Heat Post-Game: Hot night for Wolf, Kirkland, and the power play

Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Paige Siewert
1 year ago
It was a big night for Dustin Wolf and Justin Kirkland. It was also a big night on the power play for the Stockton Heat’s midweek match-up against the Tucson Roadrunners. This game wrapped up their season series and gave the Heat a well-needed boost after their rough series against the Henderson Silver Knights last week. Dustin Wolf put up a career-best 42 save night and the Heat earn a 3-1 win in their second last regular-season home game.

Using the Advantage

In the 12 power plays between both teams in this game, three resulted in goals. The only one that didn’t was Connor Zary’s opening goal about three-quarters of the way through the first period. There were some technical issues with the AHL broadcast so this goal is mostly left to imagination for how it played out.
Next up was the first power play goal of the night. Justin Kirkland scored his first of the night with 36 seconds to go in the first period and assists going to Andy Welinski and Matthew Phillips. 
Early in the second, the Roadrunners got one back with a power play of their own but that was the only instance they were able to beat Dustin Wolf. 14:57 into the second, Justin Kirkland found the back of the net once again and put the Heat up 3-1. 
That wrapped up the scoring for the rest of the game as action in the third was near misses and some rough stuff tacking on the penalty minutes. When the Roadrunners pulled their goalie late in the third, Dustin Wolf was within inches of a goalie empty net goal. 
The special teams finished up one for five for Tucson and two for seven for Stockton. Dustin Wolf rightfully secured the first star of the night, with Kirkland at second and Zary at third. 

Lineup Notes

The Heat’s ECHL team, the Kansas City Mavericks, finished up their regular season on April 16th and did not make it to postseason play this year. This brought up a couple more players to fill in the Heat roster. The Heat made the official announcement on Apr. 20 that Reid Perepeluk and Andrew Shortridge were called up from the Mavericks and Nick Pastujov has been added to the roster on a PTO. 
In an organization-wide sigh of relief, Jakob Pelletier did make his return to the lineup in this game after missing Sunday’s game with a day-to-day upper-body injury. He didn’t find the scoresheet but he did record three shots. As far as new absences go, Adam Werner did not dress as he is battling a day-to-day non-Covid related illness.

Last one at home

This Friday will be the Heat’s next game and last regular-season game at Stockton arena this year. They will be having a fan appreciation night with Abbotsford Canucks in town. With only three games to go, the Heat are down to a magic number of four to clinch the top spot in the Pacific Division. Their earliest opportunity to clinch would be Friday night. Puck drop is set for 8:00 p.m. MT)


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