Today, for the last time of this very irregular regular season, the Stockton Heat will play at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Their opponents will again be the Belleville Senators, who have dispatched the Heat by 4-2 counts in their last two meetings. Belleville has points in six of its last ten games and is slowly catching up on Stockton for fourth place in the Canadian Division.
Dmitry Zavgorodniy scored his first AHL goal for the Heat in the loss to Belleville on Thursday. Glenn Gawdin also tallied for Stockton, which fell to 10-13-1. Since Mar. 11, the date their lengthy winning streak extended to eight games, the Heat have posted a 2-11-1 record.
Cole Reinhardt, J.C. Beaudin, Parker Kelly, and Egor Sokolov all scored for the Senators on Thursday, chasing Heat goaltender Garret Sparks in the process. Andrew Shortridge made his first appearance of the season in relief, stopping all six shots he faced over 24 minutes.
It remains to be seen whether Yan Kuznetsov or Tyler Parsons will get into the lineup on Saturday. Kuznetsov skated in warmups for the Heat prior to Thursday’s game; Parsons, recovering from an ankle injury, has yet to make an appearance in that venue but has been practicing with the team.
These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games.
Dmitry Zavgorodniy – Giorgio Estephan – Matthew Phillips
Emilio Pettersen – Glenn Gawdin – Luke Philp
Colton Beck – Byron Froese – Eetu Tuulola
Alex Gallant – Mark Simpson – Kris Bennett
Connor Mackey – Zac Leslie
Colton Poolman – Alexander Yelesin
CJ Lerby – Rob Hamilton
Angus Crookshank – Mark Kastelic – Egor Sokolov
Joseph LaBate – J.C. Beaudin – Vitaly Abramov
Cole Reinhardt – Cole Cassels – Parker Kelly
Joe Carroll – Curtis Douglas – Jonathan Davidsson
Jonathan Aspirot – Colby Williams
Cody Goloubef – Jack Dougherty
Hubert Labrie – Lassi Thomson
This listing excludes players on NHL call-ups or assignments to various other leagues.
Stockton — Matthew Phillips (seven goals, 19 points in 24 games); Luke Philp (eight goals, 16 points in 24 games); Connor Mackey (three goals, 15 points in 24 games); Glenn Gawdin (three goals, 12 points in 20 games); Martin Pospisil (five goals, 11 points in 14 games).
Belleville — Vitaly Abramov (six goals, 17 points in 21 games); Egor Sokolov (11 goals, 15 points in 22 games); Parker Kelly (five goals, nine points in 22 games); Angus Crookshank (one goal, eight points in seven games); Lassi Thomson (one goal, eight points in 22 games).
Players to watch
Stockton — Byron Froese. The captain’s production this season has left a little to be desired, particularly after he scored 42 points (19 goals, 23 assists) in 46 games with the Heat last season.
Froese currently sits at four goals and five points in 13 games this year and has yet to make his mark during this homestand against Belleville. He did, however, manage to get on the board in memorable fashion during Stockton’s win over Laval on Apr. 6.
Sometimes, all you need is a bounce.
— Mike Gould (@miketgould) April 7, 2021
At this point, Froese could use another one of those bounces to help his team get back on track against the B-Sens.
Belleville — Angus Crookshank. Where did this guy come from? The 21-year-old Crookshank is off to a rip-roaring start in his professional career, having already recorded eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his first seven games with Belleville.
Crookshank spent the previous three seasons playing at the University of New Hampshire and was one of five NHL draftees on the team last season. Ottawa selected Crookshank with the 126th selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and signed him to an entry-level contract on Mar. 17.
How to watch
This game will be broadcast on AHLTV.com (subscription required), with the opening puck-drop set for 2:00 pm MT. Live game updates can be found on Twitter at @miketgould or online at TheAHL.com.