SATURDAY FEB. 9 – 7:00 PM PST vs. LAKE ERIE MONSTERS
SUNDAY FEB. 10– 4:00 PM PST vs. LAKE ERIE MONSTERS
Streaming: TeamRadio.ca – Saturday & Sunday
*Pre-Game Show begins 15 minutes prior puck-drop
The Abbotsford Heat will close a four-game home stand this weekend with games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon against the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre (AESC).
The Heat and Monsters find themselves in a four-way battle for top spot in the AHL’s North Division with the Toronto Marlies and the Rochester Americans. The Heat head into this weekend’s games leading the division with 55 points through 47 games, while Lake Erie has 53 points and one game in hand. The Rochester Americans also sit two points back with 53 points through 44 games, while the Toronto Marlies are three points back with four games in hand on the Heat.
Abbotsford puck-stopper Barry Brust is suddenly in the spotlight. While the Heat have carried three goalies for much of this season, Leland Irving won the Calgary Flames back-up job in January and Danny Taylor was signed to an NHL Standard Player Contract on Wednesday after Miikka Kiprusoff suffered a lower-body injury on Tuesday night in Detroit. It appears Brust will see the bulk of the upcoming starts, as the Heat have yet to sign a second net-minder for this weekend’s action. The 29-year-old Kelowna native ranks in the top three in the AHL in Goals Against Average, Save Percentage and Shutouts. On November 24th, Brust set a new AHL record for consecutive shutout minutes at 268 minutes and 17 seconds, breaking Johnny Bower’s record set in 1957 with the Cleveland Barons.
The Heat have earned nine of a possible twelve points (4-1-0-1) this season against Lake Erie, and swept a four-game season series with the Monsters in 2011-12. The Heat and the Monsters resumed play following the All-Star Break on January 30th and 31st with back-to-back games at the Quicken Loans Arena, with the divisional rivals each earning a 4-1 win.
Following this weekend’s games against the Monsters, the Heat will depart on a 12-day Midwest road trip with two games in Milwaukee, and single stops in Peoria, Rockford and Chicago. The Heat return home to face the Charlotte Checkers on February 22nd and 23rd to close out a spell of 14 games over 24 days – their busiest stretch of the season.
February 22nd is Country Night at the AESC and features hotdogs for a dollar and beer for two dollars. For more information on the team and to purchase tickets, visit www.AbbotsfordHeat.com or call 1 877 452-HEAT(4328).