The Stockton Heat headed into Game 4 of their series with the San Jose Barracuda in a “win or you’re done” situation. They also managed to claw back from a pair of deficits – one early and one late – to extend their season by at least one game by way of a 5-3 victory at Stockton Arena.
The Heat started off a bit flat. Danny O’Regan scores 58 seconds into the game off a rebound, with the Heat never really getting their bearings. They weren’t great for the rest of the period, getting out-shot 10-6 by San Jose.
Stockton was a lot better in the second. Hunter Shinkaruk tied the game up at 1-1 in the middle of the second, as Linden Vey tried to force a pass through the slot (and succeeded on his second try). Just over a minute later Garnet Hathaway made it 2-1, wristing a nice feed from Oliver Kylington past Troy Grosenick. But the Heat couldn’t hold the lead until the intermission, as the Heat couldn’t clear the zone after an initial rush by the Barracuda and Buddy Robinson buried a loose puck to make it 2-2. Shots were 16-14 for Stockton.
The Barracuda took a lead early in the third period, with a Tim Heed point shot through traffic eluding David Rittich to make it 3-2. Just as it looked like San Jose would grind out a close win, Andrew Mangiapane tied the game with five minutes left in regulation at 3-3. A few minutes later, Vey buried a rebound to make it 4-3. He added an empty netter roughly a minute later to make it 5-3. Shots were 13-11 San Jose.
Why The Heat Won
The Barracuda seemed to do a good job isolating the Heat’s top six for the first two periods – a lack of Morgan Klimchuk due to injury has essentially made the Heat a two line team – but the top six really amped things up in the third period. Overall, they were put in a situation where they made fewer mistakes than the Barracuda and were able to take advantage of the daylight they were given.
I’ve gotta go with Vey, who had five shots and three points. He scored the game winning goal and managed to set up Shinkaruk with a gorgeous pass on Stockton’s first goal.
Also good tonight: Mangiapane (a goal and six shots), Rittich (34 saves) and Rasmus Andersson (three shots).
Tyler Wotherspoon – Michael Kostka
Brett Kulak – Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington – Kayle Doetzel
Scratches: G Tyler Parsons, D Kenney Morrison, D Keegan Kanzig, D Adam Ollas Mattsson, D Keith Aulie, D Josh Healey, F Matthew Phillips, F Morgan Klimchuk, F Emile Poirier, F Brett Pollock, F Hunter Smith, F Ryan Lomberg, F Daniel Pribyl, F Cam Braes
Our best guess is that Klimchuk, Smith, Lomberg and Pribyl are injured, otherwise they would be playing.
Game 5 goes Tuesday night at 8 p.m. MT from the SAP Center in San Jose. The winner moves on to face the winner of the San Diego/Ontario series.