Team at Training Camp
Troy G. Ward returns for his second season as Head Coach after serving as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season. Ward returns with his entire coaching staff intact – it is the first time that there hasn’t been turnover on the coaching staff in franchise history. Assistant Coaches Luke Strand and Cail MacLean flank Ward on the bench, while Jordan Sigalet’s focuses on the crease as the team’s Goaltending Coach.
Last Spring saw the Heat complete the first playoff series sweep in club history (3-0 over the Milwaukee Admirals), advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in three years. Abbotsford’s post-season concluded with a (4-1) series loss to the Toronto Marlies on May 9th. Other season highlights include:
- Three players represented the Heat at the All-Star Game (Krys Kolanos, Clay Wilson, Brian Connelly)
- Individual single season records:
- GoalsKrys Kolanos - 31
- Assists: BenWalter - 40
- Points - Krys Kolanos - 61
The Heat added a major piece on the blue-line with the signing of veteran Steve McCarthy last weekend. McCarthy has suited up for the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Thrashers. McCarthy hails from Trail, BC and played for his hometown Smoke Eaters of the BCHL before four seasons with the Edmonton/Kootenay Ice of the WHL where he was drafted 23rd overall in the first round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. McCarthy has played 302 NHL regular season games, and has played under the guidance of new Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley in Atlanta (NHL) and last season in Zurich (Swiss League). In Zurich he scored the game-winning goal in the dying moments of Game 7 of the league championship.
Three Lower Mainland products look to be integral parts of the Heat offense this season, at centre. Max Reinhart of Vancouver, Ben Walter of Langley, and Ben Street of Coquitlam are all creative offensive players that have the Heat deep down the middle this season. Walter completed his sixth straight 50-point AHL season last year, finished 22nd in AHL scoring, and set a Heat record with 40 assists in a season. Street led the Wilkes-Barrie /Scranton Penguins in scoring last season with 57 points and finished tied for 17th in AHL goals with 27. Max Reinhart comes with great hockey pedigree; his father Paul played in the NHL for over a decade with the Atlanta/Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks and his younger brother Griffin was a top-5 selection of the 2012 Draft (New York Islanders). Max scored two goals in his first professional game on April 15 vs. Toronto Marlies in front of friends and family at the AESC.
The Peoria Rivermen won all four meetings between these clubs last season, two of which came in the shootout. All-time, the Heat have four wins, six loses and two shootout losses vs. the St. Louis Blues AHL affiliate. The Rivermen missed the playoffs last season finishing just four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Friday Night is the first ‘Loonie Toonie Dog ‘N Brew’ game of the season featuring $1 beers and $2 beers. Saturday concludes the Heat-hosted half of the 4-game season-series with the Rivermen.
You can catch both games on TeamRadio.ca and on Sirius/XM with Ryan Pinder calling the action with colour commentator Vanni DeBartolo.