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Weekend Preview: Games 70, 71 vs. Rockford IceHogs

April 3, 2014 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Abbotsford Heat News Release

Friday, April 4th - 7:00 PM PST - Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre

Saturday, April 5th - 7:00 PM PST - Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre

Radio: CIVL RADIO 101.7FM

Streaming: TEAMRADIO.CA

*Pre-Game Show begins 15 minutes prior puck-drop

Abbotsford, B.C. - The Heat are back in the Fraser Valley after concluding a six game road trip against Hamilton, Utica and Toronto in which the team went 3-3-0-0, and scored 21 goals.

The Heat will finish off their regular season home schedule with a four game home stand starting this weekend against the Rockford IceHogs. This Friday's game, will feature Brendan Morrison making an appearance at the AESC as part of the Heat's "Legends of Hockey Series." Morrison will be signing autographs and meeting fans on the concourse pre-game, and performing exclusive meet and greets throughout the evening.

The Heat are in fifth place in the Western Conference, five points out of fourth with seven games remaining in the regular season. They are eight points up on ninth place Oklahoma City, and have an overall record of 37-25-5-2 and 81 points.

HEAT vs. ICEHOGS (AHL AFFILIATE OF THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS)

Abbotsford has won both of the previous meetings in the season series, taking four points from the IceHogs in their arena, back in November and January. In both Heat victories, Abbotsford scored four goals, once winning in overtime, and the other a close affair, with an empty net goal. This weekend will mark the end of the season series between the two teams.

Rockford currently sits in 7th place in the Western Conference, two points up on 9th place Oklahoma City, and only four points out of 6th place occupied by Milwaukee. Their overall record is 33-26-5-4 with 75 points. The team has been on a tear since February 1st, going 13-5-1-2 in the last two months. Rockford features three players with significant B.C. connections, including Brad Mills who was born in Terrace, B.C., Jason LaBarbera who was born in Burnaby, B.C. and played games with the Vancouver Canucks, and Brian Connelly who has spent time playing with the Abbotsford Heat. Leading the IceHogs is blue liner Adam Clendening, who has 54 points (10-44-54) in 67 games, and sits second in overall scoring among defenceman.

2013-14 Heat head to head stats vs. Rockford IceHogs:

11/20/13 - ABB 4 RKF 2 @ BMO Harris Bank Center

01/15/14 - ABB 4 RKF 3 @ BMO Harris Bank Center OT

Individual leaders in season series (among active skaters):

ABB: Reinhart: 2 points in 2 GP (0-2-2), Knight: 2 points in 2 GP (0-2-2), Olson: 1 point in 2 GP (1-0-1)

RKF: LeBlanc: 2 points in 2 GP (1-1-2), Ross: 2 points in 2 GP (1-1-2), Mashinter: 1 point in 1 GP (1-0-1), Simpson: 1 GP (0-1-0, 24/27 saves)

NEWS & NOTES

The Calgary Flames announced Monday that they have assigned forward Morgan Klimchuk to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. Klimchuk, a native of Calgary, Alberta, played in 57 games with the Regina Pats (WHL) this season, and registered 74 points (30-44-74) and 27 penalty minutes. Klimchuk was selected in the first round (28th overall) by the Calgary Flames in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

The Abbotsford Heat announced on Monday, that they have signed forward Collin Valcourt to a contract. Valcourt, a native of Red Deer, Alberta, played in 71 games total with the Saskatoon Blades and the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) this season, and registered a career high of 72 points (28-44-72) and 90 penalty minutes. The Heat also announced on Monday, that they have signed defenceman Zach Tolkinen to a contract. Tolkinen, a native of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, played in 36 games with Quinnipiac University (ECAC) this season, and registered a career high of 22 points (3-19-22) and 30 penalty minutes.

The Heat have released forwards Brett Lyon and Kyle Ostrow. Lyon, a native of Grand Forks, BC, has played in nine games with the Heat this season, and has registered 32 penalty minutes. Ostrow, a native of Calgary, Alberta, has played in five games with the Heat this season, and has registered four penalty minutes.

The Calgary Flames announced today that they have recalled defensemen Chris Breen from the Abbotsford Heat. Defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon will undergo season ending shoulder surgery later this week. Breen has played 38 games with Abbotsford this season recording a goal and three assists along with 29 penalty minutes. He has also played six games with Calgary earlier this year, including his first NHL game on October 23, 2013.

Max Reinhart (2-5-7), Derek Smith (0-6-6), and Ben Street (4-4-8) are all riding five game point streaks into this weekend.

If all goes accordingly, Derek Smith will play in his 300th AHL game on Saturday night. To date, Smith has appeared in 298 AHL regular season games and has recorded 162 points (38-124-162) and 126 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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