goal. He went short-side shelf and Josh will be the first one to say that goals aren’t first on his list. Playing physical, being good on the penalty-kill, being good defensively are what’s most important to his game, but obviously you want that goal. So everybody is pretty excited for him.” – Coach Cail MacLean on Josh Healey‘s first pro goal
“I just fought off the play and I think (Dube) tossed over to (Phillips), it went off his skate and ended up on my stick and I just ripped it.” -Healey on his goal
“I think it is just the confidence, being able to handle 15-20 minutes a night of ice time. It is a hard league; it’s men out there and being able to do that is hard and I need to be able to do that night in and night out.” – Dillon Dube on coming down to Stockton
“It’s tough. Giving up an early goal is something that you want to avoid. Obviously, if you do give one up, you need to answer back and we failed to do that.” – MacLean on the team’s slow start against San Jose
“It’s been a bit of a grind, but to have this December where it’s a little lighter and we have this homestand, it’s going be nice to regroup and get back to playing the kind of hockey we want.” – Foo on hitting the reset button after a busy November