Photo Credit: Graphic by Mike Gould

Heat Playoff Game Day: Stockton’s last stand? (8:00 p.m. MT)

The Stockton Heat are on the brink of elimination for the first time in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Down 3–0 to the Chicago Wolves in the Western Conference Final, the Heat will return to action on Friday night in what could be their last game at the Stockton Arena.

The Flames’ American Hockey League affiliate is set to relocate to Calgary for the 2022–23 season, leaving Stockton without a professional hockey team for the first time in more than 15 years.

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The Heat have given their California fans plenty of reasons to cheer in their last go-round, posting a 45–16–7 record in the regular season before dispatching the Bakersfield Condors and Colorado Eagles from the playoffs with relative ease.

Stockton’s luck may have run out in this series against the Wolves, however. After losing two one-goal games in heartbreaking fashion to begin the Western Conference Final, the Heat couldn’t muster up a single goal in Wednesday’s Game 3.

So, here we are. The Heat need four more wins to capture the Western Conference Final. The Wolves need just one. Will Stockton make its last stand tonight?

Projected lineups

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

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Stockton Heat

Jakob PelletierAdam RuzickaMatthew Phillips
Justin KirklandLuke PhilpMartin Pospisil
Connor ZaryGlenn GawdinEetu Tuulola
Alex GallantByron FroeseWalker Duehr

Connor MackeyAndy Welinski
Juuso ValimakiColton Poolman
Kevin GravelNick DeSimone

Dustin Wolf
Adam Werner

Chicago Wolves

CJ Smith – Andrew PoturalskiStefan Noesen
Josh LeivoJack Drury – David Gust
Noel Gunler – Vasili Ponomarev – Richard Panik
Stelio Mattheos – Jamieson Rees – Spencer Smallman

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Max Lajoie – Jalen Chatfield
Jesper Sellgren – Joey Keane
Cavan Fitzgerald – Josh Jacobs

Alex Lyon
Pyotr Kochetkov

Playoff scoring stars

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

Stockton Heat

  1. Justin Kirkland — 10 GP, 6 G, 9 P
  2. Matthew Phillips — 10 GP, 3 G, 7 P
  3. Jakob Pelletier — 10 GP, 3 G, 6 P
  4. Andy Welinski — 10 GP, 1 G, 6 P
  5. Byron Froese — 10 GP, 1 G, 6 P

Chicago Wolves

  1. Josh Leivo — 10 GP, 9 G, 17 P
  2. Stefan Noesen — 10 GP, 7 G, 13 P
  3. Jack Drury — 10 GP, 6 G, 13 P
  4. Andrew Poturalski — 10 GP, 3 G, 10 P
  5. David Gust — 10 GP, 3 G, 9 P

Heating up

Dustin Wolf did what he could in Stockton’s Game 3 loss to Chicago, stopping 27 of the 29 shots he faced on home ice.

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Wolf has made numerous sharp saves all series long, including this breakaway save on Josh Leivo late in the second period of Game 2. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t quite gotten enough run support.

How to watch

Game 4 in Stockton will be broadcast on AHL TV (subscription required) and on Spreaker (audio only), with the opening puck-drop set for 8:00 p.m. MT.

FlamesNation contributors Paige Siewert and Mike Gould will provide live game updates on Twitter. Additionally, you’ll be able to follow along at TheAHL.com.


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