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Stockton Update: Rychel, Lazar have been on fire

Stockton’s defence continues to struggle

The Heat split their past weekend series 1-1, but resiliency and comebacks were the theme of the weekend.

On Friday, against divisional opponent the Ontario Reign, the Heat found themselves trailing 4-2, with half a period remaining. Oliver Kylington scored his second of the game and Tyler Graovac potted Kylington’s dish just 5 minutes later, to even then score. Graovac would find the net again in overtime, sealing the Heat’s first victory of the season. Head coach Cail Maclean earned his first AHL win. Curtis Lazar also scored, and Jon Gillies gave up 4 goals to earn the win.

On Saturday, it appeared the narrative would repeat itself. The Heat were down 4-1 at the beginning of the third, before Kerby Rychel scored two goals 4 minutes apart. The Barracuda scored again, making it 5-3, before Rychel completed the hat-trick. That was as close as the Heat would get, as San Jose added an empty net. Tyler Parsons gave up 5 goals in the contest, while Lazar scored again.

The problem this year has far and away been the ability to keep the puck out of their own net. The Heat are scoring at a very good pace, averaging 3.75 goals per game, but giving up 6 goals per game grossly over shadows that. While a certain amount can be placed on a team’s defence, the Heat barely give up an average of 30 shots. Gillies and Parsons need to be better if this team is going to have any success.

Heat Player of the Week: Kerby Rychel

Games: 2 (3 Goals 2 Assists)

Up Next: Oct 20 @ San Jose, Oct 21 vs San Jose

Record: 1-2-1, 6th Pacific

Team Leaders:

Kerby Rychel GP: 4 (4-2-6)

Tyler Graovac GP: 4 (2-3-5)

Spencer Foo GP: 4 (2-2-4)