TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (11-2-2-0; 1st Pacific) vs. San Diego Gulls (8-6-1-0; 3rd Pacific)
LOCATION: Stockton Arena | Stockton, California
TIME: 7:00 p.m. PST
TUNE IN: Tonight’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available via Fox Sports Radio 1280 or online on Spreaker.
The Heat will look to bounce back from a 5-1 setback in their last game, Saturday at Colorado. The loss was Stockton’s second in regulation on the year, with Martin Pospisil giving the Heat their lone goal in the loss. Stockton looks to build on an impressive 5-0-2-0 home record in 2021-22, tops in the Pacific Division.
Stockton is 3-0-0-0 on the year following losses, most recently with Friday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Colorado Eagles. In each of those games, the Heat conceded only two goals, with Pelletier lighting the lamp and fellow rookie Dustin Wolf making at least 30 saves in each outing. In Stockton’s lone bounce-back effort on home ice entering tonight’s game, the Heat won 3-2 over Tucson on October 16.
CLAP FOR THE WOLFMAN
Dustin Wolf has as good as anyone between the pipes thus far this season, ranking sixth in Goal Against Average (2.19), second in Save Percentage (.932) and fifth in wins (7) among all AHL goalies. Wolf has led Stockton to at least a point in 11 consecutive starts, going 9-0-2-0 dating back to the 2020-21 campaign.
ANYTHING IS POSP-IBLE
Forward Martin Pospisil has found the score sheet in each of his appearances since re-entering the lineup from injury, notching a goal and an assist in a pair of games against the Colorado Eagles last weekend. The forward has three goals and three assists in nine games this season, and figures to play in his 50th AHL game Friday.
THE JUUS IS LOOSE
Defenseman Juuso Valimaki was assigned to Stockton on Thursday, his first AHL assignment since his rookie season in 2018-19. Valimaki ranked second among Flames defensemen who skated in at least half of the team’s games in 2020-21 in Corsi For (54.1-percent) and in Goal For per goal 60 (2.9), and he has one assist in five games this year with Calgary.
FEELIN’ HOT, HOT, HOT
Friday’s game is the second meeting between the Heat and the Gulls on the year, a matchup of the two hottest teams in the Pacific Division. Both Stockton and San Diego enter the clash with a record of 7-2-1-0 in their last 10, respectively, as each occupies one of the division’s top three spots coming into Friday’s action. The 10-game runs for each team tie for the second-best record in the AHL over the span alongside the Hartford Wolf Pack and trail only the Utica Comets (9-1-0-0) over the last 10.