STOCKTON, Calif. – Three goals on the power play fueled the Stockton Heat to a dramatic win over first-place Tucson by a 4-3 final in a shootout Saturday night in front of 4,241 fans at Stockton Arena.
Stockton, which held Tucson to 1-for-5 with the extra skater, got the better of the special teams battle starting from the opening puck drop, the Heat killing a pair of early penalties before Rob Hamilton’s slap shot from the point on the man-advantage gave the home team the early lead. Adam Ruzicka then continued his scoring run, now a five-game point streak, with a power play goal of his own for a 2-0 edge through one period. After the Roadrunners cut into the cushion early in the second, it was again the power play unit that answered as Zac Leslie picked a corner to produce a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes. The Roadrunners mounted their rally in the third, scoring back-to-back goals in 61 seconds midway through the frame to draw even and push the game to extra time, where after a scoreless overtime period Austin Czarnik and Justin Kirkland scored in the shootout to clinch the win. The contest was Stockton’s first win over Tucson on the year and brings the Heat to within three points of first place in the Pacific Division.
W: Artyom Zagidulin (28 shots, 25 saves)
SOL: Tyler Parks (8 shots, 8 saves)
ND: Ivan Prosvetov (17 shots, 14 saves)
Three Stars: First – Justin Kirkland (SO G), Second – Rob Hamilton (1g,1a), Third – Glenn Gawdin (2a)
Shots On Goal: STK – 26, TUC – 28
Power Plays: STK – 3-6, TUC – 1-5
– Matthew Phillips made his return to the Heat lineup following recovery from a lower body injury, his first game since December 28 at Bakersfield.
– Rob Hamilton’s goal to open the scoring was his third of the season and first on the power play.
– Adam Ruzicka extended his scoring streak to five games with his power play goal, now with two goals and four assists in five games.
– Glenn Gawdin snapped his five-game scoreless skid with two points on the night, a pair of assists in the first period.
– Alan Quine extended his scoring streak to nine games (5g,8a) with an assist. Byron Froese’s streak ends at eight games (6g,8a).
– Austin Czarnik has points in five of Stockton’s last six games.
– The shootout was Artyom Zagidulin’s first penalty shots faced this season.
– The game was the third time Stockton has scored three or more power play goals in a game this season, the second time the Heat have accomplished that feat in five games against Tucson.
The Heat conclude the holiday weekend home stand Monday at 1 p.m. against the San Diego Gulls.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Stockton Heat Media Relations