The Pacific Division champion Stockton Heat will face a potential Calder Cup playoff opponent on Tuesday when they visit the No. 7-seeded San Diego Gulls at 8:00 p.m. MT.
The Heat (44–15–7) have the best record in the American Hockey League. As the top seed in the Pacific Division, they will bypass the first round of the playoffs and face the bottom-seeded Pacific team to make it to the semi-finals.
It remains to be seen whether Glenn Gawdin, Connor Zary, Juuso Valimaki, and Mark Simpson will play for the Heat on Tuesday. Gawdin, Zary, and Simpson sat out of Stockton’s 4–0 loss to Bakersfield on April 23 while dealing with injuries; Valimaki missed the game due to illness.
Some injury updates:
Valimaki- non-COVID illness
Zary – upper body
Gawdin – lower body
Simpson – upper body pic.twitter.com/O3Io50pI0S
— y – Stockton Heat (@AHLHeat) April 24, 2022
The Gulls (28–31–6) are guaranteed to finish seventh in the Pacific and will take on the No. 2-seeded Ontario Reign (41–17–9) in a best-of-three series. San Diego has won just three of its 12 meetings against Ontario this season; however, if the Gulls were to pull off the upset, they would face the Heat in the second round.
Stockton has won five of its seven games against San Diego in 2021–22, most recently prevailing by a 7–5 score back on March 27. Heat forward Luke Philp led the way with two goals in that game while goaltender Adam Werner stopped 21 of 26 shots.
These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games.
Jakob Pelletier – Glenn Gawdin – Matthew Phillips
Justin Kirkland – Luke Philp – Martin Pospisil
Emilio Pettersen – Connor Zary – Walker Duehr
Tyrell Goulbourne – Byron Froese – Eetu Tuulola
Juuso Valimaki – Colton Poolman
Kevin Gravel – Nick DeSimone
Ilya Solovyov – Andy Welinski
San Diego Gulls
Greg Printz – Danny O’Regan – Lucas Elvenes
Blake McLaughlin – Bryce Kindopp – Jacob Perreault
Brayden Tracey – Brent Gates Jr. – Alex Limoges
Vincent Marleau – Josh Lopina – Logan Nijhoff
Jacob Larsson – Brogan Rafferty
Nikolas Brouillard – Drew Helleson
Nathan Larose – Greg Pateryn
Olle Eriksson Ek
This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
- Matthew Phillips — 63 GP, 30 G, 67 P
- Jakob Pelletier — 64 GP, 27 G, 62 P
- Glenn Gawdin — 62 GP, 15 G, 50 P
- Justin Kirkland — 64 GP, 25 G, 47 P
- Luke Philp — 64 GP, 21 G, 44 P
San Diego Gulls
- Nikolas Brouillard — 63 GP, 13 G, 39 P
- Alex Limoges — 59 GP, 22 G, 38 P
- Jacob Perreault — 52 GP, 14 G, 37 P
- Lucas Elvenes — 40 GP, 9 G, 32 P
- Danny O’Regan — 50 GP, 13 G, 32 P
Stockton struggled to generate much of anything in its shutout loss to the Bakersfield Condors on April 23, being outshot 39–23 and outscored 4–0.
Nevertheless, Adam Werner had one of his better performances of the 2021–22 season in the defeat. The 24-year-old Swede has struggled this year, posting an 11–6–2 record and an .882 save percentage in 20 games, but he kept things close on Saturday by stopping 35 of 38 shots.
With Dustin Wolf in Calgary, it remains to be seen whether Werner or Daniil Chechelev will start for Stockton on Tuesday.
How to watch
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- WATCH: Tkachuk hits 40 goals, 100 points against Stars
- Ex-Flames coach Bill Peters in talks to join AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm
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