TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (7-0-1-0; 2nd Pacific) at Bakersfield Condors (4-4-0-1; t-4th Pacific)
LOCATION: Mechanics Bank Arena | Bakersfield, Calif.
TIME: 6:30 p.m. PST
TUNE IN: Tonight’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available on Fox Sports Stockton 1280 and via Spreaker.
Heading into the Battle of Highway 99, the Stockton Heat are rolling to the tune of seven consecutive wins, most recently a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over the Abbotsford Canucks. The Heat got scores from Eetu Tuulola and Matthew Phillips in the win, while Adam Werner was solid once again between the pipes with 25 stops on 26 shots faced.
Heading into a three-game week, Glenn Gawdin stands second in all-time scoring with the Stockton Heat at 106 points in 145 games played – three points back of Ryan Lomberg’s Stockton-best total of 109 in 219 games. Gawdin is clicking at more than a point-per-game clip on the year with eight points (1g, 7a) in six games played with the Heat.
PHILLIPS HITS 100
Matthew Phillips became the fifth player in Stockton Heat history to reach the century mark in scoring in a Heat sweater with a goal on Saturday, joining Lomberg, Gawdin, Andrew Mangiapane (104) and Morgan Klimchuk (100). Phillips, a sixth round selection by the Flames in 2016, led the Heat in scoring in 2020-21 and was an AHL All-Star selection in 2019-20.
NICE TO ‘Z’ YOU AGAIN
Connor Zary was activated from Calgary’s Season-Opening Injured Reserve and assigned to Stockton on Tuesday, and the forward figures to enter the lineup for his season debut in Wednesday’s matchup with Bakersfield. Zary, the Flames’ first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, notched seven points in nine games with Stockton at the start of 2020-21 before the WHL season started.
The Heat penalty kill has been stellar in the last five games, limiting opposing power plays to just 2-for-20 dating back to Stockton and Bakersfield’s first meeting on October 23. The Condors boast the league’s seventh-ranked power play at 24.4-percent and have scored on the man-advantage in all nine games this season.
BATTLE OF HIGHWAY 99
Stockton has fared well of late in the Battle of Highway 99, going 4-0-0-1 in the last five in the series dating back to the 2019-20 season. The Heat took the first meeting between the clubs this season, 4-2 at Mechanics Bank Arena, and are 27-23-3-3 against the Condors all-time.