Record: 30-16-4-4 (.630%), 3rd Pacific Division, 5th Western Conference
Luke Philp (19), Byron Froese (18), Glenn Gawdin (16)
Alan Quine (32), Glenn Gawdin (30), Zac Leslie (23)
Glenn Gawdin (46), Alan Quine (46), Byron Froese (40)
Jon Gillies (14-10-4), 2.58 GAA .910 SV% 1 SO
Artyom Zagidulin (16-6-4), 3.02 GAA .900 SV% 2 SO
For such a short career, the writing sure has been on the wall for Eetu Tuulola all too frequently. He had already dipped his toes in professional hockey waters when the Flames drafted him in the 6th round of the 2016 draft (10 picks before Matthew Phillips), as he had suited up for HPK Hameenlinna of Finland’s top league. In his draft +1 year he came over to North America and played for the Everett Silvertips. However, he barely managed a half point per game in what should have been inferior competition, and went back to HPK the next season.
He played all of 2017-18 and 18-19 with the team, helping Hameenlinna win the championship for the first time since 2006. Tuulola put up 62 points over 111 games, and earned his entry-level contract this past summer. Things were bad for a while. Tuulola went through a stretch where he only scored 2 goals over 25 games. He has more than turned a corner. At an impressive 220 pounds and 6’3, Tuulola has all the physical requirements in the world to be a legit player, and his offensive game has drastically turned a corner.
Tuulola had 2 multi point games in this weekend’s home and home series with Bakersfield, which saw the Heat earn 3 of 4 points in their hunt for the playoffs.
Friday’s game was nearly a carbon copy of the Big Club’s comeback victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Heat were down 2-0 after the first, but had the game evened up barely 5 minutes into the second period. Austin Czarnik stayed red-hot, cutting the lead to one with an assist from Tuulola, followed by Luke Philp tying the game on the powerplay minutes later with his team-leading 19th goal of the season. Tuulola played hero, scoring the game winning goal 12 minutes into the third period, also on the powerplay. Jon Gillies made 25 saves in the 3-2 decision.
Saturday’s game resulted in a disappointing shootout loss 4-3 at the hands of the Condors, but still earned the Heat a valuable point. After Austin Czarnik gave the Heat a 1-0 lead after the first period, the remaining 5 goals of the game were given up in the second period, as the game ended regulation at 3-3. Colby Cave and Joseph Gambardella gave the Condors the lead, followed by Martin Pospisil and Eetu Tuulola regaining the lead, and Jake Kulevich tying the game with 13 seconds left in the second. No Heat shooter was able to score in the shootout, and Kirill Maksimov got one past Artyom Zagidulin in the fourth round. Zagidulin made 33 saves in the loss.
-Austin Czarnik trails only Alan Quine in points per game, at 1.06 (33 points in 31 games)
-Eetu Tuulola has 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in his past 9 games
-Martin Pospisil (5 points in last 6) and Adam Ruzicka (11 points in last 13) join Tuulola as the rookies have shouldered the offensive load in recent weeks
-Jon Gillies’ average is a full goal (3.51 in 2018-19) lower this year
-Matthew Phillips has struggled greatly since returning from his fractured kneecap, only recording 3 points in 9 games
Heat Player of the Week:
Eetu Tuulola 2 GP: 2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts
Up Next: Mar 10 vs. San Jose
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