The Stockton Heat will go without their No. 1 defenceman when they take on the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday evening.
The Calgary Flames recalled @Connor Mackey earlier on Saturday to replace the injured @Oliver Kylington. Mackey, 25, has five goals and 36 points in 53 games with Stockton this season.
Expect to see more of @Juuso Valimaki and @Andy Welinski in Saturday’s game with Mackey now in the NHL. Additionally, one of @Ilya Solovyov and @Johannes Kinnvall should return to the lineup after being healthy scratched for recent games.
While @Adam Ruzicka could return to the NHL soon to fill in for @Sean Monahan, the expectation is that the 22-year-old centre could play for Stockton on Saturday after missing the team’s previous three games with a non-COVID illness.
If Ruzicka does return to the Heat lineup, it remains to be seen whether he’ll take over for @Luke Philp in his old role as the team’s top-line centre. Ruzicka has 10 goals and 18 points in 15 games with the Heat this season.
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Stockton (39–12–5) currently ranks first in the AHL with a .741 points percentage. The Barracuda (20–34–4) occupy ninth place in the Pacific Division and have the AHL’s worst points percentage (.379).

Projected lineups

These combinations are based, in part, on those used in these teams’ respective previous games. 
Stockton
@Jakob Pelletier – @Luke Philp – @Matthew Phillips
@Justin Kirkland – @Glenn Gawdin – @Adam Ruzicka
@Martin Pospisil – @Connor Zary – @Emilio Pettersen
@Eetu Tuulola – @Byron Froese – @Walker Duehr
@Juuso Valimaki – @Andy Welinski
@Ilya Solovyov – @Colton Poolman
@Kevin Gravel – @Nick DeSimone
@Dustin Wolf
@Adam Werner
San Jose
@Jayden Halbgewachs – @Antoine Morand – @Joachim Blichfeld
@Evan Weinger – @Jasper Weatherby – @Adam Raska
@Mason Jobst – @Kyle Topping – @Jake McGrew
@Dillon Hamaliuk – Zachary Gallant – Steenn Pasichnuk
@Nick Cicek – @Montana Onyebuchi
@Artemi Kniazev – @Anthony Bitetto
@Santeri Hatakaa – Patrick Holway
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@Alex Stalock
@Zachary Sawchenko

Stockton’s scoring stars

This section excludes players recalled to the NHL or on assignment to other leagues.
  1. Matthew Phillips — 53 GP, 25 G, 59 P
  2. Jakob Pelletier — 55 GP, 26 G, 55 P
  3. Glenn Gawdin — 53 GP, 13 G, 45 P
  4. Luke Philp — 54 GP, 21 G, 39 P
  5. Justin Kirkland — 54 GP, 17 G, 37 P

Heating up

It’s been a lot of fun to watch @Justin Kirkland turn into a reliable offensive contributor for the Heat this season.
The 25-year-old Camrose product entered the 2021–22 campaign with 33 career goals in his previous five AHL seasons. This year, he already has 17 goals in 54 games.
Kirkland added to his totals with Stockton’s lone goal in Wednesday’s 2–1 loss to the Colorado Eagles.

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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