Winless in seven games and with just two victories in their last 10, the Abbotsford Heat have hit a bump in their schedule.
Back-to-back losses against the Charlotte Checkers on the weekend closed out what will be a month to forget for the Heat, going just 4-8-1 in February.
The good news for coach Troy G. Ward and the Heat is that the club remains in second place in the American Hockey League’s North Division and hold down sixth spot in the Western Conference.
It’s the positives that Joe Piskula is looking at.
“As rough as the stretch has been, we’ve got to try to find the positive in things,” Piskula told reporters after Abbotsford’s 1-0 loss to the Checkers on Saturday. “We’re doing a lot of really good things out there.
“Unfortunately we’re not finding a way to score. That happens in seasons. We’ve got to battle through it and stick to our game plan and our structure. It’s a fine line in the last 30 games of the season. The last 30 leading all the way up to the playoffs, it’s a fine line between winning and losing and we’re obviously really close right now but we just have to stick with it.”
WEEK TO REFLECT
With five days off between games, the Heat will have plenty of time to prepare before hosting the Houston Aeros at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.
“We’re just coming off a really long road trip as well,” Piskula said. “We’ll get a little rest here and it’s a big week of preparation and turning this ship around. It’s heading in the right direction but we’ve got to get it done now. This week will be huge.”
The Aeros currently sit three points up on Abbotsford for fifth in the conference and have one game at hand. A sweep of Houston would go a long way to moving up the standings and putting distance between the Heat and several teams nipping at their heels.
HORAK BACK TO ABBY
After a four-game stint with the Calgary Flames, forward Roman Horak was returned to the Heat. Horak had one goal in his call-up.
Joining Horak in Abbotsford is Blair Jones, who played 21 games for the Flames after being plucked off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jones is still looking for his first point as a member of the Heat since being reassigned on Thursday.
Abbotsford received Horak and Jones just a day after recalling Mitch Wahl from the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. The team also signed former University of Wisconsin standout Andy Bohmbach. Bohmbach had 20 goals and 41 points in 45 games this season for the Trenton Titons of the ECHL before being signed.