Matchup: Stockton Heat (9-10-1-0; 3rd Canadian) at Laval Rocket (16-4-1-1; 1st Canadian)
Arena: Bell Centre | Montreal, QC
Time: 5:00 p.m. MT | 4:00 p.m. PT
Broadcast: Tonight’s game will be available on AHLTV.com.
Follow Along: For live, in-game updates, follow the Heat on Twitter @AHLHeat.
The Heat look to find their offense in the second outing of a three-game set against the Laval Rocket in Montreal, with the home team taking the first contest by a 3-0 tally on Friday at the Bell Centre. Rocket netminder Cayden Primeau stopped all 17 shots he faced in the game while Stockton was held scoreless on three power play opportunities.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH
The Heat come into today’s game with a record of 0-4-1-0 against Laval, but the series has been closer than the record indicates. Through the five games between the Canadian Division clubs, two were decided by one goal, one in overtime, and three were tied or within a goal in the final frame.
The Heat have fared well since the calendar flipped to 2019 in bouncing back from shutouts, winning each of the last three and recording at least a point in four straight after being blanked. In those games, the Heat have totaled 18 goals (4.5 per game average) while allowing 12. Most recently, Stockton rebounded from a 2-0 loss to Iowa last February with a 3-2 win over Bakersfield.
Fast starts are a must for the Heat, who have shown strong play when jumping out to early leads this season. Stockton is 8-3-0-0 on the year when scoring first, 5-0-0-0 when leading after 20 minutes and 7-0-0-0 when up at the end of two periods of play. The Heat have yet to draw first blood in the season series against Laval.
FEELING HIS PRESENCE
Veteran forward Alex Gallant made his return to the Heat lineup after missing the previous 12 games, and he made an immediate impression with a pair of fights in the contest, totaling a Heat season-high 22 penalty minutes in the contest. Gallant, who set a career high on the offensive end last season, has one goal in eight games played in 2020-21.
FRIENDSHIP TOUR CONTINUES
As the saying goes, ‘familiarity breeds contempt.’ That’s been seen throughout the season series between Stockton and Laval, who are set to meet for the sixth time since March 18 tonight. The clubs have seen their combined penalty minutes increase from game-to-game through each of the first five battles, rising from 18 on the 18th to 70 on Friday.