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Photo Credit: Graphic by Mike Gould

Heat Playoff Game Day: Looking to build upon Gawdin’s heroics (7:00 p.m. MT)

It certainly seemed like the Stockton Heat were primed to lose a fourth consecutive winnable game to the Chicago Wolves on Friday night.

The Heat outshot the Wolves 35–33 through regulation time but fell behind 3–1 with just over 15 minutes remaining in the third period. Justin Kirkland got Stockton within one at the 5:04 mark of the final frame, but the score remained 3–2 for over 14 minutes.

With just 49 seconds left in the third period, Glenn Gawdin saved Stockton’s season. Fittingly, Gawdin struck again at the 6:49 mark of overtime to force a fifth game in the Western Conference Final at Stockton Arena on Saturday evening.

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Gawdin, 25, entered Game 4 with just one goal in his first seven games of the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs. He’s now up to six points (three goals, three assists) in eight contests.

Kirkland and Martin Pospisil also scored for Stockton in the dramatic victory on Friday. Heat goaltender Dustin Wolf made 31 saves in the win.

Only three teams out of 139 in AHL history (2013 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 1989 Adirondack Red Wings, and 1960 Rochester Americans) have successfully come back from an 0–3 series deficit to advance to the next round.

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If Stockton ends up losing the Western Conference Final, Game 5 will go down as the last game the Calgary Flames’ AHL franchise ever plays at Stockton Arena. Could this be Stockton’s last stand — or can they pull off the unthinkable?

Projected lineups

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

Stockton Heat

Justin KirklandGlenn GawdinMatthew Phillips
Jakob PelletierByron FroeseMartin Pospisil
Emilio PettersenConnor ZaryEetu Tuulola
Alex Gallant – Ilya Nikolaev – Walker Duehr

Kevin GravelColton Poolman
Connor MackeyNick DeSimone
Juuso ValimakiAndy Welinski

Dustin Wolf
Adam Werner

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Chicago Wolves

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

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

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  1. Justin Kirkland — 11 GP, 7 G, 11 P
  2. Matthew Phillips — 11 GP, 3 G, 8 P
  3. Byron Froese — 11 GP, 1 G, 7 P
  4. Glenn Gawdin — 8 GP, 3 G, 6 P
  5. Jakob Pelletier — 11 GP, 3 G, 6 P

Chicago Wolves

  1. Josh Leivo — 11 GP, 10 G, 18 P
  2. Stefan Noesen — 11 GP, 7 G, 15 P
  3. Jack Drury — 11 GP, 7 G, 15 P
  4. Andrew Poturalski — 11 GP, 4 G, 12 P
  5. David Gust — 11 GP, 3 G, 10 P

Heating up

With Adam Ruzicka and Luke Philp both out of the lineup in Game 4, the Heat needed some new players to come up big and provide some offence.

Martin Pospisil did just that late in the first period, successfully picking Pyotr Kochetkov’s pocket and tucking the puck into the gaping cage.

How to watch

Game 5 in Stockton 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.

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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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