STOCKTON, Calif. – Guided by a four-point effort from Matthew Phillips and a potent night from the second line that saw Justin Kirkland, Connor Zary and Luke Philp combine for five goals and six points, the Stockton Heat (29-8-3-1) overpowered the visiting Bakersfield Condors (20-12-4-4) en route to a 7-4 victory Sunday evening at Stockton Arena.
The scoring started early with Brad Malone finding the back of the net just 25 seconds into the contest to put the visitors on ahead, but the Heat roared back with a pair of goals in the next 1:55 from Kirkland and Phillips to take a 2-1 lead. Yanni Kaldis responded for the visitors, knotting the game at two 6:33 into the frame, but again Stockton countered with two scores from Kirkland and Philp in the next 2:11 to take a 4-2 lead into the intermission.
The home team added to its cushion in the second, Philp and Zary finding the back of the net in the middle 10 of the frame, and the teams then swapped goals in the third with Adam Cracknell and Dino Kambeitz scoring for the Condors sandwiched around Emilio Pettersen lighting the lamp for Stockton to produce the 7-4 final score.
With his four-point effort, Phillips overtook line mate Glenn Gawdin for Stockton’s all-time scoring lead at 136 points.
- Stockton’s four-goal first period matched the team’s highest goal total for a frame this year, the fourth time the Heat have hung four on an opponent in a single frame (last February 3 at Abbotsford).
- Justin Kirkland now has four goals and seven points in the last four games.
- Connor Zary has his first three-game scoring streak of the season, and first since a five-game run last season.
- Luke Philp has goals in three consecutive games and has lit the lamp seven times in Stockton’s last seven games. It’s his second three-game goal streak of the year, first since November 13 through November 22.
- Matthew Phillips posted a season-high four points and overtook Glenn Gawdin for the all-time Stockton scoring lead with 106 career points.
- Emilio Pettersen has three goals in the last four games after entering the stretch with one on the year.
- The game was the second time this season the Heat scored three power play goals in a game, last in a 10-1 win over San Jose on December 7.
- The Heat have a 5-0-0-0 record against the Condors with five games remaining in the season series.
STK PP – 3-for-5
STK PK – 6-for-7
First – Matthew Phillips (1g,3a)
Second – Justin Kirkland (2g)
Third – Luke Philp (2g)
W – Dustin Wolf (36 saves on 40 shots faced)
L – Alex Stalock (9 saves on 14 shots faced)
ND – Stuart Skinner (6 saves on 8 shots faced)
The Heat hit the road for a pair of games at Abbotsford Friday and Sunday, then return home for games on March 4 and 5 against Bakersfield and San Jose, respectively.