Oct. 21, 2017

STOCKTON, Calif. – The Stockton Heat defeated the Gulls for the second-consecutive night to down San Diego in a 6-3 victory tonight at Stockton Arena. In a penalty-filled contest, Stockton (4-2-0-0, 8 pts.) received contributions from throughout the lineup as 11 different players appeared on the score sheet. Garnet Hathaway tallied two goals, Marek Hrivik scored a goal and assist, and Oliver Kylington recorded a pair of assists to lead the Heat to their second win in as many nights.

A pair of goals by Spencer Abbott were not enough to overcome a sputtering power play which converted just once on seven opportunities, while the Gulls (2-3-0-0, 4 pts.) gave up 40 shots on the night. Special teams were again the theme, but the Gulls notched the only power-play goal of the game.

Morgan Klimchuk opened the scoring at 7:37 in the first period off a feed from Marek Hrivik. Gulls right wing Spencer Abbott responded at 13:04 for San Diego with an unassisted breakaway goal, notching his 200th career AHL point to even the game at 1-1.

Only 10 seconds later, Garnet Hathaway put the Heat back in front after he was sprung loose on a pass from Andrew Mangiapane and he lifted the puck past Gulls netminder Leland Irving, who was making his first-ever start in goal for San Diego.

Abbott again tied the game when he struck again, this time tucking away a cross-ice pass from Kalle Kossila on the power play at 15:11. Giovanni Fiore also picked up an assist on the goal, extending his point streak to four game (1-3=4) to become the first Gulls rookie to record points in his first four career AHL games.

Stockton dominated the second period in terms of shots, outshooting the Gulls by a 22-6 margin. Despite numerous strong saves from Irving, Heat defensemen Cody Goloubef and Tyler Wotherspoon scored back-to-back goals 58 seconds apart to put the Gulls in a two goal hole. Gulls defenseman Jacob Larsson, selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round (27th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, tallied his first AHL goal and professional goal in North America at 9:22 with a top shelf blast past Heat goaltender Jon Gillies. The Swedish defenseman, who spent the past two season primarily in the Swedish Elite League with Frolunda, pulled San Diego within one at 4-3 going into the second intermission.

Marek Hrivik added his first goal of the season for Stockton at 5:06 of the third period, while Gillies made a series of big stops as the Heat held the led throughout. Three consecutive Gulls minor penalties slowed down any momentum they were trying to build in the opposing zone as the clock waned down, and with 1:59 remaining in the game, Hathaway scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to seal the game game and any of San Diego’s hopes for a late comeback.

Gillies stopped 26-of-29 shots to earn his third win of the season, while Irving picked up his first loss after stopping 34-of-39 shots in his first full game with San Diego.

The Gulls and Stockton face off for the third time in six days this week on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at Valley View Casino Center (7 p.m., Mighty 1090-AM).

Three Stars:
1. M. Hrivik (STK)
2. G. Hathaway (STK)
3. S. Abbott (SD)