The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Toronto Marlies on Thursday night with a shutout from Barry Brust, the team’s first of the season.
AHL hockey, at times, seems startlingly close to NHL calibre, and that was the case in a two-games-in-two-nights doubleheader between the Abbotsford Heat and the Chicago Wolves.
On only their second trip outside of the Lower Mainland, the Abbotsford Heat faced off against the Sabres’ affiliate Rochester Americans and Maple Leafs’ affiliate Toronto Marlies this weekend.
The Heat’s playoff hopes took another blow Friday night as the game saw the Heat outshot and outplayed for most of the game.
If one good thing has come out of the work stoppage, it’s the influx of NHL-calibre talent now on every AHL team in the league. Just look up and down the roster sheet and you’ll see recognizable names of some of the best young players in world. Naturally, there is going to be greater competition and challenges each and every game. But don’t tell the Heat that.
The mid-week set between the Abbotsford Heat and Hamilton Bulldogs was as expected as the two lowest scoring teams in the AHL battled head-to-head on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. However, the Heat were able to muster enough offense to lift themselves into fifth spot in the Western Conference with a regulation and shootout win over their divisional rivals.
Taylor, now in his second season in the Flames organization, had bounced around the American Hockey League and ECHL early in his career before finding a steady job in Abbotsford. Taylor has impressed the Flames brass this season by posting phenomenal numbers with their Heat affiliate. He boasts an AHL best 1.82 GAA, is ranked fourth in the league with a .929 save percentage playing with the Heat this season, and earned himself a two-way contract with the Flames on February 6. With workhorse goalie Mikka Kiprusoff sidelined with a sprained knee, Leland Irving demoted to the Heat, and recently-acquired veteran Joey MacDonald needing a rest, Danny Taylor became the forth goaltender to start in the Flames’ crease this season.
The Abbotsford Heat announced a new partnership with CIVL radio that will bring the Heat back to the airwaves.
With the Abbotsford Heat struggling for a playoff position in the tight Western Conference, losing nine of their last 10 games, the team is an example of the other side of what happens when an NHL team begins to try out its next generation, having given up core players to the shorthanded Calgary Flames.
This past weekend marked the final two meetings between the Abbotsford Heat and the Lake Erie Monsters, after the Heat opened the season with a double-header on the road and finished up the season series on home ice.