The Stockton Heat will take fans back to the mid-2000s when they hit the ice in special throwback jerseys during Saturday’s game against the Ontario Reign.
Before the Heat relocated to Stockton from Glens Falls, NY, the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder played out of the Stockton Arena from 2005 to 2015. (When the Adirondack Flames became the Stockton Heat, the Stockton Thunder became the Adirondack Thunder).
The Thunder were very popular in Stockton and still have many fans in the city to this day. On Saturday only, the Heat will ditch their usual red-and-black colour scheme for special Thunder-inspired throwback uniforms
— in a similar vein to the NHL’s “Reverse Retro” jerseys — for “Turn Back the Clock” night.
It remains to be seen if top Calgary Flames prospects @Juuso Valimaki and @Connor Zary will return from injury in time to wear these gorgeous sweaters tonight. It’s been a full week since the Heat last took to the ice for a game, having most recently fallen to the Henderson Silver Knights in overtime by a 4–3 score on Jan. 22.
Barring any last-second transactions, the Heat will be without key players @Connor Mackey and @Byron Froese on Saturday. Neither player is currently listed on Stockton’s active roster after being recalled to the Flames’ taxi squad earlier in the week.
Ontario and Stockton are the two top teams in the AHL’s Pacific Division, with the Reign having overtaken the Heat for the top spot after recording 18 points in their last 20 games. Stockton has a 2–1–0 record against Ontario this season: @Matthew Phillips scored three points on Jan. 9 to lead the Heat to a 5–4 victory in their most recent matchup.
The Heat have a 23–7–4 record in 34 games this season; the Reign have gone 22–6–5 in their first 33 contests.
These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games.
@Jakob Pelletier – @Glenn Gawdin – @Matthew Phillips
@Martin Pospisil – @Luke Philp – @Walker Duehr
@Justin Kirkland – @Mark Simpson – @Eetu Tuulola
@Alex Gallant – @Emilio Pettersen
@Ilya Solovyov – @Nick DeSimone
@Kevin Gravel – @Colton Poolman
@Nolan Valleau – @Johannes Kinnvall
@Vladimir Tkachev – T.J. Tynan – @Martin Frk
@Gabriel Vilardi – @Alex Turcotte – @Samuel Fagemo
@Jaret Anderson-Dolan – @Akil Thomas – @Tyler Madden
@Austin Wagner – @Brett Sutter – @Aidan Dudas
@Cameron Gaunce – @Jordan Spence
@Christian Wolanin – @Helge Grans
Christian Kasastul – @Markus Phillips
This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
Stockton — @Jakob Pelletier (12 goals, 33 points); @Matthew Phillips (13 goals, 32 points); @Glenn Gawdin (12 goals, 31 points); @Luke Philp (eight goals, 20 points); @Justin Kirkland (10 goals, 16 points).
Ontario — T.J. Tynan (eight goals, 44 points); @Martin Frk (19 goals, 38 points); @Jaret Anderson-Dolan (11 goals, 23 points); @Jordan Spence (two goals, 23 points); @Gabriel Vilardi (10 goals, 12 points).
Players to watch
Stockton — With no Mackey in the lineup, expect @Ilya Solovyov to play a much bigger role for the Heat on Saturday. The 21-year-old defenceman has already impressed in his American Hockey League rookie season, often sliding into a top-four role and serving as the shutdown complements beside the high-scoring @Nick DeSimone and @Johannes Kinnvall.
— Former Flames forward and current Reign captain @Brett Sutter
played in his 1,000th
professional hockey game on Thursday. He picked up the primary assist on Ontario’s sixth goal en route to its 7–1 win over the San Jose Barracuda. During Ontario’s last meeting with the Heat, Sutter injured defenceman @Juuso Valimaki with a high, hard in the neutral zone; Valimaki has yet to return to the Heat lineup since.
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.
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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