Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

AHL Post-Game: The Heat just can’t beat Troy Grosenick

The American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames, the Stockton Heat, began their playoff journey this evening in the familiar confines of the SAP Center in San Jose. Their opponents were the Pacific Division’s regular season champions, the San Jose Barracuda. Despite playing a high tempo game with many good chances, the Heat lost Game 1 of their best-of-five series by a 4-0 score.

The Rundown

The Heat arguably generated dangerous chances more frequently than the Barracuda, though the home side generated more shots on Heat goaltender Jon Gillies. The Barracuda scored four goals:

  1. A wrist shot by Tim Heed on the rush which beat Gillies high on his glove side in the first period to make it 1-0.
  2. A wrist shot by Ryan Carpenter on a two-on-one rush that beat him high glove side in the second period. This time, Heat defender Michael Kostka got caught pinching as the Heat pressured in the offensive zone. That left Tyler Wotherspoon all alone and he embraced the Ian White Starfish on the two-on-one, neither forcing the pass or blocking it in any way, allowing Buddy Robinson to feed Carpenter for the nice shot and goal.
  3. Just six seconds after Andrew Mangiapane’s third period slashing penalty expired, Mirco Mueller’s point shot was tipped (through traffic) by Rourke Chartier. That tip trickled through Gillies’ pads and, as Gillies sprawled to try to retrieve it, Carpenter knocked in the loose puck from the side of the crease to make it 3-0. It wasn’t technically a power play goal, but functionally it was because Mangiapane was barely back on the ice.
  4. Kevin LaBanc added an empty netter to make it 4-0. It was San Jose’s third attempt at an empty net goal, including one attempt that resulted in a pretty good save by Rasmus Andersson.

Here’s the Wotherspoon play on the 2-0 goal:

Why The Heat Lost

San Jose goalie Troy Grosenick is very good. He was just named the AHL’s best goalie this season. He lived up to that reputation tonight, though the Heat could have made his life more difficult. The Heat generated a lot of chances, but many of them missed the net. Gillies was busier than Groesnick overall, and the Barracuda forwards did a better job putting traffic in front of him.

It’s a shame, too, because the Heat did a lot of things well. They played with speed really nice and spent a lot of time in San Jose’s end. They just couldn’t translate zone time into goals.

Red Warrior

Hunter Shinkaruk led the way with five shots and he was consistently speedy and dangerous all night.

Stick-taps to Ryan Lomberg, Brett Kulak, Mark Jankowski, Andersson and Gillies, as well.

The Lines

Andrew Mangiapane – Mark Jankowski – Garnet Hathaway
Hunter Shinkaruk – Linden Vey – Ryan Lomberg
Morgan Klimchuk – Mikkel Aagaard – Austin Carroll
Jamie Devane – Mike Angelidis – Brandon Bollig

Tyler Wotherspoon – Michael Kostka
Brett Kulak – Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington – Keith Aulie

Scratches: G Tyler Parsons, D Kayle Doetzel, D Kenney Morrison, D Adam Ollas Mattsson, D Josh Healey, F Cam Braes, F Matthew Phillips, F Matt Frattin, F Hunter Smith, F Daniel Pribyl

Up Next

Game 2 goes Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. MT from San Jose.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Oh Man~! I just posted about this game on the “Treliving and Gulutzan share their year-end thoughts” Damn! I didn’t see this pop up! UNGH~! Anyways … Bummer night for the Heat! Get them next time! Troy Grosenick was insanely good tonight!

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I like Gillies but he does seem to let in some soft ones whereas Rittich can shut the door and post shutouts… Which makes me think he is a more finished product. I think Gillies ceiling is higher but Ialso think Parsons will bump both of them.

    Calgary needs to bring up either Rittich or Gillies next year to give Parsons significant playing time in the AHL next year.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Rittich has no future in the Flames org. Way too much invested in Gillies. With Parsons pounding on the door threatening to jump ahead of Gillies, where does that leave Rittich? He is a UFA in July and will sign elsewhere unless the Flames want him to start or backup the big club. Don’t see that happening.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I can’t see the Flames investing all that into Rittich only to let him leave. I could see them rotating Gillies and Rittich between the 2 leagues. I don’t think Elliott is going to lose his confidence long term if he comes back but a back up could take his job.

  • Cheeky

    Seems to be a theme here – other team were able to create traffic in front of our goalie…hmmm. Also wtf is our best offensive defensive prospect playing on 3rd pairing.