Heat Playoff Post-Game: Stockton pushed to possible elimination after Game Three loss
Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
5 months ago
The Stockton Heat are facing one of their largest challenges of the year in their Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Wolves. They took a 2-0 series deficit in their first couple of games in Chicago last Friday and Monday. They then headed home to kick off Game Three and the home-ice advantage was not enough to generate some momentum in this series. They fell 3-0 at Stockton Arena and fall behind 3-0 in the best of seven series.
Early goaltending battle
It took some time for this game to get going as they almost played two periods of hockey before someone was able to find the back of the net. With 44 seconds to go in the second period, the Wolves scored first and took that lead into the second intermission. This goal occurred on a quick tic-tac-toe place that simply beat Wolf with a quick, well-placed shot.
At the end of the second period, the game was within reason with shots tied up at 18 a side and the Heat only down by one.
The third period created more of a gap between these two with the Wolves following up their opening goal with another one 5:45 into the third period with a Chicago skater staring at a wide-open net.
Stockton was not really able to make a solid effort to come back in this game as they only put five shots up the entire third period. This was their smallest shot count in a period all night and it could not have come at a worse time.
The Wolves comfortably secured the win with an empty-netter with 32 seconds to go in regulation and the Heat drop their third straight game in this series. Their season could now come to an end as early as Friday night if they are not able to generate some sort of comeback through the next handful of games.
The final score was 3-0 with the Wolves out-shooting the Heat 30-23.
Quiet top performers
It was promising to see some Flames call-ups return to the Heat lineup in time for this series, but has their impact really been felt? There are some concerning lack of production going on for some of the best shooters the Heat roster has to offer and that plays a big role in the lack of success they’ve had through three games.
Jakob Pelletier, Matthew Phillips and Glenn Gawdin all have yet to register a point in this series and Adam Ruzicka has not even dressed for the Heat the last two games. A very unfortunate time for big-time production to go down when they are so close to reaching yet another milestone this season.
Friday night must-win
The Heat need to pull out all the stops later this week if they want to see their franchise season carry on any longer. They are one game away from elimination and need four straight wins to make it to the Calder Cup final. The Wolves will stick around Stockton and gear up for Game Four on Friday which could possibly advance them to the final round of the playoffs. The game time is 8:00 p.m. MT.
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