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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson / USA TODAY Sports

AHL Post-Game: Turnovers sink Stockton’s season

The Stockton Heat clawed back from a deficit in their first round series with the San Jose Barracuda to force a do-or-die Game 5. They proceeded to get wildly, wildly out-shot by the Barracuda. And their star goalie left the game after the first period, likely due to an injury.

Despite all of these obstacles, Stockton was full marks in a razor-thin 2-1 overtime loss to San Jose. They lost their Best of 5 series 3-2, but they put up a heck of a fight.

The Rundown

Nobody scored in the first period. Stockton was back on their heels for the most part, with David Rittich holding the fort. Shots were 15-9 Barracuda.

Unfortunately, Jon Gillies came in for an apparently injured Rittich after 20 minutes – Rittich was seemingly hurt in a late period collision. The Heat were out-shot 23-4 in the period. Gillies was excellent. Stockton managed to score off a goal-mouth scramble, with a loose puck squirting out to Jamie Devane who buried a wrister past Troy Grosenick to make it 1-0.

The third period was much more even, but a miscue by Stockton’s defense cost them. Oliver Kylington coughed up a puck at his own blueline, giving the Barracuda a two-on-one chance. Kayle Doetzel busted out the Ian White Memorial Starfish and Timo Meier beat Gillies with a wrister to make it 1-1. Shots were 10-10, sending things to overtime.

Shots and chances were about even in overtime. Stockton were given a golden chance after the Barracuda took a “puck over glass” delay of game penalty. But Michael Kostka coughed the puck up at the blueline, allowing Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Carpenter to go in on a shorthanded two-on-one. Carpenter buried a wrister to win the game 3-2.

Why The Heat Lost

In a word? Turnovers. The team was on their heels for much of the duration, but they seemed to defend well and they gave their goalies enough space to do their thing. But two big turnovers at bad times – Kylington in the third and Kostka in overtime – led to odd-man rushes and big San Jose goals. The game was close enough that those miscues were enough to tilt the game and swing the series.

Red Warrior

Gotta go with Gillies.

The Heat basically gave the reins for the series over to Rittich after pulling Gillies in Game 2. They started Rittich in two consecutive “do or die” games. In the second game, Rittich went down after a period and Gillies had to go in cold to face a team that out-played Stockton in the first period.

After all that, Gillies was full marks and did everything he could to keep Stockton in the game.

The Lines

Andrew Mangiapane – Mark Jankowski – Garnet Hathaway
Hunter Shinkaruk – Linden Vey – Matt Frattin
Allan McPherson – Dillon Dube – Austin Carroll
Jamie Devane – Mike Angelidis – Brandon Bollig

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, F Mikkel Aagaard

Dube made his pro debut. He was pretty decent, buzzing around pretty well and making some smart plays.

Up Next

The Heat are done for the 2016-17 season. We’ll see them all again in the fall, most likely starting with the 2017 Young Stars Classic tournament in Penticton in September.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    Decided to watch this game. Don’t let the inflated shot totals fool you. Except for some serious lapses in the second where Gillies made some timely saves, the Heat had better quality and owned OT. Their goalie is pretty fine as well, Shink was unlucky to hit the post on a break away.

    It was nice to watch the players that I have been reading about all season.
    IMO Janko was our best skater. The line with Mangiapane, Janko, and Hath were dangerous all game. From what I saw, Janko is very elusive and can hold off players with ease but he has great vision.

    Again just one man’s opinion but Kulak and Ras were by far our best defenders. Kulak seems to be the better skater getting out of trouble but Ras is ice with a great first pass. Both seem upgrades to our 5-6 defenders.

    Now the bad news , Kjillington did not impress. He made a glaring mistake which broke Gillies streak and gave SJ hope. You can tell he was rattled because he gave the puck away in the slot on the very next shift. I did not see the the big offensive upside everyone raves about but he is still young.

    I realize this is a small sample size but you could not help but be impressed with, Janko, Mangi, Gillies, Kulak, and Ras. With some serious strength training over the summer, I can see them making a push with the big club.

    No shame in losing in the series clincher to one of the best teams in the league. A team that got even stronger when The Sharks were eliminated by sending 4 players to help their AHL club compete.

    • Juan Valdez

      Kylington was way too nonchalant on the play where he coughed up the puck. He could have made a safe play up the boards, but instead decided to get cute and dipsy doodle right into the opposing player. I thought it was a selfish play that ultimately cost them the game.

      • class1div1

        You’ll have to search hard to find any criticism of Kylington on this site .Most writers had him in there top 4 in the prospect pool and Jankowski at 14. Very little praise for Janko as well.

    • Brodano12

      Kylington is a lot like Subban or Karlsson when they were 18/19 – His risk/reward ratio is still too high, but it’s trending in the right direction. He’s not quite as good offensively as them but considering he almost doubled his points per game this season, I’d say he’s trending to still be quite good. Keep in mind that he was one of the youngest in his draft, still is one of the youngest AHL players this year, and is only now going into his age 20 season, which is how old most dmen are when they enter the AHL (ex: Brodie, Gio, etc), let alone their 3rd season. Not every dman is a Dougie Hamilton or Aaron Ekblad – most take 4-6 seasons to reach their potential in the NHL. Kylington has improved his decision making considerably since when I first watched him, and although he does still have lapses, anyone who watched the Heat this year would tell you he was *just* behind Kulak and Ras.

  • freethe flames

    The good news is that all 3 teams in the Flames organization made the playoffs; the bad news they all lost in the first round. The goods news from this is that the organization is going in the right direction; the bad news is that we still need more talent and that there is still lots of work to do. Janko/Mangiapne/Hathaway/Andersson/Gilles/Kulak/Klimchuk all made significant steps to being on the big squad next year; however Spoon/Shinkaruk/Poirier(here’s praying that he gets over his demons) all took either sideway steps or steps back. Phillips and Dube both got introduced to pro hockey this year and hopefully can make the jump next year to the AHL.