Matchup: Stockton Heat (9-9-1-0; 3rd Canadian) at Laval Rocket (15-4-1-1; 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.
Stockton looks to earn its way back into the win column Friday against the Laval Rocket, the first contest in a three-game set in Montreal. Laval swept Stockton in the teams’ first series this season at the Scotiabank Saddledome, a four-game set that came on the heels of the Heat’s eight-game win streak coming to a close.
PHILP FILLING THE NET
Luke Philp continued his torrid stretch of late with the game’s first goal in Stockton’s last outing Monday in Toronto. With the score, the second-year forward extended his scoring run to points in eight of the last 10 games with six goals and three assists in that span. With his recent run, Philp has climbed to second on the Heat in scoring for the season and tied at the top of the team with eight goals. Philp paced the Heat with five points in four games against the Rocket.
The Heat have needed strong play on special teams for success this season, with six of the team’s nine wins coming when Stockton outscores its opponent on the power play. In the two-game set at Toronto, the Heat saw only nine seconds on the man-advantage as the Marlies were charged with just one penalty in each game – a fighting major in the former and a hooking in the latter that nullified a Toronto power play.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
Despite the crooked series tally between the Heat and Rocket, Stockton made a habit of coming up just short against the top team in the Canadian Division. In four games against Laval, two were settled by one goal, one of which came in overtime, and a third was tied through two periods of play. The Heat will look to get over the hump Friday in Montreal.
Connor Mackey has shown out on the offensive end in recent games, the rookie rearguard finding his way onto the score sheet in four straight and five of the last six games. Mackey, who was credited with an assist in Stockton’s regular season finale against Toronto, leads AHL defensemen with 12 points and nine assists on the season. His plus-7 rating is fourth-best among that group.
TO AND FRO
Byron Froese enjoyed a strong series against his former club last time he laced up against the Rocket, the captain potting a pair of goals in his first four contests with the Heat this season coming against Laval at the Scotiabank Saddledome.