2021-22 Stockton Heat Leaders
Record: 5-0-1 (.917, 2nd Pacific, 2nd West)
Winning has been an organization wide success this season, and the Stockton Heat are a huge part of that. 2 more wins this (longer than expected) week pushed their win streak to 5, and extends a season-opening point streak to 6.
On what was supposed to be the first half of a back-to-back, Stockton steam rolled their way to 6-3 victory over the Colorado Eagles, largely thanks to the work of Adam Ruzicka. The 2017 4th rounder recorded his first career AHL hat trick, while Adam Werner had a very strong game to remain perfect on the season.
An early Colorado goal was a harsh welcome for Ilya Solovyov, who was making his AHL debut after the Flames selected him in the 7th round of the 2020 NHL draft. As they have all season, this team really doesn’t like to lose, and Mark Simpson scored his first of the season 57 seconds later to knot the game up at 1.
Luke Philp gave the Heat the lead, before Ruzicka scored his first of the night with just over a minute remaining in the first period. His second, under 5 minutes into the second, would chase Hunter Miska from the Eagles net. The change briefly sparked Colorado who put another past Werner before the end of the second.
Second of the season for the Slovakian center. pic.twitter.com/D7S37tEMvj— Stockton Heat (@AHLHeat) October 31, 2021
Martin Pospisil deflected Nick DeSimone’s point shot early in the third and it was really all the Heat needed. Andreas Wingerli scored late in the third to justify Colorado pulling their goalie at 5-3, which allowed Ruzicka to complete his hat trick into the empty net.
Stockton was supposed to play the San Jose Barracuda the following night, but COVID-19 concerns caused the Halloween game to be postponed to a later, unknown date. The two Pacific division rivals wouldn’t miss each other for long, as they met on Wednesday in San Jose.
It would be the Wolf between the pipes this time, and to no one’s surprise at this point, put forth another sparkling performance. A single goal made it past the elite young goaltender, at a point when the game was essentially over.
Adam Ruzicka had a relatively quiet start to this season, but through these two games posted a ridiculous 5 goals and added an assist. He potted 2 in the first, which were separated by a tally of Luke Philp’s, before assisting on Martin Pospisil’s second period goal. That made the score 4-0 Stockton midway through the second, and Scott Reedy’s goal late in that period would be the last of the affair, as the Heat skated away with a 4-1 win.
When you're hot, you're hot.@ARuzicka21 is on fire. pic.twitter.com/1s6PeUfaxO— Stockton Heat (@AHLHeat) November 4, 2021
Walker Duehr earned his first NHL call-up this week, and may find his way into the Flames lineup with Brett Ritchie on IR, and Calgary on a mini slide.
Stockton enters a back-to-back at home on Friday and Saturday against the new Abbotsford Canucks. Abbotsford, located in British Columbia, was of course the home of the Abbotsford Heat from 2009 to 2014, as the Flames affiliate.