Toronto Marlies at Abbotsford Heat - Friday, November 2 2012
The Heat announced their captain and alternate captains on Friday following a vote by the players and coaching staff. Wearing the “C” for the Heat again this season is 33-year-old Quintin Laing, who has played 632 AHL games, as well as 79 games in the NHL over four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals. The Harris, Saskatchewan native has recorded four assists so far in the 2012-13 campaign.
After suiting up for both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons with the Heat, 28-year-old Joe Piskula will be an alternate captain for the second straight year. The Antigo, Wisconsin product has played a total of ten games in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames.
Also wearing an “A” in 2012-13 is veteran blue-liner Steve McCarthy, who played for Calgary Flames head-coach Bob Hartley in Zurich last season. The 31-year-old has played 302 NHL games in his career, dressing for the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, and Atlanta Thrashers.
When asked about the team bonding process thus far, Head Head Coach Troy G. Ward cited that although early road trips can help, the maturity level in the dressing room has accelerated the process: “I like our veterans, I like our conversations in the locker room, and I like how the guys inter-mix with each other. We kind of have a maturity level which indicates that we’ve come together pretty quick.” The Heat squad of 2012-13 is the eldest in the four year history of the franchise. With the average age of team members 24.68, the Heat are second only to the Hershey Bears with an average age of 25.41.
Heat defenceman Zach McKelvie has taken a different route to the AHL than his contemporaries in Abbotsford. The Minnesota native played for four seasons with Army at West Point (US Military Academy), captaining the squad in 2008-09. McKelvie took a two year hiatus from hockey following his tenure at West Point, serving on active duty with the U.S. Army before he began his professional career with the Bruins organization. During 2009-10 and 2010-11, McKelvie was training recruits as a Lieutenant in Fort Benning, Georgia, the home of the infantry. McKelvie is a proud graduate of West Point, and remains on the U.S. Army Individual Ready Reserve.
Despite being the second oldest team in the AHL, the 2012-13 Heat squad includes seven rookies, who have played less than 25 AHL/NHL games. 2011 first-round draft pick Sven Baertschi leads Heat rookies with nine points (4-5-9), followed by Michigan Tech grad Brett Olson with four points (1-3-4). Max Reinhart and Tyler Ruegsegger have each recorded two points, while Brady Lamb and David Eddy have been held off the score sheet. Michael Ferland, who recorded 96 points in 68 games with Brandon of the WHL last year, has yet to suit up for the Heat this season.
Setting History Short-Handed
The Abbotsford Heat skated into the history books last night, scoring two short-handed goals in three seconds. Steve McCarthy and Ben Street both scored on a minor penalty to Chris Breen to give the heat a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the third period. The previous AHL record for fastest consecutive short-handed goals was held by Jody Gage, who scored two goals eight seconds apart for the Rochester Americans in 1989. It was also the two fastest goals scored by one team in an AHL hockey game, besting a record set by the Worcester IceCats in 2003. Following McCarthy’s goal, Ben Street batted the puck out of the air off the draw at centre ice, beating the Marlies netminder. The Heat have killed 36-of-37 enemy power plays, operating at a league leading 97.3% efficiency. The Heat penalty kill has outscored opposition man-advantages by a 3-1 margin through eight games.