Preview: Heat hit the road for games against Toronto & Rochester

Saturday, 08.12.2012 / 8:39 PM calgaryflames.com

The Abbotsford Heat look to snap a three game winless streak as they head out on a two game road trip against divisional foes the Toronto Marlies and the Rochester Americans.

The Heat depart the Fraser Valley in top spot in the AHL, with 31 points through 22 games. The Toronto Marlies are third in the North Division, six points back of the Heat. The Rochester Americans are fourth in the North Division, eleven points behind the Heat.

Abbotsford is coming off a four-game home stand, in which the Heat split a pair of games with the Hamilton Bulldogs and picked up just one of a possible four points against the San Antonio Rampage. The Heat lost once in overtime and once in regulation to the Rampage, despite outshooting the visitors 70 to 31 over the two games.

Goaltending has been a point of strength for the Heat this season. Barry Brust remains atop the AHL’s goaltending statistics with a record of 6-1-0, a goals against average (GAA) of 0.99, and a save percentage (SAV%) of .958. Brust shut out the Marlies in his only start against Toronto this season, stopping 22 shots in a 3-0 home win on November 1. Leland Irving has a home win and a road loss against the Marlies this year. Irving also made a season high 36 saves in the Heat’s 3-2 win over the Rochester Americans on November 16th. Danny Taylor (5-4-1) sits in the top four in the AHL in both GAA and SAV%, but has yet to see action against the Americans or Marlies this season.

The Heat are 1-0-0-0 against the Americans this season, 2-1-0-0 against the Marlies, and have posted an overall record of 7-3-0-1 against North Division opponents. The Marlies have won three games in a row heading into a Saturday game against the Americans. The Americans, who also play Adirondack Friday night, have gone winless in their last three games.

The next home game for the Heat is their final home series of 2012 against the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) on December 14th and 15th. The weekend will feature a 2-for-1 ticket deal for fans; when fans purchase a ticket for Friday’s “Teddy Bear Toss” game, they get a ticket to Saturday’s game for free. If fans cannot attend the December 15th game, they can donate their ticket to the United Way and give a Christmas outing to a family in need. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT(4328) or visit us online at www.AbbotsfordHeat.com.

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