It's been a heckuva month for Andrew Mangiapane.
Ever since opening the scoring for the Heat this season, Mangiapane hasn't looked back and now leads not only the Heat, but the American Hockey League with five goals and 10 assists.
"I put in a lot of work this summer, going on the ice and working out," Mangiapane said. "It's always nice when the hard work pays off, but you don't really focus on that and instead try to help the team win as much as I can and try and compete every night."
And there's no question that Mangiapane is competing every night as he's also the only player in the AHL to have points in every one of his team's games to start the season, pacing the league with a nine-game streak.
He's now one point and game away from tying Mark Jankowski for the longest point streak in Heat team history. Jankowski put in five goals and seven points during a 10-game run last season from March 12 through April 5.
"The streaks are cool looking back at them but you don't focus on them when they're happening," Mangiapane said. "You're just going out there every day and trying to provide two points for the team. That's what I focus on, and when the points come they come."
Heat head coach Ryan Huska is thrilled that Mangiapane has started the season right where he left off during his rookie season.
"He has confidence and that is the one thing you do notice with Andrew," said Huska. "He is always around the puck and he wants it, which is the sign of a player that feels good about his game."
"Hopefully he can continue this way, because it has been working for us."
Having played the majority of the season with Jankowski as his pivot and fellow winger Garnet Hathaway, seeing Jankowski get an opportunity to play for the Flames has encouraged Mangiapane to push even harder and hope for his own chance to be called up.
"You don't know when the call will come or if it will come, so you just have to keep working hard," Mangiapane said. "It's definitely nice to see a fellow linemate get an opportunity like Janko has."
"I know Hath and I are very happy for him."
It would have been natural to think that after Jankowski's departure from the top line of the Heat that production would have curtailed but that hasn't been the case. In the three games last week without Jankowski in the middle, Mangiapane paced the team with five points (two goals, three assists).
- Stockton went 2-0-1 last week and are unbeaten in five-straight. The team mounted a third-period comeback Wednesday night in San Diego to force extra time but would fall in the shootout before taking a pair of wins against the Bakersfield Condors over the weekend. The team returns home for three games starting this Friday at Stockton Arena.
- Right behind Mangiapane this week in production was both Marek Hrivik and Hathaway with four points. Hrivik, who has points in five of seven games since returning to the lineup from the preseason injury sustained in Calgary, had four points against Bakersfield (2-2-4) and is now tied for third on the team in points with eight. Meanwhile, Hathaway is second on the Heat with 12 points (6-6-12), leads the team in goals, is tied for fourth in the league with 12 points and leads the league with a plus-12 rating.
- Jon Gillies made 32-saves in what was his fourth career AHL shutout on Friday night in Bakersfield. Stockton, who received a shutout performance from David Rittich back on Oct. 14 against the Grand Rapids Griffins, is one of two teams with more than one shutout this year (Rockford IceHogs, 2).
- Stockton Heat team captain Rod Pelley played in his 500th AHL game on Saturday in Bakersfield. He has 756 games of pro experience in the NHL and AHL. Austin Carroll played his 100th AHL game on Wednesday night in San Diego.
- "Getting rolling on the road early is good bonding for the team and I think last year we didn't have as much success on the road, which is big as the season goes on. So it is good sign early on in the season and hopefully we keep it up." - Tyler Wotherspoon
- "They had some good chances, but they came in bunches, so most of it was rebound control and we did a good job keeping guys to the outside. It was a really cohesive effort especially in the defensive zone, and we limited their speed in the neutral zone. We played a really strong team game and it was nice to come away with the win." - Gillies on the team's strong effort during the 3-0 shutout win over Bakersfield
- "Embrace the process that goes into it. Being a young guy, you come to the rink every day and you're waiting for the coach to pull you aside and say you're going to Calgary. My advice to them is to embrace it, enjoy every day here, work hard, enjoy your teammates and coaches, enjoy the travel and really work on your game. Your opportunity will come and hopefully when that day does come, all the work you put in now and embracing the process will pay off for you when you finally get your chance." - Pelley on his biggest piece of advice to young players after playing his 500th AHL game
- "Hrivik keeps the game relatively simple, and I think he is feeling comfortable with his skill set to make plays, but the plays he is making are smart plays; they are not high risk, and I think that is what you appreciate with his ability and his line has been really good because of that." - Huska on Hrivik's play and the success of his line (Spencer Foo, Hrivik, Morgan Klimchuk)
- "Too many penalties for us overall and a lot of those were stupid penalties, so again we are working on correcting it and we are going to have to make a few adjustments moving forward. You can't expect to win hockey games when you aren't using your whole bench." - Huska on the need to limit penalties (Stockton the third most penalized team in the AHL)