Preview: Heat set to play three games in three days
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat have embarked on their first “three in three” road-trip of the season. It will be the game against a West Division opponent this season, with a doubleheader slated against the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) on Friday and Saturday, before a visit to the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) on Sunday.
The Heat are currently in first place in the West Division with a record of 2-1-0-1 after four games, and will face an Oklahoma City team that is 2-3-0-0. Abbotsford is coming off a weekend series at home against the Milwaukee Admirals in which the Heat won Friday night in overtime and lost Saturday night in a shootout. The series was a low scoring, goaltending battle between Reto Berra and Magnus Hellberg. Berra continues to play very well for the Heat, as he faced 55 shots combined against Milwaukee and only allowed three regulation time goals.
The Barons are coming off of a 2-1 overtime win against Texas on Tuesday night and are currently fourth place in the West Division. Texas has only played three games thus far and is 1-1-1-0 and sits in fifth place in the West Division.
The Heat have been very good on the penalty kill in the last three games: the last opposition power play goal was in the first period in Lake Erie on October 5th when the Monsters capitalized on a two-man advantage. Since that goal, the Heat have killed 12 consecutive penalties.
Three rookies are leading the Heat offensively, with Ben Hanowski (3-1-4), Josh Jooris (1-3-4), Corban Knight (2-2-4) tied with four points each. All three are working at a point-per-game pace, showing some good chemistry while playing together on a line last weekend. Veteran forward Paul Byron is also off to a nice start, as he continues to play set up man with a team high four assists.
On the injury front, the Heat got good news with regards to Markus Granlund. The Oulu, Finland native has practiced with the team all week and will travel on the road trip. He is expected to make his Heat debut over the weekend.
Laurent Brossoit will likely make his professional debut this road-trip. The 20 year old goaltender was recalled from the Alaska Aces on Monday and Joni Ortio was assigned to the ECHL affiliate. With the team playing three games in three days, it would be a good bet to see Brossoit in between the pipes at some point, most likely Sunday in Texas.
The next Heat home games are Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th against the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche). Friday, October 25th is Heat magnetic schedule giveaway night, with the first 2,500 fans getting a free Abbotsford Heat magnetic schedule. Lake Erie also features three players from the Greater Vancouver area: Stefan Elliot (North Vancouver) David Van der Gulik (Abbotsford), and Mark Olver (Burnaby). To purchase tickets call 1-877-452-HEAT.
2012-2013 head to head stats vs. OKC & TEX:
VS. Oklahoma City Barons:
11/09/12- ABB 4 OKC 1 @ABB
11/10/12- OKC 2 ABB 1 OT @ ABB
04/19/13- OKC 1 ABB 0 @ OKC
04/20/13- OKC 7 ABB 3 @ OKC
VS. Texas Stars
11/23/12- ABB 1 TEX 0 @ TEX
12/14/12- TEX 3 ABB 1 @ ABB
12/15/12- ABB 2 TEX 1 SO @ ABB
03/15/13- TEX 4 ABB 3 @ TEX