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HGD 48: Heat host Barracuda for home-and-home finale (7:00 p.m. MT)

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Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
Mike Gould
8 months ago
Coming off a wild 6–5 shootout victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Friday night, the Stockton Heat will return to action against the very same team on Saturday with the goal of extending their winning streak to four games.
@Matthew Phillips, @Jakob Pelletier, @Emilio Pettersen, @Walker Duehr, and @Mark Simpson all scored in regulation for Stockton on Friday, with @Johannes Kinnvall adding the shootout winner. Heat goaltender @Adam Werner stopped 20 of 25 shots to pick up his ninth win of the season.
Pelletier picked up his 20th goal of the season in the 6–5 win, with Phillips making an incredible diving play to set up his winger all alone in the slot. Phillips’ game-tying goal late in the third period was also his 50th point of the year.
Barracuda defenceman @Artemi Kniazev scored twice for the home side, with @John Leonard, @Evan Weinger, and @Joachim Blichfeld also finding the back of the net. Saturday’s game will take place at Stockton Arena, where the Heat have previously beaten the Barracuda on two occasions in 2021–22.
Stockton enters Saturday’s action with a 5–1–0 record against San Jose this year. One of those victories (on Dec. 7, 2021) came at Stockton Arena by a 10–1 margin. However, the Barracuda picked up their only victory against the Heat in 2021–22 by a 4–0 score in Stockton on New Years’ Eve.
In terms of points percentage, Stockton and San Jose are the best and second-worst teams in the American Hockey League, respectively. Stockton boasts a 33–9–5 record (good for a .755 points percentage) and is the only AHL team with fewer than 10 regulation losses this year; San Jose’s 18–28–3 record (.398) ranks above only the Tucson Roadrunners (17–27–4, .396).

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 – @Connor Zary – @Luke Philp
@Emilio Pettersen – @Byron Froese – @Walker Duehr
@Alex Gallant – @Mark Simpson – @Eetu Tuulola
@Connor Mackey – @Colton Poolman
@Juuso Valimaki – @Johannes Kinnvall
@Kevin Gravel – @Nick DeSimone
@Dustin Wolf
@Adam Werner
San Jose
@John Leonard – @Lane Pederson – @Joachim Blichfeld
@Evan Weinger – @Sasha Chmelevski – Jake McGrew
@Dillon Hamaliuk – @Jasper Weatherby – @Nick Merkley
@Timur Ibragimov – @Kyle Topping – @Brinson Pasichnuk
@Nick Cicek – @Mark Alt
@Artemi Kniazev – @Montana Onyebuchi
@Santeri Hatakka – @Ryan Merkley
@Alexei Melnichuk
@Zachary Emond

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 (17 goals, 30 points); @Connor Mackey (five goals, 29 points).
San Jose — @Joachim Blichfeld (18 goals, 33 points); @Nick Merkley (10 goals, 32 points); @John Leonard (17 goals, 32 points); @Jayden Halbgewachs (14 goals, 30 points); @Sasha Chmelevski (11 goals, 30 points).

Heating up

Watch out, everybody: here comes @Juuso Valimaki. The 23-year-old Finn suddenly has five points in his last four games after going the previous eight contests without factoring into a goal.
Valimaki picked up a pair of helpers on Friday’s contest, including the secondary assist on Phillips’ late game-tying goal. And don’t forget: Valimaki scored the overtime winner when these two teams met in Stockton back on Mar. 5.

How to watch

Saturday’s game in Stockton will be broadcast on AHL TV (subscription required) and on Spreaker (audio only), with the opening puck-drop set for 7:00 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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