The Stockton Heat mounted a big comeback to secure a victory over the Texas Stars by a final score of 5-4.
The Heat did not start out well at all, Mike Kostka took a slashing penalty very early in the game which led to Jason Dickenson scoring for the Stars 2:35 into the game. Dillon Heatherington scored with 4:58 left to put the Heat down by two heading into first intermission. Stockton was outshot in the opening period 14-6.
1:34 into the second period Ethan Werek scored to make it 3-0 Texas. Stockton answered back, with Linden Vey scoring his 15th of the season to finally get the Heat on the board. Werek got his second of the night shortly after, so Jon Gillies was pulled and David Rittich took over between the pipes. That seemed to be the turning point for the Heat. Mark Jankowski scored his team leading 25th goal of the year with a rocket one-timer. Garnett Hathaway later added a short-handed tally to pull the Heat to within a goal. In the dying seconds of the period the Heat had a golden opportunity to tie the game but hit nothing but iron.
Just 3:08 into the third period, Tyler Wotherspoon blasted one home to tie things up at four, his fifth goal of the year. About seven minutes later, Morgan Klimchuk sniped one five-hole past Justin Peters, giving the Heat their first, yet improbable, lead of the game. The Heat would hold that lead after some good penalty killing and solid goaltending from Rittich.
The come from behind victory was a great way to start off their long five game road trip, as they need all of the points they can get out these games to find a way to get into the playoffs. Overall the Heat outshot the Stars 29-27 and both teams power-plays were 1 for 4.
The Heat are back in action again Saturday when the face the Stars again in another very important game for both teams. Puck Drop 5:00 PST.
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