STOCKTON, Calif. – Special teams was the difference as the Stockton Heat (38-11-4-1) used a shorthanded goal and power play strike to go with an empty netter en route to a 3-1 decision over the Abbotsford Canucks (30-20-4-1) Friday at Stockton Arena.
The Canucks drew first blood with Guillaume Brisebois lighting the lamp 1:46 into the opening frame, but Jakob Pelletier scored with Stockton down a skater to even the game at a goal apiece through one period.
A hard-fought battle saw one goal scored in the second, Luke Philp tapping home a puck on the power play from a Martin Pospisil feed to give the Heat the edge at the 5:23 mark of the frame. The home team never relinquished the advantage, keeping the Canucks off the board and Justin Kirkland adding an empty-netter for the 3-1 win.
Dustin Wolf turned away 26 of 27 shots faced in the win, Stockton’s sixth in seven tries against Abbotsford.
- Jakob Pelletier’s shorthanded goal in the first period gave him the lead in Stockton’s goal-scoring race for the season (26) and tied him for the Heat team lead in SHG (2). His two shorthanded markers have come in Stockton’s last three games.
- With his 19th goal of the season, Luke Philp has matched his career high, set in 2019-20, also in 52 games. He has five more points this year than in his rookie season, all assists. Philp now has nine multi-point games on the year.
- Juuso Valimaki has assists in three consecutive games.
- Stockton is now 6-1-0-0 on the year against Abbotsford and 9-0-1-0 when scoring shorthanded. Three of the Heat’s 11 shorthanded goals this season have come against Abbotsford.
- With 21 home wins, Stockton is now one win shy of the team record of 22 set in the 2015-16 season. It’s the second time the Heat have reached 21 since, last in 2016-17.
STK PP – 1-for-2
STK PK – 3-for-3
First – Luke Philp (1g,1a)
Second – Jakob Pelletier (1g)
Third – Dustin Wolf (26 svs)
W – Dustin Wolf (26 saves on 27 shots faced)
L – Michael DiPietro (32 saves on 34 shots faced)
The Heat head to San Diego for a Sunday, 5 p.m. puck drop, and will return home Wednesday as they take on the Colorado Eagles at 6:30 p.m.