Gulls, Heat Rematch Shifts to San DiegoFeb 19, 2020
The Gulls return home after a three-game road trip to host the Stockton Heat tonight at Pechanga Arena San Diego (7 p.m. PT, TV: AHLTV, Radio: San Diego Gulls Audio Network). The clubs match up for the eighth time in a 12-game season series, as San Diego looks to get revenge against the Heat after Stockton grabbed a 3-2 overtime win just two days ago.
San Diego erased a two-goal deficit in the third period of Monday afternoon’s matchup, with goals by Alex Broadhurst and Max Comtois forcing the game into overtime and giving San Diego a point.
With 44 seconds remaining in the extra period, Stockton’s leading goal scorer, Rob Hamilton, scored the decisive marker. The Heat moved into San Diego's end on an odd-man rush, with Sam Carrick the only forward back. The captain made a valiant effort, diving to poke the puck off Alan Quine's stick. The Stockton center worked around Carrick, feeding Hamilton for a one-timer to beat Anthony Stolarz.
The Gulls returned home with three points (1-1-1-0) from the three-game road trip that started with a back-to-back set in Iowa.
“We played three great games on the road,” said Comtois after the matchup with Stockton. “Obviously, we would prefer going [home] with the win, but it’s a huge point for our team on a race to make the playoffs. We have to build on that. We made some really good stuff and we didn’t give too much. It’s a huge point and we have to build on that.”
San Diego enter tonight’s matchup carrying a three-game point streak in games against Stockton after dropping the first four meetings this season. The Gulls currently hold a 2-4-1-0 record (1-2-0-0 at home) against the Heat and an all-time mark of 17-21-4-3 record (10-9-2-1 at home).
The Gulls (23-17-5-2, 53 pts.) continue to fight for a playoff spot as they sit fifth in the Pacific Division. The team's penalty kill is a bright spot, eliminating 63 of their lopponent's last 73 penalties (86.3%) to rank ninth among AHL clubs in penalty-kill percentage (84.4).
San Diego remains dangerous down a player, scoring 14 shorthanded goals over the last 40 contests, with the penalty kill nearly matching the opposition power play 14-23 in that span. Overall, San Diego’s penalty kill leads the AHL with a goal differential of -14 (28 powerplay goals against, 14 shorthanded goals).
Carrick leads the Gulls in scoring, tallying 19-15=35 points in 36 appearances this season. The captain maintains an impressive +21 rating as he enters tonight’s matchup hoping to put an end to his three-game scoreless streak. Just a week ago, Carrick compiled a six-game point streak, collecting 2-5=7 points.
He'll look to continue his strong play on home ice, where he's collected 9-7=16 points in his last 11 games at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
Stockton (28-13-3-3, 63 pts.) ranks second in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference. Though the team sat at the top of the division for most of the season, they split their last 10 games 5-4-1-0, with three of the wins coming in overtime. The Heat continue to dominate in the special teams department, as they rank second in the league in both powerplay and penalty kill. They capitalized on 45-of-173 (26.0%) opportunities on the man-advantage and allowed just 24 goals on opposing teams’ 195 power-play chances (87.7%).
Byron Froese ranks third in Stockton scoring, earning 18-20=38 points in 41 appearances this season. In his first season with the Heat, Froese leads the team in scoring against San Diego and has tallied 4-4=8 points - including two multi-point efforts - against the Gulls. The Winkler, Manitoba native has collected points in nine of his last 10 games (6-9=15).