Weekend Preview: Games 60, 61 vs. Chicago Wolves
Saturday, March 8th - 7:00 PM PST - AESC
Sunday, March 9th - 4:00 PM PST - AESC
Radio: CIVL RADIO 101.7FM
*Pre-Game Show begins 15 minutes prior puck-drop
Abbotsford, BC - The Heat have lost the first four games of their eight-game home stand, with the most recent defeat coming from the Texas Stars. The Stars beat the Heat in back to back games earlier this week, but needed overtime on Wednesday after the Heat staged a third period comeback.
With injuries and call-ups to the Flames this past week, the Heat's roster has changed drastically. Three out of the four top scorers on the roster (Granlund, Reinhart, and Knight) remain up in Calgary. However, Sven Baertschi has raised his game and is currently riding a four game point streak (3-3-6), while his centre Corey Locke is riding a six-game assist streak and has accumulated 12 assists in his last 12 games.
Despite losing their last six games, the Heat sit comfortably in the Western Conference playoff picture with a 33-19-5-2 record and 73 points.
HEAT vs. WOLVES (AHL AFFILIATE OF THE ST. LOUIS BLUES)
The Wolves knocked off the Heat in back to back games on Abbotsford's most recent road-trip in late February. The teams will finish off their four game season series this weekend at the AESC and there will be four big points on the line. The Heat are currently in 4th place in the Western Conference, just one place and one point above the Wolves.
Chicago has been one of the hottest teams in the AHL of late, having won four out of their last five games and hold a 33-18-4-2 record and 72 points. In those last five games, the Wolves have outscored their opponents 19 to 9, and have outshot the opposition in all but two games. Rookie Ty Rattie continues to lead the Wolves in scoring with 38 points (23-15-38) and has four goals in his last five games. Wolves goaltender Jake Allen is putting together a fantastic season in net, as he leads all goaltenders in both GAA (2.09) and number of wins (25). Allen has also picked up two shutouts in the Wolves last five games, one of which was against the Heat on February 23rd. Saturday's game will mark the return of former Heat defenceman Mark Cundari who was loaned to the Wolves on January 23rd. In a related move, the Wolves traded Corey Locke to the Heat and he will face his former club for the first time this weekend after missing the previous two games in Chicago due to injury.
2013-14 Heat head to head stats vs. Chicago Wolves:
02/22/14 - ABB 3 CHI 5 @ Allstate Arena
02/23/14 - ABB 0 CHI 2 @ Allstate Arena
Individual leaders in season series (among active skaters):
ABB: Olson: 2 points in 2 GP (1-1-2), Billins: 1 point in 2 GP (1-0-1), Bancks: 1 point in 2 GP (0-1-1), Roy: 3 GP (1-2-0-0, 63/74 saves)
CHI: Rattie: 3 points in 2 GP (2-1-3), Cracknell: 3 points in 2 GP (1-2-3), Oberg: 2 points in 2 GP (2-0-2), Allen: 1 GP (1-0-0-0, 21/21 saves)
NEWS & NOTES
Markus Granlund recorded his first NHL goal on Wednesday, March 5th against the Ottawa Senators. His teammate in Abbotsford, Max Reinhart helped out with the lone assist on the goal. Corban Knight and Ben Hanowski also took part in the game. For Knight, it was his NHL debut and registered one shot, 10:01 of ice time, and was 61.1% in the faceoff dot.
The Calgary Flames Hockey Club announced on March 6th, that they have recalled defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. Wotherspoon is in his first professional season with the Abbotsford Heat after signing an entry level contract with Calgary on March 31, 2013. Last season with the WHL champion Portland Winterhawks, he had career highs in points (37), assists (30) and tied his previous goal total (7) finished the regular season with an astounding +62 which was the second highest total in the WHL. He represented Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships scoring a goal and adding an assist in six games. Wotherspoon was drafted by the Flames in the 2nd round (57th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
Saturday will feature the next $3, $2, $1 Brew Dog'n Pop night. March 8th will also be Punjabi night, showcasing Punjabi food, music and dance. Sunday will be the annual Pucks 'n Paws game, as well as a post-game family skate with the Heat players, dogs will not be allowed on the ice. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com .
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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