Did you happen to catch the Stockton Heat’s “injury update” tweet in advance of their game against the Tucson Roadrunners on Saturday?
It was a doozy.
That’s right: Stockton went without five of its top-nine forwards and three top-six defencemen against Tucson.
@Justin Kirkland, @Jakob Pelletier, @Luke Philp, @Martin Pospisil, and @Colton Poolman missed the game while in COVID-19 protocol; @Juuso Valimaki, @Connor Zary, and @Andy Welinski continued to recover from their respective injuries.
Nevertheless, the Heat won Saturday’s game by a 4–1 score. @Matthew Phillips was fantastic in the victory, scoring the game-winning goal and assisting on @Glenn Gawdin’s insurance marker. Heat goaltender @Adam Werner made 29 saves in the win.
Advertisement
Ad
It remains to be seen whether any of the aforementioned eight players will return to the Heat lineup in Wednesday’s game against the San Diego Gulls. It would be a huge boost to Stockton, which currently leads the AHL Pacific Division with a 22–6–3 record but has won just six of its last 10 games; San Diego ranks eighth in the Pacific at 12–13–2.
Wednesday’s game will be the fifth meeting of the season between these two teams. The Heat took the first three matchups (6–2 W on Oct. 22, 4–1 W on Dec. 3, 3–2 W on Dec. 4) before falling 4–1 in San Diego on Jan. 7.

Projected lineups

These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games. 
Stockton
@Eetu Tuulola – @Byron Froese – @Matthew Phillips
@Emilio Pettersen – @Glenn Gawdin – @Walker Duehr
@Alex Gallant – @Mark Simpson – @Ryan Olsen
@Mason Mitchell – @Reid Perepeluk
Advertisement
Ad
@Kevin Gravel – @Connor Mackey
@Ilya Solovyov – @Nick DeSimone
Greg Moro – @Nolan Valleau
@Koletrane Wilson
@Adam Werner
@Dustin Wolf
San Diego
@Alex Limoges – Danny O’Regan – Brent Gates Jr.
@Brayden Tracey – @Benoit-Olivier Groulx – @Greg Printz
@Lucas Elvenes – @Bryce Kindopp – @Morgan Adams-Moisan
@Jack Badini – @Vincent Marleau – @Sean Josling
@Sam Carrick – @Hunter Drew
@Kodie Curran – @Brogan Rafferty
@Mike McKee – @Nikolas Brouillard
@Jeff Glass
@Francis Marotte

Scoring leaders

This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
Stockton — @Jakob Pelletier (11 goals, 31 points); @Matthew Phillips (13 goals, 30 points); @Glenn Gawdin (12 goals, 28 points); @Luke Philp (eight goals, 18 points); @Connor Mackey (four goals, 18 points).
San Diego — @Brayden Tracey (nine goals, 23 points); @Jacob Perreault (eight goals, 18 points); @Nikolas Brouillard (four goals, 16 points); Danny O’Regan (five goals, 14 points); @Bryce Kindopp (four goals, 14 points).
Advertisement
Ad

Players to watch

Stockton — With the Heat likely set to ice a depleted lineup for yet another game, expect to see more of @Mark Simpson on the ice tonight. The 26-year-old centre has primarily played in a depth role for the Heat this season and has scored just two points in 22 games. The second-year AHL forward spent four seasons playing Canadian university hockey with the University of New Brunswick, an experience he described in detail to FlamesNation during the 2020–21 campaign:
“My aspirations were always to do what I could to get to UNB,” Simpson added. “When that opportunity presented itself after my 20-year-old season [in the QMJHL], I jumped all over it.”
San Diego — Last week, it looked like @Lucas Elvenes was destined for Sweden. The Vegas Golden Knights placed the 22-year-old forward on unconditional waivers for the purposes of mutual contract termination, paving the way for Elvenes to sign in the SHL. Then, in a virtually unprecedented move, the Ducks claimed Elvenes off unconditional waivers, preventing his contract from being terminated and giving him new life in North America. Here’s Elliotte Friedman’s take on the situation:
Advertisement
Ad
“Anaheim claimed Lucas Elvenes on unconditional waivers from Vegas. Elvenes’ contract was to be terminated, and it was reported he had an offer in Sweden. I can’t find another example of such a player being taken. It’s an interesting play, because Elvenes has some fans who think he’s a bit of a sleeper. (EDIT: Thank you to readers Brian La Rose and Christian Pagnani, who pointed out Edmonton claimed goalie Niko Hovinen off unconditional waivers from Philadelphia, in 2013. Memory is the first thing to go when you get old.)”

How to watch

Wednesday’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.
Advertisement
Ad

THIS ARTICLE BROUGHT TO YOU BY DAILYFACEOFF

Looking to up your fantasy hockey game? DailyFaceoff has the tools you need for both daily and season-long fantasy leagues, including a lineup optimizer, daily projections, and a whole lot more. Sign up for the DailyFaceoff tools here.