Heat battle Bulldogs this weekend
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat open a four-game home stand with games against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre (AESC).
The Heat arrive home after a 12-day, five game road trip that saw stops in New York, Ontario and Texas. The Heat (12-2-2-2) earned seven of a possible ten points on the journey, and return to action in top spot in the American Hockey League with 28 points through 18 games.
The Heat have yet to lose in regulation on home ice, having earned points in each of their ten games played at the AESC (8-0-1-1). One one of Abbotsford’s two regulation losses this season was against the Bulldogs in Hamilton on October 28th, which was the Heat’s third road game in 48 hours.
The Heat are the strongest defensive club in the AHL this season, allowing just 1.78 goals per game. The Heat have allowed just 11 goals against in 10 home games this season and 21 goals against in eight road games. Barry Brust leads the AHL with a 0.57 goals against average and a .978 save percentage, while Danny Taylor also sits in the top five in both goaltending categories. Taylor and Brust have combined for five shutouts this season, while Leland Irving has earned points in three of his four starts.
The Heat penalty kill remains the top in the AHL, operating at 91.7% efficiency. At home the Heat have surrendered just one power play goal against in 37 opportunities. The Heat power play has been great on home ice this season with a 26.8% success rate, but has yet to score on the road in 20 opportunities.
In their last game, the Bulldogs lost 4-1 at home to the Lake Erie Monsters. The Bulldogs sit in last in the five-team North Division with 14 points in 16 games. Hamilton has two wins, four losses and a shootout loss (2-4-0-1) in seven road games this season.
Friday’s Heat game will honour Yvan Cournoyer, and fans will have the opportunity to meet the Hockey Hall of Fame member and ten-time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens. Saturday’s game is the annual Pucks ‘N Paws game where fans can bring their dogs to the game to benefit the Abbotsford SPCA.
Next Tuesday and Wednesday the Heat conclude their four-game home stand with games against the San Antonio Rampage (AHL Affiliate of the Florida Panthers). The only other remaining games on home ice in 2012 are on December 14th and 15th, when the Texas Stars make their only visit to Abbotsford this season.
For more information on the mid-week set and purchase tickets, visit www.AbbotsfordHeat.com or call 1 877 452-HEAT(4328).