Week Preview: Games 37, 38, 39 vs. San Antonio Rampage & Texas Stars
Tuesday, January 7th - 5:00 PM PDT- AT&T Center
Friday, January 10th - 5:30 PM PDT- Cedar Park Arena
Saturday, January 11th - 5:00 PM PDT - AT&T Center
Radio: CIVL RADIO 101.7FM
*Pre-Game Show begins 15 minutes prior puck-drop
Abbotsford, BC - After a tough two-game series at home, the Heat hope to regain their momentum and maintain their strong road play on their upcoming six-game road trip. The Heat remain tied for most road victories in the AHL with 12.
Goaltending remains a strongpoint for Abbotsford despite the recent two home losses. Joni Ortio stopped 20 of 22 shots against the Bulldogs on Friday and Joey MacDonald stopped 25 of 27 shots on Saturday. Strong performances from Heat netminders have been a common theme this season, allowing the team to come out on top in 12 of 17 one goal games to date.
The Heat remain in first place in the West Division at 23-11-1-1 with 48 points and sit just one point behind the Western Conference leader, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
HEAT @ RAMPAGE (AHL AFFILIATE OF THE FLORIDA PANTHERS)
All four meetings thus far have been played at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC) in the eight game season series. Now it is San Antonio's turn to play host for the final four games this season. The Heat look to improve on their sparkling road record, as well as their 6-4-0-0 all-time record when taking on the Rampage at AT&T Center. Through their four outings this season, the Heat are 4-0-0-0 against San Antonio, winning all but one in regulation time.
San Antonio will be hungry to get back in the win column as they are in the midst of a three game losing skid and have just two wins in their last 10 games. Despite their winless drought, forward Wade Megan has scored in back to back games and has three goals in his last four while newcomer defenseman Matt Gilroy has points in three straight games. However, the Rampage will be without leading scorer Vincent Trocheck who was hurt last Friday against Oklahoma City.
The Rampage currently sit fifth in the West Division with a 12-20-0-3 record. Their home record of 9-6-0-1, far outshines their road record, with nine of their 12 wins coming on home ice. San Antonio should be able to get comfortable at home as they will begin an eight game home stand.
HEAT @ STARS (AHL AFFILIATE OF THE DALLAS STARS)
Friday will mark the third meeting of the season between the Heat and the Stars, with each team exchanging blowout wins. The Stars opened the season series handing the Heat their worst loss in franchise history with a 9-3 win back in October. However, in their second meeting, the Heat defeated the Stars 7-3, with Blair Jones scoring a hat-trick, adding two assists, and earning first star honours for the night.
The Stars currently trail the Heat by only one point with a 21-10-2-3 record, placing them second in the West Division. Depending on the Heat result on Tuesday, Friday night could very well be a game with first place on the line. Texas has been a formidable opponent on home ice this season with a record of 13-3-0-1. Seven of those 13 home wins have been won by a margin three or more goals.
On the offensive side of the puck, the Heat have plenty of players to keep an eye on. Three of the top four spots in AHL scoring are currently occupied by three Texas forwards. Travis Morin holds the AHL points lead with 46 (19-27-46) and is riding a four-game point streak (4-6-10) going into Friday. His right winger Colton Sceviour sits third in league scoring with 37 points (22-15-37) and is the AHL top goal scorer, while Chris Mueller sits in fourth place in the AHL with 34 points (15-19-34).
2013-14 Heat head to head stats vs. San Antonio Rampage:
11/05/13- ABB 2 SAN 1 @ Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
11/06/13- ABB 3 SAN 2 @ Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre S/O
12/06/13- ABB 4 SAN 2 @ Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
12/07/13- ABB 5 SAN 2 @ Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
Individual leaders in season series (among active skaters):
ABB: Granlund: 6 points in 4 GP (3-3-6), Hanowski: 4 points in 4 GP (3-1-4), Street: 4 points in 4 GP (3-1-4), Ortio 3 GP (3-0-0-0, 79/84 saves)
TEX: Butler: 3 points in 4 GP (3-0-3), Robak: 3 points in 2 GP (0-3-3), Matsumoto: 2 points in 4 GP (1-1-2), Markstrom: 1 GP (0-1-0-0, 34/37 saves)
2013-14 Heat head to head stats vs. Texas Stars:
10/20/13- ABB 3 TEX 9 @ Cedar Park Arena
11/13/13- ABB 7 TEX 3 @ Cedar Park Arena
Individual leaders in season series (among active skaters):
ABB: Street: 4 points in 1 GP (2-2-4), Billins: 3 points in 2 GP (1-2-3), Knight: 3 points in 1 GP (1-2-3), Ortio 2 GP (1-0-0-0, 45/48 saves)
TEX: Sceviour: 7 points in 2 GP (4-3-7), Morin: 4 points in 1 GP (1-3-4), Mueller: 4 points in 2 GP (1-3-4), Nillstorp: 2 GP (1-1-0-0, 43/52 saves)
NEWS & NOTES
The Heat start a six-game road trip starting Tuesday. Over 12 days, the team will take on the San Antonio Rampage, Texas Stars, Rockford Icehogs, and the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Heat will return home and start a season high eight-game home stand starting with the Utica Comets on January 24th and 25th at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
Troy G. Ward earned his 99th career win as the head coach of the Heat in Abbotsford's 4-2 victory over the Barons on Saturday, December 28th, 2013. Ward is in his third season as Head Coach and has a record of 99-68-8-12.
The Abbotsford Heat announced Monday, forward Jordan Kremyr has been loaned to the Heat from the Alaska Aces, the Heat's developmental affiliate in the ECHL, and forward David Eddy has been reassigned to the Alaska Aces. Kremyr is a local native of Cloverdale, BC, and has played in 29 games with the Aces this season, recording 12 points (9-3-12) and 23 penalty minutes.
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.
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