Preview: Heat host Rampage
The Rampage are in Abbotsford for a two-game set
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat are on a roll of late as the team is currently riding a season high three-game win streak. The Heat beat the Utica Comets on Wednesday & Friday in two very close games and then won in a shootout against the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday night. They were led by Blair Jones and Corban Knight who combined for four goals and four assists and received solid goaltending from Joni Ortio who recorded a win in all three games and stopped 79 of 85 shots.
The Heat lead the West Division with a 7-4-0-1 record (15 points) and are in second place in the Western Conference.
RAMPAGE @ HEAT
The Abbotsford Heat and San Antonio Rampage (AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers) are division rivals yet again. After being in separate divisions last year, tonight’s game will mark the first of eight meetings on the season and both teams have found the win column of late. Although in fifth place in the West Division, the 4-5-0-0 Rampage have won their last two games and are recently coming off a 5-3 win at home over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday.
The Rampage have a veteran group with a combined 1,569 NHL games spread across 13 players on their roster. However, they are led two rookies in forward Vincent Trocheck and goaltender Michael Houser. Trocheck has racked up five goals and six assists in nine games and leads the team in scoring. Houser has won all three of his starts in net this season and has turned aside 77 of 84 shots.
In the all-time series, the Heat are 8-9-3-0 and has struggled when playing host to the Rampage with a 2-5-3-0 record at the AESC. Last season, the Heat went 2-1-1-0 against SA and was outscored 13-10 in the four head to head match-ups.
2012-2013 Heat vs. Rampage season series:
11/24/12- ABB 3 SA 2 S/O @ San Antonio
12/04/12- SA 3 ABB 2 OT @ Abbotsford
12/05/12- SA 4 ABB 0 @ Abbotsford
03/17/13- ABB 5 SA 4 S/O @ San Antonio
2012-2013 individual scoring leaders in season series (returning players):
ABB: Horak (1-2-3), Reinhart (1-2-3), Byron (1-1-2), Street (0-2-2)
SA: Howden (3-1-4), Gomes (0-3-3), Combs (2-0-2)
NEWS & NOTES
Goaltender Joey MacDonald cleared waivers on Sunday and was assigned to the Heat from the Calgary Flames. The Pictou, Nova Scotia native appeared in seven games with the Flames registering a 3-3-1 record along with a 3.17 GAA and a .885 save percentage.
Jones and Max Reinhart enter Tuesday night’s game riding three-game point streaks respectively. Jones has three goals in his last two games, while Reinhart has four points in his last three games.
Out of 12 games this season, the Heat have played in eight one goal games. All three games last week were decided by just a single goal, including two of the three needing overtime or a shootout.
Brandon Astle and Vanni DeBartolo will bring all live Heat action this week on 101.7 CIVL FM and on www.teamradio.ca. The pre-game show begins 15 minutes before puck drop.
The Heat will host the the Toronto Marlies (AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs) on November 9th and 10th. Saturday November 9th will feature an appearance by NHL Hall of Famer Mike Bossy, who will be available for autographs before the game on the AESC concourse at 5:30 PM. For tickets please call 1-877-452 HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.