TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (6-0-1-0; 2nd Pacific) vs. Abbotsford Canucks (3-3-2-0; t-5th Pacific)
LOCATION: Stockton Arena | Stockton, California
TIME: 6:00 p.m. PST
TUNE IN: Tonight’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available on Fox Sports Stockton 1280 and via Spreaker.
The Heat are in search of lucky No. 7 on Saturday as Stockton seeks its seventh consecutive win, facing off against the Abbotsford Canucks to close out the two-game, weekend set. The Heat outpaced the Canucks by a 3-2 final Friday, taking the lead just past the midway point of the opening frame and never allowing Abbotsford to find even ground the rest of the way.
RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE
The Heat got strong contributions from their centermen in Friday’s tilt, all three goals coming from the top three centers – Adam Ruzicka with the game-winner, Glenn Gawdin with the second score of the night and Byron Froese with the first tally of the contest. It was Ruzicka’s team-leading seventh score of the season and sixth in the last three games, while Gawdin and Froese made their entrance into the goal column for the season last night.
CLIMBING THE LADDER
Glenn Gawdin’s first goal of the season extended his point streak to five games, but it also pushed him up a notch in the Heat record book. With his goal, Gawdin now has 105 points with Stockton – surpassing Andrew Mangiapane for the second-most points of any player to ever play for the Heat. Gawdin now trails Stockton’s all-time scoring leader Ryan Lomberg by just four points despite having played in 144 games compared to Lomberg’s 219.
MILESTONE FOR THE CAPTAIN
Byron Froese netted his 100th AHL goal with the first marker of the night on Friday, his first score of the season. Of Froese’s century, 24 have come with the Heat, 45 with the Toronto Marlies, 17 with the Laval Rocket, seven with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, four with the Rockford IceHogs and three with the Syracuse Crunch. Friday was his 350th career AHL game played.
ALL IT TAKES IS ONE
For as much firepower as the Heat pack on the offensive end, the defensive play and goaltending has been equally impressive. Stockton is undefeated this season – a perfect 6-0-0-0 with all games decided in regulation – when scoring even one goal. The team has averaged 4.33 goals for and 2.00 goals against per game during the current six-game win streak.
NUCKS IF YOU BUCK
Saturday’s game will wrap the twin bill between Stockton and Abbotsford at Stockton Arena and will mark the halfway point of scheduled dates for the Canucks in the Port City. The next time Vancouver’s AHL affiliate will play in Stockton Arena will be March 25 before wrapping the regular season slate against Stockton on April 22, the final two remaining games between the divisional foes on the Heat’s home ice.