TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat (8-0-1-0; 2nd Pacific) vs. Henderson Silver Knights (5-4-1-0; 3rd Pacific)
LOCATION: Stockton Arena | Stockton, California
TIME: 7:00 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 keep getting hotter, Stockton coming into Friday’s contest having won eight consecutive games, most recently an overtime victory over the Bakersfield Condors. Stockton started fast and held on late until Jakob Pelletier potted his second goal of the game less than four minutes into OT to seal the win. Rookie netminder Dustin Wolf made 41 saves in the game, a career high, and Connor Zary made his season debut in the midweek tilt.
NEXT WOULD BE BEST
The Heat come into Friday’s tilt on a historic run, matching the club’s all-time long win streak of eight games, previously set in the 2020-21 season with Stockton playing out of the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The Heat have outscored opponents 33-17 in the current streak and have dispatched of the divisional foes in regulation in all but one game, Wednesday at Bakersfield.
THE KID IS ALRIGHT
If Stockton needs a game-sealing goal, look for No. 49. Jakob Pelletier has played in nine AHL games, with the Heat winning eight of them. He leads Stockton (and all AHL skaters) with three game-winners on the year, including Wednesday’s walk-off in overtime, and has factored into five game-deciding goals in Stockton’s eight wins on the season. He ranks second on Stockton’s roster in scoring and is third among AHL rookies with 11 points on the season.
OUT OF THE GATES
The Heat were ready to roll from the opening puck drop on Wednesday, potting a pair of goals in the game’s first 2:26. Pelletier’s lamp-lighter 1:49 into the evening’s action was the fastest goal to start a game on the year for Stockton while Byron Froese’s shorthanded marker, the first of the season for the Heat, followed 37 seconds later – the shortest time between goals for the Heat on the year. Stockton is 5-0-0-0 this season when scoring first.
Eetu Tuulola has been on a roll since re-entering the Heat lineup ahead of the Abbotsford weekend series, now with a three-game scoring streak including a goal in back-to-back games. The run is the third streak of three or more games with a point for Tuulola in his AHL career, first since his rookie season.
Friday’s contest will be the first-ever meeting between the Stockton Heat and Henderson Silver Knights, with Henderson joining the AHL ahead of the 2020-21 season when the Heat were temporarily relocated to Calgary and the Canadian Division. Stockton is hoping to issue the same rude welcome the Heat gave to Abbotsford last weekend, sweeping a two-game set against the newest Pacific Division Club. The Heat have also excelled against the Colorado Eagles, the third-newest unit in the Pacific Division, with a mark of 11-3-0-1 in the all-time series.