STOCKTON, CA – In what was the biggest game of the Heat’s season-to-date, the Ontario Reign silenced them by a score of 3-2 in overtime Wednesday night. Entering Wednesday’s game, the Heat could have clinched a playoff spot with a win in any fashion and a regulation loss from Bakersfield.
1st Period: Just 2:05 into the first period, Garnet Hathaway sniped his 8th of the year past Jeff Zatkoff to give the Heat a 1-0 lead. They would hold that lead for the rest of the period.
2nd Period: This had to be one of the worst periods I have seen from the Heat recently. Just 81 seconds into the period, Mike Amadio scored an unassisted goal. Six minutes later Adrian Kempe scored to give the Reign the lead. The Reign would then shut down the Heat for the rest of the second period.
3rd period: 12:24 into the third, Chaz Reddekopp took a hooking penalty to put the Heat on the Powerplay. Less than a minute into that penalty Andrew Mangiapane scored his 19th of the season. It was also his team-leading and rookie-leading 11th powerplay goal to tie things up.
Overtime: 2:11 into the extra session, Philippe Maillet scored the winner with a very nice shot.
The Heat fail to clinch their playoff berth but they do earn a very important single point. Their magic number is now down to 1, so a point or any fashion of win will get them into the Calder Cup Playoffs.
It is pretty obvious the Heat have got hot at the right time, they are currently riding a 9-game point streak, longest in team history. Their powerplay continues to roll, scoring a power play goal in nine straight games. One area the Heat need to be better in is their overtime/shootout play, they are 2-9 this season in game that have gone to extra time.
Quotes from the Heat:
“It’s tough to swallow, but in overtime like that, 3-on-3, it can go either way. It’s back-and-forth hockey. We had opportunities to get a goal and they came down and made a good shot, so we just need to find a way to keep playing our game, get a little bit more intensity every game and hopefully we can get some wins this weekend” – Mike Angelidis
“It was a tough one because we didn’t play well the first two periods. I thought we were loose and sloppy, maybe a little bit too uptight. In the third period, we started to play and we started to push a little bit and we were able to find a goal that got us a point. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the extra one we needed tonight.” – Coach Ryan Huska
The Heat are back in action Friday night as they host the Bakersfield Condors with another opportunity to clinch a playoff spot. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PT.