Matchup: Stockton Heat (9-11-1-0; 3rd Canadian) at Laval Rocket (17-4-1-1; 1st Canadian)
Arena: Bell Centre | Montreal, QC
Time: 5:00 p.m. MT | 4:00 p.m. PT
Broadcast: Tonight’s game will be available on AHLTV.com.
Follow Along: For live, in-game updates, follow the Heat on Twitter @AHLHeat.
Stockton closes out its seven-game road trip with a third matchup against the Laval Rocket, the final scheduled meeting between the clubs this season. The Heat will look to get on the board in the season series after dropping the most recent outing by a 4-2 final as a late rally from a three-goal deficit fell short.
IN THE HOME STRETCH
Tuesday’s game against the Rocket puts an end to a furious pace on a marathon start to the season with 22 games in 44 days. Of those games 14 have come on the road compared to eight at home. The Heat have hit every other Canadian Division city and will resume play after an idle week by hosting the Belleville Senators starting April 14 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
RUZICKA RETAKES THE LEAD
Second-year center Adam Ruzicka retook the lead in the Stockton scoring race with a goal against Laval on Sunday, his team-best ninth of the season for his 18th point of the campaign. Ruzicka, who etched his name in to the Heat record book with four consecutive three-point outings earlier in the year, had been held off the board by the Rocket until his score Sunday.
Mark Simpson added to his rookie season point total with his fourth goal of the campaign in the Heat’s last outing against Laval, banging home a loose puck to put Stockton on the board in the third period. Simpson is second among Heat rookies with his four markers, trailing only Emilio Pettersen’s tally of five.
LAST WITH LAVAL
Tonight’s matchup with the Rocket is the last one in the regular season, with Stockton entering the game 0-5-1-0 against Laval on the year. The Heat have been able to battle the Rocket to close games, with one needing overtime, another being decided by one goal, and five of the six meetings being either tied or within a score heading into the third period.
Both Stockton and Laval have struggled to find offense in the opening 40 minutes of action through the three-game set in Montreal, with each game going into the third period at 1-0. The Rocket have then been able to create distance in the third with two and three goals, respectively.