2021-22 Stockton Heat Leaders
Team Record: 10-1-2 (.846, 1st Pacific, 1st West, 2nd AHL)
The Heat were finally defeated in regulation. It was a truly bizarre feeling watching the clock tick to 0 in Stockton’s 5-3 loss to Ontario on Monday night. The team had just got used to losing at all with their first defeat since they also lost in overtime on opening night last weekend in an extra time loss to Henderson.
They carried an 11 game point streak into the first part of the double header on Sunday night in Ontario, with Dustin Wolf between the pipes. The Reign, LA’s AHL affiliate, had only lost 1 game in regulation and one in a shootout, and hung right behind Stockton in the standings. Their deadly top line struck early, as Gabe Vilardi’s slick pass across the crease was deflected in by a Heat defender. Around 2 minutes later, Jakob Pelletier ripped the equalizer from the top of the circles over former teammate Garret Sparks. Fresh callup Adam Ruzicka and captain Byron Froese both struck on the powerplay in the second to widen their lead.
Helge Grans added a powerplay goal for Ontario with 6 seconds remaining in the second, but it would be as close as they’d come. Luke Philp added an empty netter with one second remaining, and Stockton defeated a very formidable opponent by a 4-2 score. With an assist on that empty net goal, Glenn Gawdin became the top scorer in the now 7 season history of the team. It was his 110th point with the team, which surpassed the 109 record previously held by Ryan Lomberg (2015-2019). With 2 assists, Matthew Phillips also moved up in the record books, as he surpasses Andrew Mangiapane for third all time.
All great things must come to an end, and the massive 12 game point streak game to a close as they split the series with Ontario with a loss on Monday night. Adam Werner was in net for this one, as he suffered his first defeat of any kind in the 5-3 decision. Stockton actually built a 2-1 lead within the first 4 minutes of the game thanks to back-to-back goals from Matthew Phillips and Glenn Gawdin after an opening Reign goal. Ontario would get another past Werner before the end of the period, but Luke Philp restored the lead just a minute into the second with his 6th of the year.
It would be a lead that would more than evaporate in the third, thanks to a run of three Reign goals. The first, to tie the game at 3, was scored by team captain, former Flame, and son of Darryl Sutter, Brett. That goal was early in the third, and was followed 3 minutes later by Calgarian Austin Strand. Another Reign goal 2 minutes later put this one out of hand, and handed the Heat their first regulation loss of the year.
Adam Ruzicka was recalled by the Flames after this 2-game set, as he’ll have to battle his way into the red hot Calgary lineup. Stockton has already defeated Colorado once last night thanks to a certain rookie, and part 2 will go this afternoon. Apologies for the slightly later edition of the Heat Wave, but look for the recap of those 2 games on the usual Monday morning!
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