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Heat Wave: Week 2

Stockton prove they can win many ways

Stockton Heat

Record: 3-0-1 (.875, 2nd Pacific, 2nd West)

2021-22 Stockton Heat Leaders

Skaters GP G A P
Skaters GP G A P
49- Jakob Pelletier 4 2 3 5
11- Matthew Phillips 4 2 2 4
29- Adam Ruzicka 4 1 3 4
23- Justin Kirkland 4 3 0 3
39- Luke Philp 4 1 2 3
Goalies GP W-L-T GAA Sv%
32- Dustin Wolf 3 2-0-1 1.58 0.951
35- Adam Werner 1 1-0-0 2.02 0.909

After a successful opening weekend at home against the Tucson Roadrunners, the Stockton Heat found themselves on the road for back-to-back games against fellow Californian teams the San Diego Gulls and Bakersfield Condors.

Goaltender Adam Werner made his Heat debut on Friday after a late camp assignment and some administrative delays. His team gave him a very solid outing to get his feet wet, as he only permeated two goals in a 6-2 blowout of the Gulls.

Justin Kirkland opened the scoring for the second straight game, as he buried a deflected pass past Lukas Dostal, who was making his AHL debut. The Gulls would even the score in what was their home opener before the end of the first period.

After playing together for the first time last week, the top line of Adam Ruzicka, Matthew Phillips, and rookie Jakob Pelletier have clearly developed some filthy chemistry. That line potted two in the second, thanks to some nifty passing to set up Phillips for 2-1 lead, and then a nice deflection by Jakob Pelletier on the powerplay with just over two minutes remaining in the second. Adam Ruzicka added his first of the year to make it 4-1 just a minute into the third.

Werner stopped 7 of 8 in the third for a total of 20 on the night, Walker Duehr and Luke Philp each added a goal, and the Heat skated away with their first road win of the season.

Saturday was a much tighter affair, as you’d expect when any Oiler and Flames club collide. Dustin Wolf was at the helm for his third start and, despite the Heat falling behind in regulation for the first time this season, secured his second victory. Tim Schaller scored 1:33 into the second period, and from that point on Wolf saved 15 shots in the second and 7 in the third, while Stockton slowly chipped in the offence it needed to win.

Cooper Marody’s game-opening tally was short-lived as NHL veteran Kevin Gravel evened the score for the Heat just 45 seconds later early in the first. After Schaller gave the Condors an early second period lead, resident sniper Kirkland scored in his third consecutive game to notch the game at two.

The aforementioned top line was back at it in the third, as Pelletier showed patience on a 3-on-2, before finding Phillips in the high slot who streaked in for the game-winner.

Newcomer Nick DeSimone added the empty-netter for the 4-2 victory, as the Heat improve their record to 3-0-1.