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HGD 38: First-place Heat host second-place Reign (8pm MT)

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Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Mike Gould
11 months ago
The Stockton Heat will take to the ice for the first time in a week on Friday when they play host to the Ontario Reign for the first game of a back-to-back set at Stockton Arena.
Friday’s game will be the first meeting between these two teams since Stockton’s “Thunder Night” back on Jan. 29. @Matthew Phillips scored the winning goal on a night where Heat defenseman @Juuso Valimaki was ejected for physical abuse of officials (and assessed an automatic three-game suspension). Valimaki will serve the final game of his ban on Friday.
Phillips also netted the winner in Stockton’s most recent game, a 2–1 victory over the Abbotsford Canucks on Feb. 4. @Glenn Gawdin and @Johannes Kinnvall picked up the helpers on Phillips’ sharp-angle snipe.
Heat goaltender @Dustin Wolf made 36 saves in the 2–1 win over Abbotsford. With the second-best team in the Pacific Division in town, expect Wolf to kick off the back-to-back series (and potentially play both ends).
Ontario has two of the AHL’s top-10 point-getters this season in T.J. Tynan (48 in 31 games) and @Martin Frk (40 in 32). The Reign rank second in the Pacific Division (and fourth in the AHL) with a .716 points percentage; the Heat now lead the entire league with a .757 in that category.

Projected lineups

These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games. 
Stockton
@Jakob Pelletier – @Glenn Gawdin – @Matthew Phillips
@Justin Kirkland – @Luke Philp – @Walker Duehr
@Martin Pospisil – @Byron Froese – @Eetu Tuulola
@Alex Gallant – @Connor Zary – @Emilio Pettersen
@Connor Mackey – @Nick DeSimone
@Kevin Gravel – @Colton Poolman
@Ilya Solovyov – @Johannes Kinnvall
@Dustin Wolf
@Adam Werner
Ontario
@Jaret Anderson-Dolan – T.J. Tynan – @Martin Frk
@Gabriel Vilardi – @Alex Turcotte – @Samuel Fagemo
@Tyler Madden – @Rasmus Kupari – @Akil Thomas
@Austin Wagner – @Brett Sutter – @Aidan Dudas
@Cameron Gaunce – @Jordan Spence
@Jacob Moverare – @Helge Grans
@Christian Wolanin – @Austin Strand
Matthew Villalta
@Jacob Ingham

Scoring leaders

This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
Stockton — @Matthew Phillips (18 goals, 37 points); @Jakob Pelletier (14 goals, 36 points); @Glenn Gawdin (12 goals, 35 points); @Luke Philp (11 goals, 23 points); @Connor Mackey (five goals, 20 points).
Ontario — T.J. Tynan (eight goals, 48 points); @Martin Frk (20 goals, 40 points); @Jaret Anderson-Dolan (16 goals, 28 points); @Jordan Spence (two goals, 28 points); @Gabriel Vilardi (11 goals, 27 points).

Players to watch

Stockton — It’s been a bit of a rough go of late for Walker Duehr, who has just one goal in his last 14 games. The NHL’s first South Dakota-born player has been a slight disappointment after threatening for a job with the Calgary Flames in training camp, scoring five goals and 14 points in 29 games with the Heat this season. Duehr is a 24-year-old right wing who stands 6’3″ and weighs 205 lbs.
Ontario — Veteran forward T.J. Tynan has long been one of the AHL’s top playmakers, and this season has been no exception. The 29-year-old centre already has 40 assists — leading the AHL by a significant margin — in 31 games with the Reign this season. A third-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets back in 2011, Tynan has one assist in 21 career NHL games with Columbus and Los Angeles over parts of three seasons.

How to watch

Friday’s game in Stockton will be broadcast on AHL TV (subscription required) and on Spreaker (audio only), with the opening puck-drop set for 8:00 p.m. MT.
FlamesNation contributor Paige Siewert will provide live game updates on her Twitter account. Additionally, you’ll be able to follow along at TheAHL.com.

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