The Stockton Heat have started the 2016-17 season with a bang, going 2-0-1, and goaltender Jon Gillies has been key to their early success.
Last week, the 22-year-old made 57 saves on the 60 shots he faced in a pair of games at the Stockton Arena.
Last Wednesday, the Heat picked up a 5-1 victory over Texas and while the score doesn't indicate it, the Stars put plenty of pressure on Gillies. He made 29 saves on 30 shots, posted a .967 save percentage and stymied the Stars on three power play opportunities.
In the opening stanza, the Stars put nine shots on net but a strong offensive push from the Heat made it a 3-0 affair for the home team after 20:00 of play.
The Stars put 13 shots on the goaltender in the second but only got one b y when Austin Fyten beat Gillies off a scramble in front of the Heat's net.
Gillies capped off Wednesday's game with a eight-save third period.
Stockton suffered their first setback of the season on Friday when they dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Tucson Roadrunners. Gillies stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced, recorded a .933 save percentage and was named the game's third star for his efforts.
In regulation, Gillies made 28 saves on 29 shots. The only goal he allowed in regulation came in the third period when Craig Cunningham was able to tie the game up when his shot from the slot went high glove-side.
In overtime, Brendan Perlini won the game for the Roadrunners when he beat Gillies glove-side at the 3:19 mark.
Through three games, Gillies is 2-0-1 with a 1.64 GAA and a .944 save percentage.
Last year, Gillies underwent season-ending surgery after appearing in just seven games with the Heat. The procedure cleared up a lingering hip issue and left him rehabbing his hip for the majority of the season. He spent quite a bit of time in Calgary during that time, working with the Flames staff and absorbing all he could from his time with the team.
"When something like that happens when you can't control it you have to make the best of the situation you're in," Gillies told CalgaryFlames.com earlier this year.
"It was a good learning experience. Being able to be around the guys for three months with the big club for rehab was a great time to be a sponge and soak up everything and learn as much as I can and hit the ground running this year."