Less than 24 hours after losing in the fourth round of the shootout to the San Diego Gulls, the Stockton Heat were unable to take advantage of their opportunity for revenge against the AHL-affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, allowing a late third period goal after not trailing for the prior 57 minutes of play to fall 3-2 in Southern California Saturday evening.
While on a power play early in the final period, the Heat took a 2-1 lead thanks to defenceman Oliver Kylington’s second goal of the season.
After San Diego answered the young Swede’s notch less than two minutes later to tie, the teams seemed destined for their second overtime in as many nights.
However, a Heat turnover with two and a half minutes remaining led to a Gulls breakaway and proved to be costly with San Diego left winger Max Friberg slotting the puck past Heat goaltender Jon Gillies for the lead and eventual win.
"Going into the third period it’s a 2-2 game and a tie game on the road," right winger Garnet Hathaway said. "That’s a good battle and I think we’re a strong third period team. We expect to win in those situations. We had one unlucky play that led to a breakaway and those things happen. I think other than that we were really pushing them. Just a bad timing goal and that’s what happens."
Right winger Austin Carroll scored the first professional goal of his career on a rebound early in the first period to get Stockton on the board.
"I just got the puck down low and saw an opportunity to take it to the net," Carroll said. "I just made a power move, jammed it once and got my own rebound. It felt great to get that first one out of the way and move on from that one. Obviously would have been nice to get the win, but it was good to get that one out of the way."
Gillies had his second busiest night of the season, making 33 saves in the loss. Stockton matched San Diego with 36 shots.
The Heat (2-3-0-1) will return to Northern California to play their first home game in over three weeks when they host the Bakersfield Condors (Oilers) next Friday night.