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Heat set to take on Milwaukee Admirals in home opener

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat will open their 2013-14 home schedule this weekend with a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Admirals (Affiliate of the Nashville Predators) at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.

The Heat opened their season on the road in Lake Erie last weekend in which, earning a series split with the host Monsters. The Heat won on Friday night in a 5-2 win, but lost a close game on Saturday 3-2. The Heat were led by Ben Hanowski (2-1-3) and Paul Byron (0-3-3), who are tied for the team lead in scoring with three points each. In goal, Reto Berra made a fantastic first impression as he started both games, faced 66 total shots, and earned his first career AHL win on Friday night. As for the Admirals, they had the weekend off and will play their first game of the season on Friday night.

The Heat have shown some toughness through the first pair of games this season, racking up six fighting majors to set a franchise record after the season opening weekend. Heat rookies have taken part in four of the six scraps, with Michael Ferland, John Ramage, Brett Lyon, and Turner Elson dropping the gloves. In total, the Heat have a total of 56 penalty minutes, second most in the Western Conference.

The Heat and Admirals finished the season series in 2012-13 with two wins a piece in the four head to head match-ups. Home ice advantage was key, as the home team won every single game. Goals were hard to come by with only 12 goals scored in total (6 each team) and the largest margin of victory was by only two goals.

Last season, the Admirals earned the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a total of 89 points. The Heat missed the playoffs, finishing twelfth in the Western Conference with 78 points. The two teams met in the first round of the 2011-12 playoffs, with Abbotsford sweeping the five game series.

Former Heat Assistant Captain Joe Piskula will make his return to Abbotsford this weekend as an Admiral. The Wisconsin native suited up for 171 games with the Heat over a span of three seasons, recording (6-26-32) and 172 penalty minutes. On February 28th, 2013, Piskula was traded by the Calgary Flames to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Brian McGratton.

The Heat home opener weekend is October 11th and 12th against the Milwaukee Admirals with both games starting at 7:00PM. October 11th will feature an autograph session with NHL legend Guy Lafleur and is presented by Rossdown Farms & Natural Foods. If you purchase a group of 10 or more tickets before October 7th, you will be entered to win a Thanksgiving turkey dinner for 10 people during the October 11th Heat game. To purchase tickets call 1-877-452-HEAT or visit

2012-2013 head to head stats:

Game by game scores:

01/19/13- ABB 2 MIL 1 @ ABB

01/20/13- ABB 2 MIL 0 @ ABB

02/12/13- MIL 2 ABB 1 @ MIL

02/17/13- MIL 3 ABB 1 @ MIL

Individual leaders (returning players):

ABB - F Max Reinhart (1-2-3), F Greg Nemisz (0-2-2), D Drew MacKenzie (0-1-1)

MIL - F Taylor Beck (1-2-3), F Kevin Henderson (2-0-2), F Mark Van Guilder (0-2-2), G Magnus Hellberg (2W-1L- 4GA)

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