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Heat Post-Game: Lost the game, clinched the Pacific

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Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Paige Siewert
7 months ago
It’s not usually a positive night when you get shutout by your rival. However, in the Stockton Heat’s case, they were able to find the silver lining by clinching the Pacific Division due to the Ontario Reign once again falling to the Colorado Eagles. There is now no mathematical way for any team in the Pacific to overthrow the Heat in how few games remain. The Heat’s Saturday night game finished up with a 4-0 score for the Bakersfield Condors.

Gotta score to win

Adam Werner started this game and got quite an abundance of shots. Especially in the first and third periods. He faced 39 shots and turned away 35 of them. Bakersfield had 16 shots in the first period, seven in the second and another 16 in the third. The Heat were only able to put up a total 22. 
Despite that, Werner’s save percentage in this game was actually his best since February 11th when he shutout the Ontario Reign. He finished up this game with a .921 save percentage. On the year his goals-against average is 3.14 and his save percentage is sitting at .882.
Bakersfield got things started with two goals in the first, one halfway through the second and their final goal came about three-quarters of the way through the third.
Stockton has historically tightened things up a bit with Werner in net and have found a way to get some higher scoring nights to be successful but this was clearly not the case on Saturday. Walker Duehr, Byron Froese and Matthew Phillips all tied for team-high shots in this match-up but none of them were able to find their way past the Bakersfield netminder. Not much else to say in that regard.
Whistles were also kept to a minimum with only two power plays for the Heat and three for the Condors. Neither team scored on the power play in this game. 

Resting up

Prior to puck drop, there was quite a laundry list of injuries announced by the Heat with four players named on the announcement.
Juuso Valimaki should be a temporary absence and Mark Simpson has been an ongoing situation since the middle of March. New additions to this list are Glenn Gawdin and Connor Zary. Both played in the Heat’s game on Friday against the Abbotsford Canucks. Hopefully, these are maintenance type scratches and give these players time to refresh before playoffs.
There was also some answers as to why Dustin Wolf was missing from the lineup on Friday. The Flames announced on Saturday morning that he was called up and backed up Dan Vladar in Calgary’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Two to go

The Heat have done what they needed to do to make this postseason easy on themselves to start. They have secured the Pacific, thus giving them a first-round bye in the Calder Cup playoffs. They will work on keeping fresh in team practices before they start their postseason against the lowest-seeded Pacific Division first-round winner. Before that can happen, they have two more games to complete.
Their next one will be on Tuesday when they hit the road to close their regular-season series against the San Diego Gulls. The 2021-22 regular season will close out for the Heat on Saturday, Apr. 30 also on the road, against the Bakersfield Condors. This might be an opportunity to flip the script and finish the season on a high note. Tuesday’s game is set to get started at 8:00 p.m. MT.

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