It took longer than the Heat would have liked but they finally punched their ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Stockton Heat have defeated the Bakersfield Condors by a score of 2-1 to clinch fourth place in the division. The Heat needed any point to clinch which means that Bakersfield needed to win in regulation time to stay alive in the race.
First Period: 12:31 into the game Oliver Kylington in his first game back from injury scored on Nick Ellis to put the Heat up 1-0. The score would stay that way for the rest of the period.
Second Period: Griffin Reinhart scores his seventh of the season to tie things up at one. Not the best period for the Heat, as they spent a lot of time pinned in their defensive zone and were really on their heels for most of the second. The score stayed the same largely due to some solid goaltending from David Rittich.
Third Period: Bakersfield had many golden opportunities to tie this game. They were pretty much on the power play for six and a half minutes straight, but outstanding goaltending from Rittich kept it tied. Bakersfield needed to win in regulation, so they pulled their goalie to see if they could get a late goal so it wouldn’t go to OT. With under a minute left Ryan Lomberg scored his 12th of the season into the empty net to give the Heat the lead and send them to the playoffs.
The Stockton Heat have clinched fourth in the division, so their first round match-up will be against the San Jose Barracuda. Their playoff schedule is as follows:
|Game 1||Friday||April 21||7:00 p.m.||SAP Center|
|Game 2||Sunday||April 23||3:00 p.m.||SAP Center|
|Game 3||Friday||April 28||7:00 p.m.||Stockton Arena|
|Game 4*||Sunday||April 30||4:00 p.m.||Stockton Arena|
|Game 5 *||Tuesday||May 2||7:00 p.m.||SAP Center|
|* if necessary|
David Rittich: saved 33 of 34 shots
Garnet Hathaway: 8 shots on goal
Oliver Kylington: 1 goal
Ryan Lomberg: Game winning goal
Mark Jankowski: 1 assist
Now that the Heat have clinched a playoff spot, expect to see Matthew Phillips, Josh Healey, and Adam Ollas Mattsson get into the lineup in the final game of the season. The playoffs for the Heat will kick off April 21st against San Jose, and it should be a very exciting series.