TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (2-0-1-0; t-2nd Pacific) at Bakersfield Condors (2-1-0-0; 4th Pacific)
LOCATION: Mechanics Bank Arena | Bakersfield, Calif.
TIME: 7:00 p.m. PST
TUNE IN: Tonight’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available via Spreaker.
Talk about a hot start. The Heat enter tonight’s game with five of a possible six points in the bank and look to punctuate a strong road weekend with the first meeting of the season against Bakersfield. Stockton is coming off an emphatic 6-2 win over San Diego last night at Pechanga Arena, a game in which the Heat jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first and never trailed as the Heat played spoiler in the Gulls’ home opener.
TOP LINE LEADING
Stockton was paced by its top line of Jakob Pelletier, Adam Ruzicka and Matthew Phillips in Friday’s win, the trio combining for three goals, four assists and a plus-7 rating. All three members of the first unit found the back of the net in the win, while Pelletier recorded his first career multi-point effort with a goal and two helpers.
OUT OF CHASER
Through three games and nearly 182 minutes of hockey, the Heat have yet to play from behind this season. Since Stockton’s season-opening, overtime loss, the Heat have either led or been tied for all 120 minutes of puck against Tucson and San Diego.
Heat captain Byron Froese and centerman Glenn Gawdin wasted no time getting back into the swing of things in Stockton, each notching an assist in their 2021-22 Heat debuts last night against the Gulls.
It hasn’t taken long for Jakob Pelletier to make his presence felt for the Heat, the rookie already with four points and two goals in three AHL games. Both of Pelletier’s scores are game-winners, and the Quebec native is coming off his first multi-point effort with three points against San Diego on Friday.
WE MEET AGAIN
While this is the first official meeting between the clubs this season, it’s the second time the Heat hit Mechanics Bank Arena ice this month. Stockton and Bakersfield met in the preseason on October 8, with the Heat skating away with a 3-0 win behind a 33-save shutout from netminder Dustin Wolf and goals from Ryan Olsen, Emilio Pettersen and Ryan Francis. In the recent regular season series, games in Bakersfield have been tight – with three consecutive one-goal games – and the Heat went 3-1-0-1 at Mechanics Bank Arena in 2019-20, the last time the teams met in the regular season.