CALGARY, AB -- After a five-day break to close out a February to forget, the Abbotsford Heat split their opening series of March with the Houston Aeros.
Powered by a pair of goals from Ben Walter and a 29-save performance from Leland Irving, Abbotsford downed the Aeros 4-2 on Friday night to snap a seven-game winless streak. Houston answered right back on Saturday, beating the Heat 5-1.
Despite the slump, the Heat currently hold down second in the league’s North Division and are sixth in the Western Conference with 62 points, one ahead of the Oklahoma City Barons and Lake Erie Monsters – ninth and tenth respectively in the West.
Assigned to the Heat by the Calgary Flames on February 21st, Blair Jones is re-adjusting to life in the American Hockey League.
“It’s been fine. I’ve played a lot of games in this league so it’s nothing new. I played several seasons,” Jones told reporters after Saturday’s loss. “The biggest adjustment would be the ice time. It’s nice to get the special teams work and get some responsibility. As far as adjustments, that’s basically just about it.”
Jones is a veteran of 329 games in the league, recording 74 goals and 206 points over parts of seven seasons in the league.
RIGHTING THE SHIP
With one win in their last nine games and just 18 games remaining in the regular season, the Heat hope to immediately turn the tides.
“Well we just have to find answers right now,” defenceman Joe Callahan said.
“We were a different team in the beginning of the year and we’ve been struggling of late and we’ve got to find some answers.”
The team has an opportunity to do just that with an upcoming seven-game road trip starting Tuesday against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
“I think we’ve got a little bit of work to do,” Jones said. “I’m obviously not familiar with any of the teams we’re playing or anything, but for us we have to be consistent and work a little bit harder getting back into our own zone and being an option for our defencemen.”
The road hasn’t been friendly to the Heat, however, with just a 8-13-1-4 record away from Abbotsford this season.