The Heat Report: 19.03.13
CALGARY -- The road to the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs just got a little more difficult for the Abbotsford Heat.
Though the Heat hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the American Hockey League's Western Conference, Abbotsford has just a one-point edge on teams situated nine through 11. That's the good news for the top affiliate of the Calgary Flames.
The bad news? Each of those three teams holds a significant games played advantage over Abbotsford. The Oklahoma City Barons, currently ninth, have played six fewer games than the Heat. The Milwaukee Admirals have played five less games to this point in the schedule while Abbotsford has played three more games than the 11th place Rockford IceHogs.
The Heat didn't help their cause over the last week, either, dropping two of three contests to close out a seven-game road trip that yielded just three points after going 2-4-1.
There is an opportunity to salvage some points back in Abbotsford, though. The Heat play a back-to-back set against the IceHogs on the weekend in a series that could go a long way to putting some space between themselves and the trio chasing them.
BAERTSCHI FINDS SCORESHEET
The Flames hoped a demotion to the Heat would help ignite Sven Baertschi's offense.
After three scoreless games, the first-year pro exploded for a goal and an assist in Abbotsford's 5-4 shootout win over the San Antonio Rampage on Sunday, pushing his season totals to seven goals and 20 points in 25 games. Baertschi initially had an assist on Brett Carson's sixth goal of the season that was later given to Roman Horak.
Though he's played just over a third of Abbotsford's games this season, Baertschi is sixth in team scoring.
With Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff expecting his second child, Daniel Taylor was recalled to join Calgary on their three-game road trip against the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kiprusoff is expected to rejoin the team in Nashville, however.
Taylor earned his first career National Hockey League victory in his last stint with the Flames, stopping 29 of 31 shots against the Vancouver Canucks on March 3rd.
In 31 games with the Heat this season, Taylor is 14-10-2 with a 2.96 goals against average and .924 save percentage.
ROLLHEISER INKS PTO
With Taylor's recall and Leland Irving undergoing minor elective surgery, the Heat signed Grant Rollheiser to a professional try-out on Sunday.
Rollheiser has played 19 games this season with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL and another six with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League. He was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.