Heat Playoff Post-Game: Gawdin two goal effort and OT win allows the Heat to play another day

Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Paige Siewert
1 year ago
The Stockton Heat have had troubles finding their way past the Chicago Wolves in their playoff series. With Friday’s game being game four of the seven-game series, Stockton was in a really tough position being down 3-0 in the series and a game away from elimination. Thankfully, that was not the case with some late scoring and a huge overtime goal to allow the Heat to win 4-3 and survive another day in the Calder Cup playoffs. 

What went down

The Chicago Wolves were almost perfect when scoring first through the regular season and are perfect when scoring first against the Heat this year. They opened up scoring for the fourth time in a row against the Heat with a power play goal 4:40 into the game. Lucky for the Heat, they broke up the streak in this game and found a way around this stat. 
Much later in the period, Martin Pospisil got one back for the Heat when the Wolves goaltender misplayed the puck and Pospisil picked up the loose puck and buried it on the wraparound. 
The first period ended in a 1-1 tie with the Wolves ahead 18-11 in shots. 
The tie didn’t hold long as the Wolves netted their second goal of the night just under two minutes into the second period. That was the extent of the scoring through the second frame and the Wolves were up to a 2-1 lead.
The third period was where things got interesting. Josh Leivo pulled the Wolves ahead by two goals 4:56 into the period. Eight seconds later, Justin Kirkland answered back for the Heat off a Chicago turnover and put this game back within one. 
The Heat were getting down to the wire being down a goal with about a minute and a half to go. They pulled Dustin Wolf for the extra attacker and called a timeout with 57 seconds to go in regulation. Eight seconds after their timeout, Glenn Gawdin came up big with his first goal of the series to force overtime. 
The Heat made up some ground in the shot category finishing regulation outshooting the Wolves 35-33. 
In overtime, the Heat got 5:35 into the extra period when Walker Duehr was on a partial break looking to put the game away and drew a holding call to put the Heat on a massive power play. 
The Heat held really tight zone pressure for over half of their power play and they were finally able to score the game-winner 6:43 into OT. 
Gawdin’s two-goal performance is not to be overshadowed by Dustin Wolf’s effort either. Wolf stopped 31/34 shots and made some huge stops on high-danger shots. Something he’ll need to continue to do as they get deeper into this series.

Staying alive

The odds were stacked against the Heat not only in the series but also going into overtime. This was the first time in team history that they scored a playoff overtime game-winner. The reality of the situation was, that the Heat were one goal and seconds away from playing their last game in the Stockton arena for the foreseeable future. 

Next up

Both teams are staying in town and right back at it Saturday night in Stockton. The fact of the matter is the Heat are still on the edge of elimination and have three more games to win in a row if they want to play in the Calder Cup finals. It won’t get any easier if they make it far enough to games six and seven in Chicago. 
Game five will get started Saturday night at 7:00 pm (MT). 

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