ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat return to home ice to host the Rockford IceHogs (AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks) on Friday and Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC).
The Heat have returned from their season-long, seven-game road trip sitting in ninth spot in the Western Conference with 67 points in 65 games played. The Rockford IceHogs are one of the teams trying to chase down the Heat, just a single point behind Abbotsford with three games in hand. The Heat have eleven games remaining in the regular season.
Both teams will be missing players due to suspension. Heat forward Mike Testwuide has two games remaining in his three game suspension for a charging incident in Austin last Wednesday. Akim Aliu has served his one game suspension for amassing two misconducts in the abuse of officials category, and will be available to the Heat. The IceHogs will be missing three players for Friday’s game, as forwards Wade Brookbank and Jeremy Morin and defenceman Shawn LaLonde were all handed one game suspensions for their roles in a brawl that spilled into the Rockford bench in Sunday’s game against Chicago.
The Heat have engaged in seven fights over their last three games and will be facing the AHL’s most penalized team. The IceHogs have amassed 1,495 penalty minutes this season, leading the AHL in Misconducts and Game Misconducts. Rockford has also engaged opponents in over 1,300 penalty minutes this season, leading the AHL in that category.
The Heat look to improve on their strong home record of 19-10-2-1 this weekend; only the Toronto Marlies (23) and the Grand Rapids Griffins (20) have more wins on home ice in the Western Conference. The IceHogs have won 15 of their 30 road games this season, earning 32 points away from the BMO Harris Bank Centre.
Fans in attendance at Friday night’s game will get a chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to see Mötley Crüe rock the AESC in the Abbotsford News Suite on April 23rd. Be sure to bring your smartphone in order to participate and check out the Abbotsford News page on Facebook for more details.