Preview: Heat host Canucks AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets

Thursday, 28.11.2013 / 7:35 PM - CalgaryFlames.com

ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat remain the top team in the American Hockey League. After taking 12 out of a possible 14 points on a season long seven game road trip, the Heat will begin a six game home stand starting this weekend against the Utica Comets. After having their franchise high nine game regular season winning streak come to an end on November 16th, the Heat have started a new streak as they enter this weekend winners of their last four games. Below are a few of the numbers that stand out from the Heat’s seven game road trip:

4 Consecutive wins

27-17 Heat outscored opponents

10/25 Conversion ratio on the power play

2 Players recorded back to back hat-tricks (Blair Jones & Ben Street)

4 Wins for Joni Ortio (9-0 record on the season)

4 Game winning goals scored by Ben Street (leads the team with 11 goals)

7 Goals scored on November 13th @ Texas (season high)

11 Assists recorded by Chad Billins

6 Game point streak for Markus Granlund

2 Times the Heat erased a two goal deficit to win (Nov. 15th @ OKC & Nov.19th @ Milwaukee)

11 Road wins overall on the season. Lead the AHL in that category.

COMETS @ HEAT

Friday night will mark the first ever regular season visit from the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks). The Heat lead the season series 2-0 after picking up back to back wins on October 30th and November 1st at the Utica Auditorium. Both games were close with the Heat winning by scores of 5-4 (OT) and 4-3. At the time, the Comets were still looking for their first win in franchise history, but since have won four out of their last seven games.

This is the inaugural season for the Utica Comets, who got out of the gates very slow as it was not until the 11th game where they recorded their first win. They are led offensively by Pascal Pelletier who has 14 points (3-11-14) in 13 games played. On the roster are a few of the Canucks top prospects in the organization that will garner interest. Defenseman Frank Corrado, forward Nicklas Jensen, and goaltender Joacim Eriksson will all be in the line-up this weekend and are in their first season in the AHL.

2013-14 Heat head to head stats vs. Utica Comets:

10/30/13- ABB 5 UTI 4 OT @ Utica Memorial Auditorium

11/01/13- ABB 4 UTI 3 @ Utica Memorial Auditorium

Individual leaders in season series:

ABB: Knight: 4 points (1-3-4), Granlund: 2 points (2-0-2), Reinhart: 3 points (2-1-3), Ortio (44/48 saves, 2 wins)

UTI: Ferriero: 3 points (2-1-3), Hamill: 3 points (1-2-3), Corrado: 2 points (1-1-2)

NEWS & NOTES

Forward Max Reinhart was recalled to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. This is Reinhart’s second recall of the season. He has played in two games for the Flames has two penalty minutes and is a plus one rating.

Forward Paul Byron was recalled to the Calgary Flames on Thursday. This is Byron’s first recall of the season.

Due to injuries on the blueline, the Heat have recalled defencemen James Martin and Kane Lafranchise from the Alaska Aces. Martin has played in 33 career AHL games with the Heat, while Lafranchise has yet to suit up for the Heat in the regular season.

Brandon Astle and Vanni De Bartolo will bring all live Heat action this weekend on 101.7 CIVL FM and on www.teamradio.ca. The pre-game show begins 15 minutes before puck drop.

The Heat welcome the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) this Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th. Friday, November 29th will feature the third Legends of Hockey night of the season, with Canucks legend Kirk McLean appearing for autographs prior to the game on the AESC concourse at 6:00pm. On Saturday, November 30th, one lucky fan will have the opportunity to win $5000 in the Honda Way Shootout, courtesy of the Honda Way Abbotsford. For tickets please call 1-877-452 HEAT (4328) or go to abbotsfordheat.com

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