The Abbotsford Heat will resume regular season action Thursday with three games in three days following the AHL All-Star Break. The Heat will face division rival the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) on Thursday and Friday night in Cleveland, followed by their final game played in Grand Rapids against the Griffins (AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings) this season.
The Heat had a season long five-game winning streak snapped by the Charlotte Checkers in their final game before the 2013 All-Star Classic. The Heat enters the second half of the season with a single point lead on the Monsters and the Toronto Marlies for the top spot in the North Division. Toronto has played two fewer games than the Heat, while Lake Erie has played once more than Abbotsford.
Forward Roman Horak and defenseman Brett Carson’s arrivals on assignment from the Calgary Flames have buoyed the club’s recent offensive output. Carson has scored in three of his first four games with the Heat, his first game action since the end of the 2011-12 season. Horak had a pair of assists in Abbotsford’s final game prior to the AHL All-Star Break, and is the Heat’s leading goal scorer this season with 14 goals in 37 games played. The Heat is coming off back-to-back four-goal games, representing the club’s best offensive performances since November 30th.
Heat Captain Quintin Laing and Goaltender Barry Brust both represented the Western Conference in the 2013 All-Star Classic set in Providence, RI this past Sunday and Monday. Laing, a 33-year-old forward, was recognized for his contributions to the AHL over his 650 games in the league and was named captain of the Western Conference team. Laing recorded five shots in the Western Conference’s 7-6 win in the All-Star Game. Brust appeared in the second AHL All-Star Game of his career and stopped 13 of 16 shots he faced in the win.
The Monsters’ rookie forwards Andrew Agozzino and Mike Sgarbossa and the Griffins trio of goalie Petr Mrazek, defenseman Chad Billins, and forward Gustav Nyquist were also named AHL All-Stars for the Western Conference team.
The Lake Erie Monsters have earned points in each of their last five games (4-0-0-1). The Grand Rapids Griffins lost their last two games to the Houston Aeros prior to the All-Star break and will travel to Hamilton to play on Friday before hosting the Heat on Saturday in Michigan.
The Heat return to Abbotsford on Sunday to begin preparations for a home stand that features four games in six days. The Rochester Americans and Lake Erie Monsters both make their second and final regular season visits to the Fraser Valley next week. Tuesday February 5th is the Heat’s annual school-day game, which will see thousands of students fill the AESC for a 10:30 AM puck drop against the Americans. Rochester then closes their two-game set with a 7:00 PM puck drop on Wednesday before Lake Erie visits on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
For more information on the team and to purchase tickets, visit www.AbbotsfordHeat.com or call 1 877 452-HEAT(4328).