TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (20-4-2-1; 1st Pacific) at San Diego Gulls (9-12-1-0; 9th Pacific)
LOCATION: Pechanga Arena | San Diego, California
TIME: 7:00 p.m. PST
TUNE IN: Today’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available on Fox Sports 1280 and online via Spreaker.
Once again, the Stockton Heat were able to stop one loss from turning into two with a 5-2 win on Wednesday at Tucson, earning a split of a two-game set in the desert. Matthew Phillips got the scoring started less than a minute into the action, Glenn Gawdin doubled the lead in the opening frame and Stockton never looked back en route to the divisional win. Now, Stockton sets its sights on its third win in four games on the road trip with a Friday night fight with San Diego.
A GROUP OF ONE
Glenn Gawdin’s penalty shot goal in the first period on Wednesday was the second of his career and was Stockton’s first penalty shot tally of the season. In Heat history, Gawdin owns the only two penalty shot markers – his previous coming on December 7, 2019 against Bakersfield.
A GROUP OF TWO
With Wednesday’s win, Stockton pushed its victory count on the year to 20, joining the Chicago Wolves as the only two AHL teams to reach the 20-win plateau thus far on the year. It’s the earliest in a season that Stockton has reached 20 wins, besting the previous best of 31 games in the 2019-20 campaign.
A GROUP OF THREE
With Gawdin and Matthew Phillips’ scores on Wednesday, the Heat now have three active players in double-digit goal scoring as the pair joined leading scorer Jakob Pelletier with his total of 11. All three member’s of Stockton’s full-strength top line have 10 or more goals, making the Heat one of only three AHL teams with three players on the active roster in double-digit goal scoring, joined by Chicago and Toronto.
A GROUP OF FOUR
Stockton’s penalty kill netted two goals in Wednesday’s win, with Eetu Tuulola (4-on-5) and Justin Kirkland (4-on-6) each finding the back of the net while Stockton was serving a penalty. With six shorthanded goals on the year, the Heat penalty kill is tied for the league lead in SHG.
A GROUP OF FIVE
After Wednesday’s win, the Heat are now 5-0-0-0 on the year when scoring at least one shorthanded goal. The Gulls have conceded the third-highest total of shorthanded scores on the season in the AHL with five, two of which came from Connor Mackey in his five-point weekend in the last two games between Stockton and San Diego.