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HGD 64: The Heat clash with the Roadrunners (7:30 p.m. MT)

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Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
The Stockton Heat will try to get one step closer to a Pacific Division crown, and a first round playoff bye, when they host the Tucson Roadrunners at Stockton Arena tonight at 7:30 p.m. MT
The Heat are coming off a disappointing three game set with the Henderson Silver Knights last week which saw them win in overtime, then lose twice in regulation.
Stockton enters Wednesday’s action with a magic number of six points: any combination of points earned by Stockton or lost by the Ontario Reign totalling six will clinch the division for the Heat.
Rookie sensation Jakob Pelletier missed Sunday’s game with an upper body injury and was listed as day-to-day, so we’ll see if he slots back into the lineup.
The Heat have added some old friends (and a new face) since Sunday, though. Goaltender Andrew Shortridge and forward Reid Perepeluk have rejoined the team now that Kansas City’s season is over. They’ve also added forward Nick Pastujov, who’s been one of Kansas City’s best offensive players this season. We’ll see when and if they, and fellow newcomer Jack McNeely, get a chance to slot in. (It might not be until after the Heat lock down the division.)
This will be Stockton’s final game against Tucson in the 2021–22 regular season. The Heat are firmly in first place in the Pacific Division. The Roadrunners are in eighth place in the Pacific and are not a playoff team.

Projected lineups

These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games. 
Stockton Heat
@Justin Kirkland – @Glenn Gawdin – @Matthew Phillips
@Martin Pospisil – @Luke Philp – @Walker Duehr
@Emilio Pettersen – @Connor Zary – @Eetu Tuulola
@Alex Gallant – @Byron Froese – @Tyrell Goulbourne
@Juuso Valimaki – @Andy Welinski
@Kevin Gravel – @Nick DeSimone
@Colton Poolman – @Greg Moro
@Dustin Wolf
@Adam Werner
Tucson Roadrunners
@Jan Jenik – @Ben McCartney – @Hudson Fasching
@Travis Barron – @Colin Theisen – @Cameron Hebig
@Terry Broadhurst – @Blake Speers – @Oliver Chau
@Cedric Lacroix – @Tyson Empey
@Ty Emberson – @Victor Soderstrom
@Cole Hults – @Brandon Estes
@Cameron Crotty – @Doyle Somersby
@Andrew Nielsen
@Ivan Prosvetov
@Josef Korenar

Scoring stars

This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
Stockton Heat
  1. Matthew Phillips — 60 GP, 29 G, 64 P
  2. Jakob Pelletier — 61 GP, 27 G, 58 P
  3. Glenn Gawdin — 60 GP, 14 G, 48 P
  4. Justin Kirkland — 61 GP, 22 G, 44 P
  5. Luke Philp — 61 GP, 21 G, 44 P
Tucson Roadrunners
  1. Jan Janik — 48 GP, 16 G, 44 P
  2. Hudson Fasching — 46 GP, 13 G, 34 P
  3. Ben McCartney — 52 GP, 17 G, 33 P
  4. Travis Barron — 59 GP, 11 G, 24 P
  5. Cameron Hebig — 63 GP, 11 G, 23 P

Heating up

Quietly, the fairly unheralded Justin Kirkland has been on a hot streak for the Heat. He has scored a goal in three of his past four games, and since the beginning of March he’s hitting the scoresheet with stunning regularity. Kirkland has been a valued veteran presence for Stockton over the past couple of seasons, but now he’s really being relied upon for key goals at key times.

How to watch

Wednesday’s game against Tucson will be broadcast on AHL TV (subscription required) and on Spreaker (audio only), with the opening puck-drop set for 7:30 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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