Arena: Stockton Arena
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM
Broadcast: Spreaker, iHeartRadio & AHLTV at 5:45 p.m.
For the live, in-game tweets, follow @AHLHeat. Stay tuned at the end of the game for the Chase Chevrolet Big Moment of the Game with your chance to win an autographed puck from Andrew Nielsen.
Stockton hosts Manitoba on Saturday night for Military Appreciation Night at Stockton Arena. The Heat will look for revenge tonight against Manitoba, after falling 2-1 last night to the Moose. Stockton did everything but equalize last night late in the game. The Heat’s 42-shot barrage on Eric Comrie wasn’t enough to best the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets last night. Comrie’s fingerprints were all over the game, including 20 saves in the middle frame. Although Stockton only potted home one goal in the final period, Stockton hopes to build momentum off of a strong final two periods, when they out shot Manitoba 35-6 over a 40 minute span.
Tonight is Military Appreciation Night and the Stockton Heat will proudly recognize and honor veterans and active military members. For all members of the military, just show your military ID at the Stockton Arena Box Office and receive a buy one, get one free ticket deal. Better yet, if you wear your military uniform to the Stockton Arena Box Office you will receive a free ticket to the game!
It is also Hockey Night in Stockton Presented by Budweiser. All fans 21 years old and over can purchase a bud and burger combo for just $14!
WHO TO WATCH
Kerby Rychel is quietly having a fantastic season with the Stockton Heat. The former first round pick leads the team in points (20) and goals (12). Rychel scored a beauty last night, forcing a Manitoba turnover and then walking in all alone and going five-hole on Eric Comrie. Getting Rychel the puck below the dots will continue to be a priority for the Stockton Heat.
The offseason trade between that sent Kerby Rychel to Stockton in exchange for Hunter Shinkaruk is panning out in the Heat’s favor so far by a wide margin.
BUDDY WITH OLD BUDDIES
First-year forward, Buddy Robinson is playing against his former team this weekend for the first time since signing with the Calgary Flames this summer. Robinson played last season with the Moose, skating in 74 games and scoring a career-high 25 goals. Robinson is still looking to find that same scoring touch this season in Stockton. Robinson spoke with media following last night’s loss and echoed the importance of looking at today’s game as a fresh new day.
NIELSEN IN DEBUT
Andrew Nielsen made his Stockton Heat debut last night on the blue line. The dominating physical presence of Nielsen was on display last night as the 22-year-old executed some strong body checks and showcased a willingness to play a hard game. Nielsen’s ability to move the puck quickly with strong, crisp passes was evident from the outset last night. Nielsen saw some time on the power play last night and Heat Head Coach Cail MacLean said he plans to continue to get Nielsen acclimated to all situations for Stockton. Nearly two weeks ago, the Calgary Flames acquired defenseman Andrew Nielsen from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Morgan Klimchuk. Offensively, the 22-year-old can put the puck in the back of the net, highlighted by his 20 goals over the last two season with the Toronto Marlies.
Stockton’s penalty kill went 4-5 last night and the PK unit has now killed off 14-15 chances over the last four games. The Heat PK is 35 of their last 40 on the penalty kill over the last eleven games. Since Wednesday, November 14th in Colorado, Stockton is operating at 87.5% on the penalty kill. The power play on the other hand had an off night last night, failing to score on their seven chances. However, Stockton’s penalty kill is still at 20% on the season and in the top half of the American Hockey League.
HEAT STARS IN CALGARY
Stockton’s pipeline of prospects continue to head north to the Calgary Flames. Thursday night in Calgary’s 2-0 win over Minnesota, the Flames dressed seven former Stockton Heat players. Although David Rittich did not get the start in goal, the Flames still showcased Mark Jankowski, Garnet Hathaway, Andrew Mangiapane, Ryan Lomberg, Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington.
One goal games have been a strength all season for Stockton, but last night’s 2-1 victory was among just three outliers this season for Stockton. The Heat are now 6-2-1 in one-goal games this season.