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Preview: Heat swing through Texas

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

The Abbotsford Heat will resume their season-long, 15-day road trip in Texas this week with three games in five days. The Heat will visit the Texas Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) on Wednesday night, the Houston Aeros (AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild) on Thursday night, and then close their seven-game trip on Sunday evening against the San Antonio Rampage (AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers).

The Heat enter play this week holding the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 65 points in 62 games, sitting third in the North Division. The Heat are three points behind the division-leading Toronto Marlies and one point behind the Rochester Americans, with both teams holding five games in hand on the Heat.

Danny Taylor played in each of the Heat’s three games last weekend, replacing Leland Irving in the first period on Friday night before starting on Saturday and Sunday. Taylor leads the AHL with a 1.88 GAA and is second among active goalies with a .926 SAV%. In his last visit to Texas, Barry Brust set a new AHL record for consecutive shutout minutes against the San Antonio Rampage. Brust broke the record set by Hockey Hall of Fame member Johnny Bower in 1957.

Heat forward Akim Aliu has scored in back-to-back games for the Heat. The Toronto native recorded a goal, an assist and first star honours against the Marlies on Saturday. Aliu was also named the second star on Sunday with a goal in regulation and another in the shootout against the Rochester Americans.

The Heat have earned points in back-to-back games after starting their seven-game road trip with a pair of shutout losses. Abbotsford is (9-15-1-6) on the road this season, while they are tied for second in the AHL with 19 wins on home ice.

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