Features

Heat Report: 20.10.10

Wednesday, 20.10.2010 / 1:09 PM / Features
By Dhiren Mahiban
Abbotsford, BC  – Keith Seabrook has been referred to as “Brent’s little brother” more times than he can count, but the 22-year-old Calgary Flames prospect hasn’t let that bother him. Instead, he’s using the success of his older brother as a learning tool.

 “It’s definitely an advantage for me just being around, living with someone like that who’s had success and just kind of his day-to-day routines. Know what he’s doing and how he prepares and a lot of that stuff,” said Keith, who is three years younger than Brent.

“It’s definitely an advantage for me.”

Being the younger brother also meant invites to take in two of the biggest hockey events of the season last year, the Olympic gold medal hockey game and the Stanley Cup Finals.

“That was a good experience, definitely one I’ll never forget,” said Seabrook. “It was pretty special for me, my family and Brent. Just going through that with him and kind of being there to support him and watch him was a pretty cool thing.”

The opportunities to see his brother capture Olympic gold and hoist the Stanley Cup also acted as great motivators for Seabrook who, one day would like to do one, if not both, himself.
“It’s something that makes you want to work that much harder to get there, and one day, hopefully celebrate that for yourself.”

Seabrook bumped an early season slump on the weekend picking up a goal and an assist in a shootout loss on Saturday. So far the Delta, BC native is happy with his second pro season.
“I thought I’ve been playing a good two-way game and last game I was fortunate enough to get a couple of good bounces and get some points,” said the former second-round pick of the Washington Capitals.

“My basic goal throughout the summer was working towards having a good start to the season,” Seabrook said.  “Whether it’s plus-minus, points or being a guy the team can rely on, I think I’ve done that so far and I’m happy about it.”

According to head coach Jim Playfair, he’d like to see the sophomore pro to become more of a leader.

“Seabs is a really good player who’s got to take a bigger leadership role this year than he did last year,” said Playfair. “I think he’s come into the league and surprised a lot of people with his ability to shoot the puck and make the first pass.

“He’s got to take the responsibility and he wants the responsibility, but he’s got to be more of an impact guy and I think that’s what he’s working towards.”

Week in Review

The Abbotsford Heat had their home opener this past Friday night.  Unfortunately the 5,300 plus fans in attendance, witnessed an offensive onslaught at the hands of the Rockford Ice Hogs (AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks), who skated away with a 5-0 victory.

The following night fans were treated to a much more entertaining affair.

After a scoreless first period the two teams combined to find the back of the net five times with the Heat skating away with a 3-2 lead heading into the third.  Rockford tied things up at three in the final frame setting the stage for overtime.

In the extra period the Heat thought they had won it on a Greg Nemisz shot, however, the goal was called back and defenceman Matt Pelech was assessed a goalie interference penalty. While short-handed, Abbotsford had another glorious chance as Carter Bancks broke in all alone, but was unable to find the back of the net.

Rockford ended up sealing the 4-3 come from behind win in the shootout.

Juggling Act

With so many fresh faces in the Heat line-up, Playfair used the opportunity this past weekend to juggle his lines putting together more than eight different line combos over the two games.
“I think that’s what we’re trying to figure out is, we don’t have a legitimate one, two, three or four lines so it really gives the coach an opportunity to move some parts around and see how the guys gel and connect,” Playfair said.

“I think it’s easier to get two guys going than three. I liked Bouma, Bancks and Nemisz when they’re working well. I liked Matt Keith with Mitch Wahl when they’re working well and I like J.D. Watt with (John Armstrong) when they’re battling and competing hard, so I think two is easier to put together than three.”

Quotable

“It’s been a while, definitely not since last year, towards the beginning of the season that’s for sure. We’ve had a few tough ones, but that was definitely up there.” Keith Seabrook on Monday’s bag skate.

Injury Update

John Negrin – Knee
Kris Chucko – Concussion

The Look Ahead

The Heat now enter a busy stretch of games which sees them play three games in four nights before returning home for a pair.

Abbotsford visits Chicago, Rockford and Milwaukee later this week and Playfair is keen on his squad having good starts.

“I think going into Chicago, it’s a tough building to play in,"said Playfair. "I want our team to really stick together, work together and just be prepared for the start of the game, then build the game from there.

“I think the biggest thing for us is staying away from stick penalties and minor penalties. I think we’ve given up nine power pay goals so if we can just get ourselves to stay out of the penalty box, keep our sticks on the ice, we should be a much better competitive team.”

The Heat then return home next week for a pair of games against the Rochester Americans at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Author: Dhiren Mahiban