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PREVIEW: GAMES 45, 46 vs. HAMILTON BULLDOGS

PREVIEW

Friday, January 31st – 7:00 PM PST- Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
Saturday, February 1st – 7:00 PM PST – Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre

Radio: CIVL RADIO 101.7FM
Streaming: TEAMRADIO.CA
*Pre-Game Show begins 15 minutes prior puck-drop

Abbotsford, BC – This weekend, the Heat will look to put an end to their current four game home losing streak. Last weekend the Heat earned two out of a possible four points against the Utica Comets, and will welcome their North Division rival Hamilton Bulldogs Friday and Saturday.

Over the past few days, the Heat have seen plenty of movement in and out of the locker room. On Sunday, the Flames recalled defenceman Chris Breen and assigned Shane O’Brien to the Heat, who cleared waivers on Sunday. To go along with that move, the Heat completed a four player swap with their ECHL affiliate the Alaska Aces, calling up goaltender Olivier Roy and defenceman Drew MacKenzie. Forwards Zach McKelvie and Jordan Kremyr were assigned to the Aces. On Thursday, the Heat added two more veteran forwards to the roster in Blair Jones and Trevor Gillies. Jones was placed on waivers on Wednesday from the Flames and cleared Thursday and is expected to be in the Heat line-up this weekend. Before his last recall to Calgary, Jones racked up 21 points (8-13-21) in 16 games with Abbotsford. As for Gillies, he is a veteran of 380 AHL games and is a tough customer having racked up 1m536 penalty minutes in close to 10 AHL seasons. With the additions of Corey Locke, Shane O’Brien, Blair Jones, and Trevor Gillies, the Heat have added 1,567 games of AHL experience in the past seven days.

The Heat are currently in second place in the West Division at 26-14-3-1 with 56 points.

HEAT vs. BULDOGS (AHL AFFILIATE OF THE MONTREAL CANADIENS)

The Heat are 2-2-0-0 against the Bulldogs this season, with the road team winning every game thus far. It will be a special weekend for one particular newcomer to the Heat in Corey Locke. The veteran forward spent four seasons with the Bulldogs from 2004-05 to 2007-08 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (85), assists (144), and points (229). On top of that, he won a Calder Cup with the Bulldogs in 2007.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 4-1 loss at home to the Chicago Wolves. Sitting third in the North Division, Hamilton has been a middle of the pack team this season. Their play has been better on the road (10-6-0-1) than at home (10-12-0-3) and will look to extend those numbers at the AESC. While the Heat have struggled on the penalty kill thus far, the Bulldogs have equally struggled with their power play. Coming into this weekend, the ‘Dogs are ranked 28th in the AHL when on the man advantage with a 13.4% conversion ratio.

Hamilton net-minder Dustin Tokarski has been a wall in net when facing the Heat this season with a 2-0-1 record, and has only allowed four goals in three games. He currently ranks in the top five in both save percentage and goals against average among goaltenders in the AHL.

2013-14 Heat head to head stats vs. Hamilton Bulldogs:

11/02/13 — ABB 3 HAM 2 SO @ Copps Coliseum
12/22/13 — ABB 3 HAM 2 SO @ Copps Coliseum
01/03/14 — ABB 1 HAM 2 @ Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
01/04/14 — ABB 1 HAM 3 @ Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre

Individual leaders in season series (among active skaters):

ABB: Reinhart: 3 points in 4 GP (0-3-3), Jones: 2 points in 1 GP (2-0-0), Lafranchise: 2 points in 3 GP (0-2-2), Ortio: 3 GP (2-1-0-0, 87/93 saves)

HAM: Nattinen: 3 points in 4 GP (1-2-3), Courtnall: 2 points in 4 GP (2-0-2), Dumont: 2 points in 4 GP (2-0-2), Tokarski: 3 GP (2-0-0-1, 93/97 saves)

NEWS & NOTES

Friday will feature the next Legends of Hockey night with Frank Mahovlich, who will be available for autographs on the concourse of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC) on a first come, first served basis. For fans who lead a group sale of 30 or more tickets for this game will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive meet and greet with Mahovlich during an intermission.

Mahovlich is an NHL Hall of Famer, a six-time Stanley Cup winner (1962-64, 1967, 1971, 1973), a 15 time NHL All Star (1959-65, 1966-74), and winner of the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy (1958). In an NHL career spanning 20 seasons (1956-1974), Mahovlich recorded 533 goals, 750 assists, and 1103 points in 1181 NHL games for the Maple Leafs, Red Wings, and Canadiens. He was a three-time first team (1961,1963,1973) and six-time second team (1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970) NHL All-Star. Mahovlich was also a member of Team Canada for the 1972 and 1974 Summit Series. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981.

Friday will also be the second $3 $2 $1 Brew Dog ‘N Pop Night of the season. On Saturday night the Heat will be giving away free zamboni coin banks to the first 1,500 fans, courtesy of Vedder Transportation. For tickets please call 1-877-452-HEAT (4328) or visit us online at www.abbotsfordheat.com and the AESC box office.

Brandon Astle will bring all live Heat action this week on 101.7 CIVL FM and on www.teamradio.ca. The pre-game show begins 15 minutes before puck drop.
 



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