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HGD 49: Heat kick off two-game series hosting Condors (7:30 p.m. MT)

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Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Mike Gould
8 months ago
The Stockton Heat can get two points closer to clinching their first American Hockey League playoff berth since 2016–17 when they take on the Bakersfield Condors at Stockton Arena on Monday evening.
The top seven teams in the AHL’s Pacific Division will qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs. Stockton currently leads the Pacific — and the entire league, for that matter — with a 34–9–5 record and a .760 points percentage in 48 games.
The Heat currently sit 34 points up with one game in hand on the eighth-place Tucson Roadrunners. The Roadrunners have 19 games remaining in their 2021–22 schedule, meaning the maximum number of points they can reach is 77.
Stockton has 73 points with 20 games to go. With Heat games against Bakersfield scheduled for today and Wednesday and a Roadrunners game against San Jose also scheduled for Mar. 16, the Heat can theoretically clinch if they obtain at least three more points than Tucson over that stretch.
If Tucson loses in regulation on Wednesday and the Heat capture at least three points in their next two games against Bakersfield, Stockton will clinch a playoff berth. Math is fun!
The Heat are currently riding a four-game winning streak and remain the only AHL team with fewer than 10 regulation losses this season. @Emilio Pettersen led the way with a pair of goals on Saturday as the Heat defeated the San Jose Barracuda 6–3.
Bakersfield (24–15–9) looks like a solid bet to qualify for the playoffs. The Heat have points in all six of their games against the Condors this season (5–0–1), most recently falling 2–1 in overtime on Mar. 4.
@Adam Ruzicka could return to the Heat lineup on Monday. The 22-year-old centre was assigned to the Heat on Sunday to make room for @Connor Mackey on the Calgary Flames’ roster.

Projected lineups

These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games. 
Stockton
@Jakob Pelletier – @Adam Ruzicka – @Matthew Phillips
@Justin Kirkland – @Glenn Gawdin – @Luke Philp
@Emilio Pettersen – @Byron Froese – @Walker Duehr
@Alex Gallant – @Connor Zary – @Eetu Tuulola
@Juuso Valimaki – @Colton Poolman
@Kevin Gravel – @Nick DeSimone
@Ilya Solovyov – @Johannes Kinnvall
@Dustin Wolf
@Adam Werner
Bakersfield
@Devin Brosseau – @Luke Esposito – @Raphael Lavoie
@James Hamblin – @Seth Griffith – @Brendan Perlini
@Dylan Holloway – @Adam Cracknell – @Tim Schaller
@Graham McPhee – @Dino Kambeitz
@Markus Niemelainen – @Philip Kemp
@Dmitri Samorukov – @Vincent Desharnais
@Yanni Kaldis – @Michael Kesselring
@Filip Berglund
@Stuart Skinner
@Ilya Konovalov

Scoring leaders

This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
Stockton — @Matthew Phillips (21 goals, 50 points); @Jakob Pelletier (20 goals, 46 points); @Glenn Gawdin (12 goals, 42 points); @Luke Philp (18 goals, 31 points); @Justin Kirkland (14 goals, 30 points).
Bakersfield — @Seth Griffith (20 goals, 53 points); @Cooper Marody (16 goals, 41 points); @Raphael Lavoie (13 goals, 26 points); @Adam Cracknell (11 goals, 25 points); @James Hamblin (15 goals, 24 points).

Heating up

Heat forward @Eetu Tuulola picked up a goal and an assist in Stockton’s 6–3 win over San Jose on Saturday. The 23-year-old Finn now has goals in two of his last three games and is up to 17 points in 41 games this season.
Originally a sixth-round selection of the Flames back in 2016, Tuulola is a pending restricted free agent who will need to be tendered a qualifying offer this summer to remain in the organization.

How to watch

Monday’s game in Stockton 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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