Morning Skate: Heat vs. Colorado, May 23
TONIGHT'S MATCHUP: Stockton Heat vs. Colorado Eagles
SERIES: Game 1; Series 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.
Ten days after wrapping up the first-ever postseason series win in team history, the Stockton Heat return to the ice to start the best-of-five Pacific Division Finals series against the Colorado Eagles. Stockton swept rival Bakersfield in the opening round, winning two games at Stockton Arena before earning the clinching win on the road, a 6-4 victory on Friday, May 13. Monday's game is the front end of a back-to-back to start the third round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
SOMEONE'S 0 HAS GOT TO GO
The Pacific Division Finals series sees a clash of teams who bring undefeated playoff records into the third round. The Heat enter the best-of-five with a 3-0 record, a pair of home wins to go with a road victory, while Colorado owns a 5-0 mark thus far in the Calder Cup Playoffs that includes a perfect 4-for-4 mark on home ice, two wins over both Henderson and Ontario in Loveland, and then a clinching game on the road against the Reign. Stockton took five of eight meetings with the Eagles in the regular season.
Glenn Gawdin paced Stockton with four points in the team's opening round, including a three-point effort in the series clincher at Bakersfield with a goal and two helpers. This playoff is the first postseason action for Gawdin since he captained the Swift Current Broncos to the Ed Chynoweth Cup in 2017-18, earning playoff MVP honors after tallying 32 points and 14 goals in 24 games.
DOUBLE DOSE OF DESIMONE
Nick DeSimone had goals in back-to-back games to help the Heat close out the series against the Condors, including the go-ahead goal in the third period of the decisive game three. The defenseman had two goals in 21 career Calder Cup Playoff games entering this season and last lit the lamp in consecutive games on March 4 and 6, 2020.
DO THE DUEH
Walker Duehr has gotten off to a strong start in the playoffs, finishing the first series with a point-per-game clip at three points and two goals in the three-game sweep. Duehr netted the game-winning goal and claimed a multi-point effort in the decisive third game, his first career game-winner and fifth professional multi-point game.
Both Stockton and Colorado have put their best foot forward through their playoff runs so far, the Heat and Eagles each opening the scoring in all eight total games they've played. The Heat trailed for only 33 seconds of game time in their sweep over the Condors while Colorado has been leading or tied for the entirety of their five games in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
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