HGD 14: Ruzicka-less Heat look to rebound against middling Eagles (7:05 p.m. MT)

Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Mike Gould
2 years ago
The Stockton Heat (10–1–2) will be without their No. 1 centre on Friday when they take on the Colorado Eagles (6–7–2) at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO.
The Calgary Flames recalled @Adam Ruzicka to the National Hockey League on Thursday, leaving the Heat without their leading scorer for the immediate future.
One consolation for Stockton fans: @Walker Duehr is back with the Heat. Calgary returned the 24-year-old winger to the American Hockey League on Nov. 24 after one NHL game and 20 days collecting a hefty paycheque on the big club.
Ruzicka is a big loss for the Heat. The 22-year-old centre leads the entire AHL with 10 goals in 13 games this season. @Glenn Gawdin will likely slide up to the first line in Ruzicka’s absence.
This is the second matchup of the season between the Heat and the Eagles. Stockton beat Colorado by a 6–3 score on Oct. 30, with Ruzicka picking up a hat trick and @Adam Werner making 28 saves in the win.

Projected lineups

These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games. 
@Jakob Pelletier – @Glenn Gawdin – @Matthew Phillips
@Eetu Tuulola – @Connor Zary – @Luke Philp
@Justin Kirkland – @Byron Froese – @Walker Duehr
@Alex Gallant – @Mark Simpson – @Emilio Pettersen
@Connor Mackey – @Andy Welinski
@Kevin Gravel – @Nick DeSimone
@Yan Kuznetsov – @Colton Poolman
@Dustin Wolf
@Adam Werner
@Dylan Sikura – @Mikhail Maltsev – @Sampo Ranta
@Jean-Luc Foudy – @Cal Burke – @Alex Beaucage
@Ryan Wagner – @Andreas Wingerli – @Trey Bradley
@Dalton Smith – @Luka Burzan – @Ben Tardif
@Dennis Gilbert – @Justin Barron
@Jacob MacDonald – @Jordan Gross
@Andreas Englund – @Roland McKeown
@Justus Annunen
@Trent Miner

Scoring leaders

This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
Stockton — @Jakob Pelletier (six goals, 16 points); @Matthew Phillips (five goals, 13 points); @Glenn Gawdin (two goals, 13 points); @Byron Froese (three goals, 10 points); @Nick DeSimone (one goal, nine points).
Colorado — @Dylan Sikura (six goals, 15 points); @Jordan Gross (four goals, 13 points); @Mikhail Maltsev (four goals, 12 points); @Cal Burke (four goals, nine points); @Dennis Gilbert (three goals, eight points).

Players to watch

Stockton — @Glenn Gawdin. Tonight’s game could be a massive test for Gawdin, who is off to an excellent start with 13 points in 11 games this season. The 24-year-old centre is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021–22 season and this could be his final opportunity to force his way into the Calgary Flames’ lineup on a full-time basis. If Ruzicka can’t carve out a niche in the NHL on his current call-up, Gawdin could be the next Heat player to make the jump.
Colorado — @Jacob MacDonald. One of the most experienced players on this Eagles team, MacDonald spent most of the 2020–21 season playing with the Colorado Avalanche and was surprisingly effective in his 33 NHL games with the team. The 28-year-old defenceman amassed nine points in those games and managed to drive play at both ends of the ice.

How to watch

Friday’s game will be broadcast on AHL TV (subscription required) and on Spreaker (audio only), with the opening puck-drop set for 7:05 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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