TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (12-2-2-0; 1st Pacific) vs. San Diego Gulls (8-7-1-0; 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 online on Spreaker.
A slow start, a strong second period and a smooth landing helped the Heat earn a 4-1 win in the series opener between Stockton and San Diego Friday at Stockton Arena. Connor Mackey led the way with a pair of goals to go with an assist, while Martin Pospisil and Connor Zary each pitched in a goal of their own. Netminder Dustin Wolf made 23 saves on 24 shots faced in the win while Juuso Valimaki made his season debut with the Heat.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, MACK-TION
Connor Mackey paced the Heat on Friday with three points and two goals, spearheading a bounce-back effort for Stockton. The game was his second professional three-point outing, first since notching a goal and two assists on March 27, 2021 against Belleville, and was his first professional multi-goal effort. The last Heat defenseman to tally three points in a game besides Mackey was Alex Petrovic on March 8, a four-assist contest against Manitoba.
MARTY PARTY DON’T STOP
Since returning to the lineup from injury, Martin Pospisil has shown a knack for finding his way onto the score sheet with a point in three consecutive contests. Pospisil’s lamp-lighter got the scoring started on Friday, and he now has goals in back-to-back games following his latest.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The Heat have earned at least a point in all eight home games this season, owning a record of 6-0-2-0 at Stockton Arena. The club has won six of the last seven on on home ice and has outscored opponents by a 24-15 margin in that span. All-time, Stockton is now 17-7-0-1 against San Diego at Stockton Arena.
BACK FOR SECONDS
Stockton was dominant in the second period in Friday’s win, scoring twice while peppering San Diego netminder Lukas Dostal with 21 shots in the period, most in a frame this season for the Heat. On the year, the Heat have out-shot opponents 178-169 in the second period and have outscored their counterparts 19-14 in the second 20-minute segment.
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
With yet another strong performance between the pipes, Dustin Wolf is now 10-0-2-0 in his last 12 starts with the Heat, a stretch that dates back to the 2020-21 season. Wolf now ranks second in the AHL’s Western Conference and third overall with a 2.07 GAA, and he paces Western goalies and sits second in the AHL with a .934 SVP. The rookie is tied for second in the league with eight wins, tops in the Western Conference.