ROCHESTER, NY -- The Abbotsford Heat open a five-game road trip this weekend with a pair of games against divisional foes. Abbotsford will face the Rochester Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) on Friday night before a Sunday afternoon game against the Toronto Marlies (AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs).
The Heat (9-1-1-2) have played ten of thirteen games on home ice this season and lead the AHL with 21 points. The Heat are four points ahead of the Rochester Americans (8-4-1-0) and six ahead of the Toronto Marlies (7-4-0-1) for top spot in the AHL North Division. Friday is the Heat’s first meeting of the 2012-13 season with the Americans, while Sunday’s game is the third of the season against the Marlies. Toronto and Abbotsford met during the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs and the Heat have already earned four points at home against the Marlies this season.
The Heat have the league’s lowest goals against per game at 1.54, due in part to goaltender Barry Brust. Brust posted back-to-back shutouts against the Lake Erie Monsters this week in Abbotsford and has now posted three consecutive shutouts. Brust’s shutout streak of 231:41 is less than one period away from setting a new AHL record for longest shutout streak by a goalie, currently held by Johnny Bower at 249:51. Brust has allowed just a single goal on 106 shots this season.
Coquitlam product Ben Street currently has a four-game point streak (1-5-6) and has thrived playing between Captain Quintin Laing and AHL rookie Brett Olson. Street was signed as a free agent by the Calgary Flames this summer after posting 57 points in 71 games with the Wilkes/Barre-Scranton Penguins last season. Street has 12 points in 13 games as a member of the Heat.
The Heat special teams remain among the best in the AHL. Abbotsford has the top ranked penalty kill unit, killing off 50 of 52 (96.2%) man-advantages this season. Abbotsford has scored three short-handed goals this season while only allowing two power play goals against. The Heat power play is ranked fourth in the league at 22.4%.
Following this weekend’s divisional games, the Heat travel to Texas for games against the Texas Stars, the San Antonio Rampage and the Houston Aeros next weekend.
The next home action for the Heat is November 30th and December 1st against the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens). On November 30th the Heat will honour Hockey Hall of Fame member Yvan Cournoyer in the second Legends of Hockey game. December 1st is the annual Puck ‘N Paws game where fans are invited bring their dogs to the rink in return for a $5 donation to the SPCA.
For more information on the mid-week set and purchase tickets, visit www.AbbotsfordHeat.com or call 1 877 452-HEAT(4328).