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Zary, Ruzicka Lead Stockton Past Belleville, 4-1

March 3, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Stockton Heat News Release


OTTAWA, ON - Two goals and an assist from rookie Connor Zary and a third-straight, three-point outing from forward Adam Ruzicka helped the Stockton Heat (3-2-0-0) earn their third consecutive win, the latest coming 4-1 against the Belleville Senators (1-4-0-0) Wednesday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Three of Stockton's goals came from the Zary-Ruzicka-Matthew Phillips line, extending each player's respective scoring streak to three games.

For the second consecutive game, Stockton scored first - with Zary potting a pair in the opening period nearly 10 minutes apart, giving the Heat a 2-0 edge through one. The cushion grew in the second frame as Justin Kirkland got on the board, a power play marker near the midway point to give Stockton a three-goal edge after 40 minutes.

Ruzicka potted his fifth goal in the last three games to start the scoring in the third, finishing a chance on a rebound to cap off the scoring for the visiting team, and Egor Sokolov punctuated the evening with a goal for the home side nine minutes into the final frame.

Netminder Garret Sparks earned his first win with the Heat, stopping 38 of 39 pucks that came his way.

NOTABLE

- Zary's goals were his first as a pro, coming in his fifth game with the Heat. His scoring streak is now at three games with two goals and three assists in that span.

- Adam Ruzicka extended his scoring streak to three games with nine points (5g, 4a). His active run is his fourth-career streak of three or more games, with a five-game and two three-game scoring streaks last season. Only one game in his previous streaks was a multi-point effort. It's the first streak of three multi-point games for Stockton since Byron Froese totaled seven points (4g, 3a) on Feb. 8, 9 and 12 of last season.

- Matthew Phillips extended his scoring streak to three games with a pair of assists, giving him six points (1g, 5a) in the last three contests.

- Luke Philp has a point in three of five games this season (2g, 1a), all coming on the power play.

- Justin Kirkland's goal was his first since December 18, 2019 against Iowa.

- The contest was Stockton's first road game in 361 days, last playing at Bakersfield on March 7, 2020.

- Garret Sparks earned his first AHL win in his second opportunity on the year, posting a season-high of 38 saves for the Heat.

SPECIAL TEAMS

STK PP - 1-for-2

STK PK - 3-for-3

THREE STARS

First - Connor Zary (2 goals, 1 assist)

Second - Adam Ruzicka (1 goal, 2 assists)

Third - Garret Sparks (38 saves)

GOALIES

W - Garret Sparks (38 saves on 39 shots faced)

L - Filip Gustavsson (26 saves on 30 shots faced)

UP NEXT

Stockton continues its seven-game road trip with a pair of contests at Toronto, Friday and Saturday at the Coca-Cola Coliseum. Friday's game starts at 5 p.m. MST, 4 p.m. PST, and is free to watch as the AHL's Facebook Watch Game of the Week.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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