The top two teams in the AHL’s Pacific Division will do battle on Sunday afternoon when the Ontario Reign host the Stockton Heat.
Stockton sits atop the division with a 20–5–3 record (but has lost three of its last five games in regulation). Ontario, at 16–6–3, ranks second in the Pacific but has won back-to-back contests heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Heat.
These two teams have met twice this season, with both games coming on the same weekend in November. The Heat emerged victorious by a 4–2 score on Nov. 21 before falling 5–3 the following night.
Matthew Phillips, Luke Philp, and Jakob Pelletier each have three points in two games against the Reign this season. Philps has two goals and a single helper while both Phillips and Pelletier have one tally and a pair of assists.
Rookie goaltender Dustin Wolf was the goaltender of record in Stockton’s win over Ontario this season, making 31 saves in the 4–2 victory. Wolf (15–1–2, .940 SV%) could get the start on Sunday after backing up Adam Werner in each of Stockton’s last two games.
With Werner in net, the Heat fell 4–1 to the San Diego Gulls on Friday. Eetu Tuulola scored Stockton’s lone goal of the contest, with Phillips and Pelletier picking up the helpers on the power-play marker.
These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games.
Jakob Pelletier – Glenn Gawdin – Matthew Phillips
Eetu Tuulola – Connor Zary – Martin Pospisil
Justin Kirkland – Luke Philp – Walker Duehr
Alex Gallant – Byron Froese – Emilio Pettersen
Kevin Gravel – Connor Mackey
Juuso Valimaki – Colton Poolman
Ilya Solovyov – Nick DeSimone
Gabriel Vilardi – Quinton Byfield – Tyler Madden
Brayden Burke – T.J. Tynan – Samuel Fagemo
Nikita Pavlychev – Jaret Anderson-Dolan – Aidan Dudas
Adam Johnson – Brett Sutter – Jacob Doty
Cameron Gaunce – Helge Grans
Markus Phillips – Austin Strand
Christian Kasastul – Jordan Spence
This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
Stockton — Jakob Pelletier (11 goals, 29 points); Glenn Gawdin (10 goals, 26 points); Matthew Phillips (10 goals, 24 points); Luke Philp (eight goals, 17 points); Connor Mackey (three goals, 15 points).
Ontario — T.J. Tynan (six goals, 28 points); Vladimir Tkachev (four goals, 18 points); Jaret Anderson-Dolan (seven goals, 18 points); Samuel Fagemo (nine goals, 14 points); Jordan Spence (one goal, 13 points).
Players to watch
Stockton — Byron Froese has returned to the Stockton Heat after a brief stint on the Calgary Flames’ taxi squad. The 30-year-old forward has yet to appear in an NHL game this season but has seven goals and 14 points in 16 contests with the Heat. He’ll likely slot into a bottom-six role in his return to the Heat.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 8, 2022
Ontario — Samuel Fagemo played a key role in Ontario’s 5–4 overtime win over the San Diego Gulls on Saturday. The 21-year-old forward set up T.J. Tynan’s game-tying goal late in the third period before scoring in overtime to put his team on top. A 2019 second-round draft choice, Fagemo was named the first star of Saturday’s contest and now has 14 points in 25 games this season.
How to watch
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