Heat Drop Defensive Battle to Tucson, 3-1
STOCKTON, Calif. - Juuso Valimaki's highlight-reel goal was the lone tally of the game for the home team as the Tucson Roadrunners bested Stockton in a defensive battle by a 3-1 final score Friday night at Stockton Arena. The Roadrunners got the early advantage, Robbie Russo's sixth goal of the season near the halfway point of the first before Valimaki pulled Stockton back even in the second. Lane Pederson's goal 10 minutes later proved to be the game-winner before he added an assist on Michael Bunting's empty-netter that sealed the deal. Jon Gillies had yet another strong performance between the pipes, turning away 30 of 32 shots faced on the night.
W: Adin Hill (26 shots, 25 saves)
L: Jon Gillies (32 shots, 30 saves)
Three Stars: First - Adin Hill (25 saves), Second - Lane Pederson (1g,1a), Third - Jon Gillies (30 saves)
Final Shots: STK - 26, TUC - 33
Power Plays: STK - 0-2, TUC - 0-3
- Matt Taormina and Marcus Hogstrom both returned from extended absences due to injury. Taormina's last game was Dec. 21, Hogstrom's Jan. 21.
- Juuso Valimaki's goal was his third with the Heat and represented his fourth point (1g,3a) over Stockton's last three games. Assists on the goal went to Matthew Phillips and Ryan Lomberg.
- Jon Gillies made 30 saves in the game, his 10th-consecutive start for Stockton.
- The Heat penalty kill went 3-for-3 on the night and has now killed 39 of 41 opponent power plays over the last 11 home games.
The Heat close out the weekend set with Tucson on Saturday, Green Night sponsored by Covanta Energy, a 6 p.m. puck drop.
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