Heat Welcome in San Antonio for the First Time to Stockton Arena Tonight at 7PM
The Stockton Heat host the San Antonio Rampage for the first time this season at Stockton Arena for a midweek clash.
Stockton will look to build off their success in their last five games, going 3-1-0-1 over that stretch. San Antonio enters tonight's game in fifth place in the Pacific Division and have won two of their three games thus far on their current California trip.
LAST TIME VS. SAN ANTONIO
Looking for their first win over the Rampage, the Heat returned to the AT&T Center on December 10 but saw forward Andrew Agozzino open the scoring. However Bill Arnold scored his fourth of the season on a backhander tying the game at one but Dennis Everberg scored just seconds later as San Antonio had the 2-1 lead in a 1:27 span.
The Heat's hero would be a man returning from injury as Emile Poirier tied the game in the second and won the game in the third after missing three games due to injury.
It was the first time this season that Poirier scored multiple goals in a game and Turner Elson assisted on both goals, earning his fourth multi-point game of the season at the time.
WHO TO WATCH
Prior to suffering an upper body injury in mid-December, Garnet Hathaway was one of the hottest players in the Heat lineup.
Hathaway had six points in six games before missing nearly a month.
He returned last week in Ontario and will be on the hunt for a breakout game tonight back home facing the team he scored his very first goal of the season against, which actually was a shorthanded game tying goal!
The hard-working forward is tough to contain in the offensive zone and can cause havoc in the corners and in front of the net.
Look for that style of play from Hathaway to get the guys going here tonight, as they look to get back in the win column.
SIGHT FOR SHORE EYES
Drew Shore returned from his brief absence with a vengeance last week, racking up three points in two games and putting himself on a four-game point streak dating back before his injury.
In fact, Shore has registered at least one point in six of his last seven games and has only gone without a point four times since November 13th.
The two-time AHL all-star is proving why he earned those honors in years past and if it weren't for an admittedly slow start to his 2015-16 campaign, he would likely be on his way to a third appearance.
Shore has compiled a goal, an assist and nine shots in his last two games against San Antonio and will look to add to his point streak tonight in Stockton.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
With the AHL announcing their All-Star selections for the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic, Heat forward Derek Grant was selected for the first time in his pro career.
Grant is having a career season, leading the team with 15 goals and 22 points while playing in just 22 games for the Heat and 9 additional games for the Calgary Flames during this campaign.
Grant's 15 goals actually place him in the top 10 in the AHL. However he won't be alone as the only AHL All-Star in tonight's game. San Antonio's 19-year-old rookie forward Mikko Rantanen is having a tremendous season thus far for the Rampage, currently tied second on San Antonio in goals (10) and second on the team in points (26) while having played just 22 games for the Rampage this year. The Finish forward will be a teammate of Grant's during the AHL All-Star Challenge on February 1 in Syracuse, New York.
The All-Star festivities will however kick off on January 31 with a skills competition followed by that round robin tournament comprised of All-Star teams from each division.
Speaking of the Heat's all-star, a scoring correction properly gave the Heat centerman an assist on Drew Shore's goal in Ontario, meaning that the Heat forward is back on his point streak which has seen him score 4 goals and add 2 assists for 6 points in his last five games.
This is the second time this season Grant has recorded a five-game point streak and third time in his career. It's somewhat crazy to think that if Grant had recorded a point on December 29 he'd actually be on an 11-game point streak, but instead, Grant will try to record his longest career point streak tonight against San Antonio with his sixth-straight game with a point.
He's only played San Antonio once this year (and actually once in his AHL career) and was held pointless, however Grant has been a potent scorer at Stockton Arena, scoring in all but two home games he's played in this season for the Heat. Let's hope that second trend continues tonight.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Arena: Stockton Arena
Date: January 13, 2016
Time: 7:00 p.m. (Doors at 6:00 p.m.)
Broadcast: AHL Live, Spreaker & iHeartRadio beginning at 6:45 p.m. PST
Giveaway: First 1,000 fans receive an Aaron Johnson oversized trading card
Leading Scorer: STOCKTON: F Derek Grant (22GP, 15-7-22)
SAN ANTONIO: F Colin Smith (37GP, 11-17-28)
For the live, in-game tweets, follow @AHLHeatPR. Stay tuned at the end of the game for the Chase Chevrolet Big Moment of the Game with your chance to win an autographed Morgan Klimchuk puck.
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