Preview: Games 22 & 23 vs. Iowa Wild
Saturday, November 23rd - 5:05 PDT- Wells Fargo Arena
Sunday, November 24th - 3:05 PDT- Wells Fargo Arena
Radio: CIVL RADIO 101.7FM
*Pre-Game Show begins 15 minutes prior puck-drop
Abbotsford, BC - No team in the American Hockey League has more wins on the road than the Abbotsford Heat this season. In 13 games away from the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC), the Heat have a record of 9-4 and have lost only once in five games on their current road trip.
With 31 points in 21 games, the Heat have matched their point total last season through 21 games. However, last year the Heat had only played eight games away from home through 21 games and amassed a road record of 4-2-1-1. This year, the Heat have played 13 of 21 games on the road and are 9-4. Not to mention there have been a few come from behind, character building wins that has brought the team closer together.
HEAT @ WILD
Tonight's game for the Heat will mark the fifth different city and fifth different state on this road trip. This is the inaugural season for the Wild, who moved from Houston after last season. The 2013/14 season has been a struggle for the Wild thus far, as they hold a record of 6-9-0-0 and sit in 13th place in the Western Conference. They are in the midst of a four game losing skid and have not won on home ice in their last six games. This weekend doubleheader against the Heat will close out a six game home stand at the Wells Fargo Arena, and scoring goals has been difficult for the Wild with just four goals scored in their last four games.
Last night, the Wild played host to the Grand Rapids Griffins and lost a close game 2-1, which means we will probably see a desperate team trying to get back in the win column tonight. Offensively, the Wild are led by defenceman Brian Connelly who has 11 assists in 15 games. Connelly is a former member of the Abbotsford Heat, recording one goal and 15 assists in 28 games during 2011/12 with Abbotsford.
The Wild have some key veterans that will help get the team back on track, including Mike Rupp, Stephane Veilleux, and Jake Dowell who combined to play 1,222 NHL games. They will get help in goal as well, as Darcy Kuemper was reassigned from the Minnesota Wild on Saturday afternoon.
NEWS & NOTES
Forward Blair Jones was recalled to the Calgary Flames on Thursday. He suited up in his first game of the season on Friday against Florida and scored a goal. He finished the game with 12:28 of ice time and was a +1.
On Friday, the Flames acquired forward Lane MacDermid from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a sixth draft round pick in 2014. MacDermid was assigned to the Heat and arrived in Iowa Friday night to join the team on this current seven game road trip. He is expected to play this weekend and will wear # 21.
Goaltender Joni Ortio is the hottest goaltender in the AHL right now as he remains a perfect 8-0-0-0 on the season. He currently leads all rookie goaltenders in wins with eight.
Brandon Astle 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.
Following this road trip, the Heat will return home to play the Utica Comets (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) on Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th. Friday, November 29th will feature the third Legends of Hockey night of the season, with Canucks legend Kirk McLean appearing for autographs prior to the game on the AESC concourse at 6:00pm. On Saturday, November 30th, one lucky fan will have the opportunity to win $5000 in The Honda Way Shootout, courtesy of the Honda Way Abbotsford. For tickets, please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or go to abbotsfordheat.com.
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