ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Calgary Flames and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat, have at least one thing in common with the playoffs fast approaching, they are both in a fight for a playoff spot.
The difference is that the Heat are currently on the right side of the cut-off line and Calgary is still on the outside looking in.
However, after the first game of their current four-game road trip through the state of Texas the Heat found themselves out of the top-eight for the first time all season. They fell 4-1 to the Houston Aeros Tuesday night, giving up two first-period power play goals and never recovered.
They visited the San Antonio Rampage Friday evening, winning 3-1. The win put them into sixth in the Western Conference. The Heat trailed 1-0 entering the final frame but netted a power play goal to tie the game before Dustin Sylvester scored the winning tally. Danny Taylor stopped 32 of 33 shots for the win.
St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t lucky for the visitors as Abbotsford fell 1-0 in a shootout to Houston. The Aeros couldn’t get one by Taylor in 65 minutes but in the shootout Joe Fallon was perfect for Houston and Taylor was beaten by the sixth shooter.
Tonight (Monday) the Heat wrap-up their road trip with a visit to Austin, TX to take on the last-place Texas Stars.
Leland Irving started Tuesday in Houston, marking the fifth time in six games he was given the nod for the Baby Flames.
The next day he was called up byCalgary just in time to play in Edmonton (a 3-1 loss) and Abbotsford followed suit by recalling David Brown from the Quad City Mallards of the Central Hockey League to serve as the back-up to Danny Taylor in the AHL.
By Saturday Irving was back in Texas with the farm club.
NEW PTO ADDITION
The Heat have signed Andy Brandt to a professional tryout contract.
The right-handed forward has 10 games of AHL experience under his belt over three seasons with the Manitoba Moose but was in the ECHL this season, amassing 41 points in 65 games with the Gwinnett Gladiators.
Meanwhile, Paul Byron has returned to the Abbotsford lineup from an injury.
Krys Kolanos was reassigned to the Heat by the Flames after three more games with the big club, giving him one assist in 13 games this year.