Preview: Heat vs. Monsters
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Heat face the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre, with top spot in the North Division on the line.
Through the first five weeks of the season, the Heat (7-1-1-2) sit just a point behind the Monsters (9-4-0-0) and hold a game-in-hand. The division rivals have met twice already this season, as Abbotsford played their opening two road games of the season in Cleveland on October 26th and 27th. The Heat earned a 5-3 win, and suffered a 4-3 shootout loss, earning three of a possible four points at Quicken Loans Arena.
Krys Kolanos and Ben Walter are on the verge of setting new franchise marks in just their second seasons with the Heat. Walter is a single point behind Jon Rheault as the all-time leading point getter, with 71 points in just 84 games with the Heat. Walter has recorded six straight 50-point seasons in the AHL, including 70 points in 77 games with Lake Erie in 2010-11. Walter is tied for the team lead in scoring with 12 points (3-9-12) and has a team high plus-9 rating. Kolanos is currently tied with Cam Cunning in career goals scored for the Heat. Cunning had 33 goals in 121 games, while Kolanos has recorded 33 goals in just 54 games played for the Heat. Kolanos led the Heat in scoring last season with 30 goals and 31 assists in just 47 games played.
The Heat special-teams remain among the best in the AHL. Abbotsford have the top ranked penalty-kill, having killed off 44 of 46 (95.7%) man-advantages and scoring three shorthanded goals. The power play is ranked second in the league at 24.4%. The Monsters enter the week holding the 11th ranked power play and 13th ranked penalty kill.
This mid-week set wraps up a home-heavy stretch of the 2012-13 schedule for the Heat, with ten of the team’s first thirteen games played at the AESC. The Heat home game is November 30th after stops in Rochester, Toronto, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. The Heat have earned at least a point in each of their eight home games this season.
The Monsters arrive in Abbotsford to close out a season-long seven game road trip that has kept the club away from home since October 27th. The Monsters have won four of five games thus far on the road trip.
For more information on the mid-week set and purchase tickets, visit www.AbbotsfordHeat.com or call 1 877 452-HEAT(4328).