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5 THINGS TO WATCH - HEAT VS. MARLIES

Stockton starts season with first-ever tilt against Toronto

by BRANDON WEISS @WeissBrandon1 / CalgaryFlames.com

STOCKTON HEAT (0-0-0) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (2-2-0)

2 p.m. | Scotiabank Saddledome | BROADCAST: AHLTV

Leading Scorers:

Heat:

Points - None
Goals - None

Marlies:

Points - Kenny Agostino/Timothy Liljegren (4)
Goals - Calle Rosen (3)

Special Teams:

Heat:

PP - 0-for-0, 0.0% (27th)/PK - 0-for-0, 0.0% (28th)

Marlies:

PP - 2-for-11, 18.2% (14th)/PK - 5-for-5, 100% (1st)

 

1. HEAT INDEX

At long last, the Heat return to the ice - albeit in unfamiliar circumstances. Last time out, the Heat were in the thick of a Pacific Division playoff race and battled the San Jose Barracuda - the 10th meeting of the year between the California clubs - on March 10, 2020. Tonight, Stockton faces the Toronto Marlies in the first-ever meeting between the teams and the Heat's first-ever game as members of the Canadian Division.

But while much has changed surrounding the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, the club will hope that much stays the same. Stockton is coming off its best season in team history, a .618 point percentage that gave way to a suspended, and ultimately canceled, campaign. The Heat went 14-10-3-1 at Stockton Arena a year ago while feasting on the road at 16-7-1-3.

 

2. THIS, THAT &THE OTHER

This: Glenn Gawdin, one member of Stockton's dynamic duo who went from roommates to AHL All-Stars in 2019-20, made his Flames debut last night in the Battle of Alberta. The center finished the evening with four hits and a blocked shot to his credit. That: The Heat revealed their leadership group to start the season at practice on Saturday, with newcomer Alex Petrovic donning the C at the outset of the campaign and the A's going to returners Zac Leslie and Matthew Phillips. The Other: Should Flames goaltending prospect Dustin Wolf make his Stockton debut this week, he would become the second-youngest player to occupy the blue paint in Heat history. Entering Sunday at 19 years, 10 months and six days old, Wolf would only be senior to Nick Schneider, who debuted on March 30, 2016 at just 18 years and eight months.

 

3. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Heat - Connor Zary

The first-round selection by the Flames in the 2020 NHL Draft is one member of the talent infusion that has hit the AHL as a result of delays to the start of a variety of junior hockey leagues. The forward not only has the talent to make an immediate impact, but playing meaningful games in the not-too-distant past with the World Junior Championship is an advantage many in the room likely envy after a long layoff.
 

Marlies - Adam Brooks

Brooks was the difference in the special teams battle for Toronto's season-opening series, the veteran forward lighting the lamp twice on the man-advantage while the Moose were held scoreless on five chances. The matchup is further emphasized with the backdrop of Stockton pacing the AHL on both special teams units a season ago, the first team to pull that trick in a decade.

 

4. MILESTONES WITHIN REACH

  • Alex Petrovic is two games away from 200 in the AHL
     
  • Justin Kirkland is three points away from 100 in the AHL
     
  • Matthew Phillips is three points away from 75 in the AHL
     
  • Luke Philp is one goal away from 20 in his career

 

5. QUOTABLE

"We're just taking it day-by-day, week-by-week. That's really what we're looking at. The goal, the objective is to get (Flames prospects) into games and into competitive situations. First and foremost, we want to play some games, to get some games under our belt as a division, as a league. We're looking forward to getting up and running and getting things going."

- Flames Assistant General Manager and Heat General Manager Brad Pascall

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