Matchup: Stockton Heat (8-4-1-0; 2nd Canadian) vs. Laval Rocket (10-4-1-0; 1st Canadian)
Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome | Calgary, AB
Time: 2:00 p.m. MT | 1:00 p.m. PT
Broadcast: Today’s game will be available on AHLTV.com.
Follow Along: For live, in-game updates, follow the Heat on Twitter @AHLHeat.
Stockton looks to get in the win column in the third game of a four-game set against the Laval Rocket, a 2 p.m. MT, 1 p.m. PT puck drop at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Heat will aim to pull the same trick they did in the last home stand, finishing with a 2-2 split against the Toronto Marlies after dropping the front two games before sweeping the back pair to start the season.
LUKE AT PHILP
Luke Philp is heating up. His third period goal in Saturday’s contest extended his scoring run to impressive marks of goals in four of the last five as well as points in eight of the last 10 contests. The second-year forward has eight points with three goals in Stockton’s last seven games and is outperforming his strong rookie scoring pace by nearly a quarter point per game.
LIKE A ROLLING STONE
Michael Stone hasn’t spent much time in the AHL in his career, but his goal on Saturday put an end to a string of more than eight calendar years since his last lamp-lighter in the NHL’s premier development league. Stone has only played in five AHL games since the 2012-13 season, all coming with the Heat, and he has contributed for the Flames’ feeder club to the tune of three points and a plus-8 rating in just five contests with Stockton.
At one point the top power play unit in the AHL, and still a dangerous 29.8-percent on the year, the Heat will look to regain their form on the man-advantage. Stockton hasn’t scored more than three goals in a game in the last five outings, and the power play has been a factor in the cold stretch with the unit going just 2-for-19 over that span. The Heat are 6-2-0-0 on the year when scoring on the man-advantage.
FIRST GOALS FIRST
Both teams in today’s matchup have fed on first goals this season, with Stockton going 7-1-0-0 on the year when taking a 1-0 lead and the Rocket going 8-3-0-0 in such games. When conceding first, Stockton is 1-3-1-0. Laval has drawn first blood in each of the first two meetings on the series.
Despite the recent slow starts, Stockton has been able to finish games strong on the season with ‘plus’ goal differentials in the second and third periods and in overtime on the campaign. The Heat have outscored opponents 18-14 in the second, 14-11 in the third and 2-1 in the added five-minute frame of 3-on-3 through 13 games.