The Stockton Heat only played twice this past week: back-to-back weekend games in Bakersfield and San Jose that saw them give up 10 goals following holiday festivities.
… So yeah, things didn’t exactly go well.
December 26: Condors 5, Heat 3
The Condors had 32 shots on the Heat’s net, beating Ortio four times and securing an empty netter in the game’s final two minutes to ensure a win. The Heat, in turn, only threw 24 shots the Condors’ way, and goalie Ty Rimmer’s .875 save percentage was enough to beat out Ortio’s .871.
Down 2-0 headed into the second, Jakub Nakladal cut the Condors’ lead in half, but a shorthanded goal on Bakersfield’s part, followed by another even strength goal turned it into a 4-1 game. Bryce Van Brabant scored twice in the third period to try to make a game of it, but the Condors’ empty netter sealed the 5-3 victory.
Van Brabant, along with Nakladal, Derek Grant, Emile Poirier, and Freddie Hamilton all had three shots on net. Bill Arnold had two, but was on the ice for four goals against.
December 27: Barracuda 5, Heat 1
If the game before was bad, well, this one seemed worse. Once again, Ortio gave up four goals, this time off of 25 shots for a .840 save percentage. His save percentage through 11 games with the Heat is .876.
Yeah… not what you’d expect of a goalie with NHL aspirations. Ortio had a horrific weekend, and ended up pulled for Kent Simpson after he gave up his fourth goal just over halfway through the game. Simpson gave up one final goal on the 10 shots he faced.
The Heat got their first and only goal of the game with Grant’s tally roughly five minutes after Ortio was pulled. Nakladal and Morgan Klimchuk assisted on the goal.
The Heat had 32 shots against San Jose, but despite more shots than the previous day, they could only beat Troy Grosenick the one time on the power play. Van Brabant continued his good weekend with four shots on net, and Grant joined him with the same number; Hamilton once again had another three shots, as did Kenny Agostino and Ryan Lomberg.
Also noteworthy on Lomberg’s part: after starting his season in the ECHL, he’s now played seven games for the Heat. In this game, he picked up 22 penalty minutes, including a game misconduct, two fighting majors, and a roughing penalty, with 15 of those penalty minutes coming after it was already 5-1.
Ultimately, though, while the Heat definitely need more offence, it’s not exactly conducive to winning when your starting goalie gives up four goals on back-to-back days.
Stockton will be back in action this Tuesday, Dec. 29 when they host the division-leading Ontario Reign. They play four times this week.