TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat vs. Bakersfield Condors
SERIES: Game 1; Tied 0-0
LOCATION: Stockton Arena | Stockton, Calif.
TIME: 6:30 p.m. PDT
TUNE IN: Today’s game can be streamed on AHLTV, and the radio call is available on Fox Sports Radio 1280 or online via Spreaker.
Media Game Notes: STK | BAK | AHL
The Stockton Heat begin their Calder Cup Playoffs run with a best-of-five matchup against the Bakersfield Condors, starting Tuesday at Stockton Arena. The Heat won six of 10 meetings in the regular season against their Golden State competitors but the Condors were able to take four of the last five clashes, a trend Stockton will look to end as the Heat break out of a 10-day period between games.
BACK FOR SECONDS
Tuesday begins the Heat’s second-ever playoff appearance and first since the 2016-17 season. In the team’s first trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Heat, seeded fourth, pushed top-seeded San Jose to overtime of a decisive fifth game. Matthew Phillips is the only member of this year’s Heat squad to have also played for Stockton in that postseason, appearing in two games on an ATO.
Defenseman Kevin Gravel is the only member of the Heat to have lifted the Calder Cup previously in his career, winning the championship with the Manchester Monarchs in the 2014-15 season. Gravel appeared in 19 games during Manchester’s playoff run, notching five assists and a plus-2 rating. Three Heat skaters – Glenn Gawdin, Justin Kirkland and Tyrell Goulbourne – won WHL titles during their junior careers and three – Walker Duehr, Andy Welinski and Jack McNeely – were crowned in the USHL. Additionally, Dustin Wolf and Team USA won the World Junior Championship in 2021 and Eetu Tuulola was a member of Finland’s Liiga champion, HPK, in 2018-19.
CLAP FOR THE WOLFMAN
Dustin Wolf’s award mantle has gotten full this season, with the first-year netminder being named an AHL First-Team All-Star, a member of the All-Rookie Team and won the Aldege ‘Baz’ Bastien Memorial Award as the league’s goaltender of the year. Wolf paced AHL netminders with 33 wins on the year and finished fourth with a .924 Save Percentage and eight with a 2.35 Goals Against Average.
MITCH, PRAY, LOVE
Head coach Mitch Love brought home the AHL’s Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award, given annually to the AHL’s coach of the year. Under Love’s guidance, the Heat set a Pacific Division record with 97 points in the standings, set team records for wins and standings points and saw players set club individual highs for points and goals in a season and rookie points in a campaign. Heat players combined for 23 career highs on the year.
RESTED AND READY
Stockton’s first-round bye afforded the club 10 days between games, last appearing in the regular season finale against Bakersfield on April 30. It’s just the second time since the start of the season that Stockton went double-digit days between contests, the first since going from December 18 through December 31 without hitting the ice for a bout. The Condors swept a best-of-three against Abbotsford in the first round of the playoffs with a pair of one-goal wins.
The playoff opener is presented by Oak Valley Community Bank.