Heat Playoff Post-Game: Stockton sunk by Leivo’s late breakaway in Game 2
For the second game in a row, the Stockton Heat and Chicago Wolves enjoyed a highly entertaining home-and-away hockey game in the American Hockey League‘s Western Conference Finals Series. For the second game in a row, the Heat played pretty well but just couldn’t score the one goal they needed to claim victory.
A breakaway goal from Josh Leivo with just 17 seconds left in regulation time was the difference in a 3-2 Wolves win over Stockton to give Chicago a 2-0 series lead.
The course of the game
The Heat got off to a rocky start, as Chicago rushed an odd man in the opening showdown, with Jack Drury taking the top corner over Dustin Wolf to give Wolves a 1-0 lead just 17 seconds into the game. the game. .
Stockton pushed back after Wolves scored, generating a flurry of chances which were momentarily disrupted by a minor skirmish from Martin Pospisil. But on that Wolves power play, Stockton managed to level the game.
Eetu Tuulola drove into the Chicago end on a one-on-three run and threw the puck to Wolves goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov. The puck came out of Kochetkov, took a weird leap in the air, and sank into the net behind him to tie the game at 1-1.
Stockton got a power play late in the first period and generated four shots. After intermission, they continued their onslaught and collected the first four shots of the next period, but Kochetkov held on.
Midway through the period, Stockton earned their first lead of the night. Justin Kirkland started and ended the scoring streak, making some nice moves in the defensive zone to generate speed in the neutral zone, then beating Wolves defenders in the rush and beating Kochetkov with a wrist shot to give the Heat a 2-1 advantage.
But this advance will not last, unfortunately. Less than four minutes later, with Tyrell Goulbourne in the penalty area, Noel Gunler scored to level the game at 2-2. It was Chicago’s fourth power-play goal in two games so far in the series.
Both teams looked good in the third period, but neither could bury them. Just when it looked like we were about to see our second overtime game of this series, Wolves scored a late goal in regular time to seal the deal.
Glenn Gawdin got the puck in the Chicago zone at left point. He tried to pass to the trailing player entering the area to create a chance, but Wolves defender Jesper Sellgren put his stick in the way, deflecting the pass into the neutral zone for Josh Leivo. Leivo beat the Heat defenders for a breakaway and beat Wolf to give Chicago a 3-2 victory.
Shots were 35-21 Stockton in the game and maybe the Heat deserved a better spell. They seemed to run out of steam in the third period, and the shots were even 9-9 in the final period.
For Game 2 of this series, the Heat had a chance to win. For the second time in this series, they found ways not to win.
Here’s a quick look at how each team lined up for Game 2, more or less.
Jakob Pelletier – Glenn Gawdin – Matthew Phillips
Justin Kirkland – Luke Philp – Martin Pospisil
Emilio Pettersen – Connor Zary – Eetu Tuulola
Tyrell Goulbourne – Byron Froese – Walker Duehr
Connor Mackey – Andy Welinski
Kevin Gravel – Nick DeSimone
Colton Poolman – Juuso Valimaki
Compared to their Game 1 roster, Stockton made two changes. Adam Ruzicka and Alex Gallant came out in favor of Goulbourne and Pettersen.
The Heat had plenty of near-injury scares in this game. Froese missed some time after blocking a high shot. Philp also went to the locker room for treatment. Jamieson Rees fell awkwardly into Wolf in the line period. Pettersen took a stick to his face and appeared to be checking for dental damage.
Josh Leivo-Jack Drury-David Gust
@CJ Smith – Andrew Poturalski – Stefan Noesen
Richard Panik – Spencer Smallman – Noel Gunler
Jamieson Rees – Vasily Ponomarev – Stelio Mattheos
Jesper Sellgren – Jalen Chatfield
Cavan Fitzgerald – Josh Jacobs
Maxime LajoieJoey Keane
After Lyon started (and won) Game 1, Kochetkov got the net for Game 2 and won.
This series operates on a 2-3-2 model, so the next three games (if necessary) will take place at Stockton Arena.