Photo Credit: Graphic by Mike Gould

HGD 68: Heat wrap up regular season in Bakersfield (7:00 p.m. MT)

The Pacific Division champion Stockton Heat will do battle with the Bakersfield Condors for the 10th time this year to close out their 2021–22 regular-season schedule on Saturday evening.

The Heat (45–15–7) are currently in line to capture the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL team with the top record in the regular season. As the No. 1 seed in the Pacific Division, Stockton will bypass the first round of the playoffs and face the bottom-seeded Pacific team to make it to the semi-finals.

Without regulars Glenn Gawdin, Connor Zary, Juuso Valimaki, Dustin Wolf and Mark Simpson in the lineup, the Heat defeated the San Diego Gulls by a 4–1 score on April 26. Emilio Pettersen led the way for the Heat with a pair of goals in the contest, with Adam Werner making 25 saves in the victory.

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The Condors (36–21–10) currently rank fifth in the Pacific with 82 points. Bakersfield won just one of its first seven meetings with Stockton this season before emerging victorious in both of the last two, most recently winning by a 4–0 score at Mechanics Bank Arena on April 23.

It remains to be seen whether the top-ranked Heat will rest any of their players in the season finale (or if any of the injured Zary, Gawdin, and Simpson are ready to return). You’ll be able to catch this one on AHL TV at 7:00 p.m. MT.

Projected lineups

These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games. 

Stockton Heat

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Jakob PelletierMartin PospisilMatthew Phillips
Justin KirklandLuke PhilpEetu Tuulola
Emilio PettersenByron FroeseWalker Duehr
Tyrell Goulbourne – Nick Pastujov – Dmitry Zavgorodniy

Kevin GravelNick DeSimone
Juuso ValimakiColton Poolman
Ilya Solovyov – Greg Moro

Adam Werner
Daniil Chechelev

Bakersfield Condors

Tyler BensonBrad MaloneDino Kambeitz
James HamblinAdam CracknellSeth Griffith
Tim SchallerLuke EspositoCooper Marody
Carter Savoie – Devin Brosseau – Colton Sceviour

Yanni Kaldis – Vincent Desharnais
Philip BrobergMichael Kesselring
Darien Kielb – Filip Berglund

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Stuart Skinner
Ilya Konovalov

Scoring stars

This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.

Stockton Heat

  1. Matthew Phillips — 64 GP, 30 G, 67 P
  2. Jakob Pelletier — 65 GP, 27 G, 62 P
  3. Glenn Gawdin — 62 GP, 15 G, 50 P
  4. Justin Kirkland — 65 GP, 25 G, 48 P
  5. Luke Philp — 65 GP, 21 G, 44 P

Bakersfield Condors

  1. Seth Griffith — 63 GP, 29 G, 79 P
  2. Cooper Marody — 51 GP, 21 G, 55 P
  3. Adam Cracknell — 57 GP, 21 G, 47 P
  4. Brad Malone — 51 GP, 14 G, 39 P
  5. James Hamblin — 63 GP, 20 G, 34 P

Heating up

At age 26, Edmonton-born defenceman Greg Moro has established himself as being more than capable of handling AHL minutes. The former Humboldt Bronco has appeared in 12 games with the Heat this season, racking up seven points (one goal, six assists).

Moro put together his second multi-point outing of the season Tuesday in San Diego, assisting on goals by Walker Duehr and Emilio Pettersen in the 4–1 win.

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Check out Moro’s hand-eye coordination to bat the puck out of mid-air to break up a Gulls rush just prior to Duehr’s goal:

How to watch

Saturday’s game in Bakersfield will be broadcast on AHL TV (subscription required) and on Spreaker (audio only), with the opening puck-drop set for 7:00 p.m. MT.

FlamesNation contributor Paige Siewert will provide live game updates on her Twitter account. Additionally, you’ll be able to follow along at TheAHL.com.

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