TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (4-0-1-0; 2nd Pacific) vs San Jose Barracuda (2-1-1-0; 3rd Pacific)
LOCATION: Stockton Arena | Stockton, Calif.
TIME: 5:00 p.m. PST
TUNE IN: Tonight’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available via Spreaker.
The Heat just keep winning. The latest, a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Eagles in the first meeting between the clubs this year on Saturday. Stockton got four multi-point games on the night, paced by Adam Ruzicka’s first pro hat trick, en route to a comfortable win on home ice. Stockton also saw strong play on special teams from the penalty kill unit, with the Heat going 4-for-4 while down a man on the night.
TIP OF THE CAP
Adam Ruzicka recorded his first professional hat trick on Saturday, lighting the lamp three times on five shots, including the game-winner, while finishing the game a plus-2. It was the first hat trick for Stockton since Austin Czarnik scored three times against Bakersfield on February 1, 2020. With his outburst, Ruzicka has moved to the top of Stockton’s scoring charts in goals (4) and points (7).
LEADS DON’T LAST
Three times the Heat have trailed during play this season. Three times, the opponent’s lead has vanished in a hurry. There were two deficits last Saturday at Bakersfield, the Heat erasing those respective cushions in 45 seconds and 3:25. In last night’s game against Colorado, the game’s first goal gave the Eagles an edge that lasted all of 57 seconds until Stockton evened the tally.
Rookie Jakob Pelletier continues to impress in his rookie season, another pair of assists bringing the winger’s scoring streak to four games with seven points (2g, 5a) in that span – the most offensive production from any Heat player over the last four outings.
OH MY GAWDIN
Glenn Gawdin has been red-hot since joining the Heat ahead of the team’s first road trip last week, the forward finding the score sheet in all three contests he’s played with Stockton on the year. The fourth-year pro has back-to-back multi-assist efforts, most recently two helpers on Saturday coming on Luke Philp’s and Martin Pospisil’s markers.
It’s been a while since Stockton and San Jose faced off, but the Heat will look to avoid skipping a beat as Calgary’s AHL affiliate went 9-1-0-0 in 2019-20 against the feeder club of the San Jose Sharks. The teams last met on March 10, 2020, the final game the Heat played before the COVID-19 pause, season cancellation and temporary move to Calgary in 2020-21.