Preview: Heat host Marlies in two-game set
This is the first meeting between the two clubs this season
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat look to continue their five-game winning streak this weekend with two games against the Toronto Marlies. The Heat defeated the San Antonio Rampage on Tuesday and Wednesday at the AESC, and are now 9-4-0-1 after 14 games to lead the Western Conference with 19 points.
Through the early part of the season, the Heat has been involved in close games on a regular basis. Ten of the 14 games have been decided by a single goal with the Heat coming out on the winning end seven times. The team is no stranger to playing in overtime or a shootout as six games have needed extra time. The Heat are 2-0 in overtime situations and 3-1 in shootouts.
Solid goaltending has been a steady theme for the Heat during the five game run, as only 12 goals have been scored on the Heat during the streak (including seven shootout attempts). Joni Ortio is 4-0-0-0 since his recall from the Alaska Aces (ECHL affiliate of the Abbotsford Heat), and Joey MacDonald is 1-0-0-0 since being assigned to the Heat. Ortio picked up the 2-1 win on Tuesday turning away 23 of 24 shots, while MacDonald was the winning goaltender on Wednesday in a 3-2 shootout win facing 31 shots. Both goalies earned first star honours respectively.
MARLIES @ HEAT
Saturday night will mark the first of four meetings this season between the Abbotsford Heat and the Toronto Marlies (AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs). This weekend’s doubleheader will be the only visit the Marlies will make to Abbotsford this season, and the two teams will not square off again until March 23rd.
The Marlies are off to a solid start as they sit third in the Western Conference and first in the North Division with a record of 6-3-1-0. They are in the midst of a six game road trip in which they are 2-0-1-0 after three games. Overall, they are led by defenseman T.J. Brennan, who leads all AHL defenceman with 10 goals and 15 points to go along with two hat-tricks. The Marlies do bring local flavour to the AESC with Coquitlam native Wade MacLeod. After suffering a seizure on the ice last year on February 17th with Springfield, MacLeod is at full health and has registered five points (2-3) in 10 games.
In the all-time series the Heat have dominated the Marlies with a head to head record of 17-7-2-2 and are a whopping 11-1-0-2 at the AESC. Last season, the Heat were 6-1-1-0 in the eight meetings and outscored the Marlies 23-16.
2012-2013 Heat vs. Marlies season series:
11/01/12- ABB 3 TOR 0 @ Abbotsford
11/02/12- ABB 4 TOR 2 @ Abbotsford
11/18/12- TOR 5 ABB 0 @ Toronto
12/09/12- ABB 3 TOR 2 @ Toronto
03/09/13- ABB 4 TOR 2 @ Toronto
03/30/13- TOR 4 ABB 3 @ Toronto OT
04/12/13- ABB 3 TOR 0 @ Abbotsford
04/14/13- ABB 3 TOR 1 @ Abbotsford
2012-2013 individual scoring leaders in season series (returning players):
ABB: F Horak (4-2-6), F Street (3-1-4), F Bancks (1-2-3), F Olson (0-3-3), D Cundari (0-3-3)
TOR: F McKegg (1-3-4), F Ross (3-0-3), D Holzer (0-2-2), G MacIntyre (1W-3L, 12GA)
NEWS & NOTES
Forward Max Reinhart was recalled to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday morning. Reinhart is tied for second on the Heat in scoring with (3-6-9) in 13 games. Last season Reinhart appeared in 11 games with the Flames and recorded (1-2-3). He made his 2013-2014 Flames debut on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues.
Blair Jones enters Saturday night riding a five game point streak. During the streak he has recorded (4-2-6) including two shootout goals on two attempts and two game winning goals.
The Heat are currently in the middle of a four games in six night home stand this week. However, the team will not be able to get comfortable at the AESC for long, as a two week road trip starts on Monday, November 11th that sees the team play seven games in 12 nights.
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.
Saturday November 9th will feature an appearance by NHL Hall of Famer Mike Bossy, who will be available for autographs on the concourse at 5:30PM. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT(4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com.