Arena: Sharks Ice
Date: October 1, 2015
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
2014-15 LEADING SCORERS:
STOCKTON (ADK): LW Kenny Agostino (67-15-28-43)
SAN JOSE (WOR): LW Bryan Lerg (68-13-28-41)
The Stockton Heat open their inaugural preseason schedule with a game in San Jose against the Barracuda at Sharks Ice.
This is Head Coach Ryan Huska’s first time being able to see his guys play together in a live game, as the evaluation of rookies, veterans and tryout players from training camp continues into the preseason.
It is tough to evaluate the competition because Stockton and San Jose did not face each other last year when the teams were located in Adirondack and Worcester respectively.
One thing is for sure – the Heat will look to play a fast, physical game, as has been the theme throughout training camp.
WHO TO WATCH
This is probably the toughest “Who To Watch” there will be all year, considering the full lineup of brand new faces to Stockton. However, we must choose one and we’re going with one of the guys that was signed to the Heat over the summer, Ryan Lomberg.
Lomberg isn’t the biggest guy out there, but his speed and tenacity on both sides of the ice more than make up for that.
Not only does Lomberg appear to be a favorite as a penalty killer this season, he has scored quite a few goals that stand out so far and made countless individual-effort plays that disrupt the opponents game.
Take his two highlight plays in the first game of the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC a few weeks ago.
In the first play, he flat out outworked a guy along the half wall to take the puck, then proceeded straight at the net and scored a bad angle shot on the short side.
The second play was when he won a race for the puck, despite the defenseman having about a five-step head start, and got pulled down, forcing a penalty shot.
Lomberg is one of those players that you love to have on your team, but hate to play against. Thankfully, he’s wearing the red sweater this year.
WELL…THAT WAS QUICK
Just over 24 hours after being assigned to Stockton, both Pat Sieloff and Kenney Morrison received the call back to Calgary on Wednesday ahead of the Flames final two preseason games.
Sieloff, 21, played 48 games with Adirondack last season and collected 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) and 78 penalty minutes.
Morrison, 23, finished last season with Adirondack following his final season at Western Michigan in the NCAA. In 10 games with Adirondack, Morrison scored 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and had 4 penalty minutes.
Both players have been impressive on the Calgary blueline and with the Flames searching to fill the last couple of defensive spots, not to mention the void left by T.J. Brodie’s injury, there is room on the big club for these young defensemen to step up and see some time.
There are potentially seven players that suit up in tonight’s game that played in Adirondack last season.
These players built chemistry last season and are well acclimated with the Calgary-style game that is being preached here in Stockton. Look for these players to be leaders on the ice and to help the newer guys learn the system.
- D Dustin Stevenson
- LW Kenny Agostino
- C Bill Arnold
- LW Turner Elson
- LW Morgan Klimchuk
- RW Emile Poirier
- LW Bryce Van Brabant
TRYOUT PLAYERS LOOK TO IMPRESS
Another group of players to pay attention to tonight are the guys at camp on professional tryouts (PTO).
There are eight of those guys, including two names very familiar to Stockton fans, Garet Hunt and Ryan Constant, a former Hobey Baker Award finalist, Eric Hartzell, and three guys currently signed with the Adirondack Thunder, Rob Bordson, Kyle Flanagan and Dana Fraser. The other two are Taylor Doherty and Garrett Thompson, who played a combined 124 games in the AHL last season with Worcester and Binghamton respectively.
It could be an interesting dynamic for Doherty as he plays against his former squad (now located in San Jose) and the AHL club for the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
These players all have a shot to make the Stockton Heat roster and tonight is their first chance to prove themselves against live competition. Watch for them to all try and make an impact tonight in what will be an important piece of their journey to becoming members of the Stockton Heat.
CALGARY IN ACTION AS WELL
The Calgary Flames will also suit up tonight, as they’ll take on the Winnipeg Jets in their second to last preseason matchup for the Flames.
Calgary is coming off of a 2-0 shutout of the Colorado Avalanche, when goaltenders Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo combined for the shutout and Jiri Hudler, the 2014-15 Lady Byng winner, scored both goals to put the Flames over the edge.
The Flames will look to continue their preseason successes in Winnipeg tonight as they face a newly healthy Dustin Byfuglien and company at the MTS Centre.
Both the Stockton Heat and San Jose Barracuda could potentially dress two former Stockton Thunder players each. Hunt and Constant for the Heat and Jeremy Langlois and Bryan Lerg for the Barracuda.