Thine enemy, Jack Campbell of the Texas Stars. - Rick Stewart
The Abbotsford Heat look to kick the December doldrums tonight when they take on the Texas Stars at home.
The Heat remain atop the AHL with 34 points despite winning just once so far in the month of December. Today the club announced that they had sent forwards David Eddy, Adam Estoclet, and Michael Ferland down to the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL; this comes as I believe Troy Ward and Co. are anticipating getting some players back from the IR tonight, including last season's leading scorer Krys Kolanos, which can only be beneficial to a team that has struggled to score as of late. Each of the aforementioned players had yet to score a goal for the Heat this season.
With the exception of their last homestand, Abbotsford has performed well on home ice this season; their special teams are top three in the league at the AESC and they've scored 17 more times in just four more games at home than on the road.
The Heat are 1-0 against the Stars this season after defeating them 1-0 on an overtime goal by Chris Breen back in November, but the Stars are 7-3-0 on the road this season and 6-2-2 in their past ten games. Cody Eakin is the Stars' leading scorer with seven goals and 15 points in 23 games. Stars goalie and former Team USA gold-medal winner Jack Campbell has struggled somewhat this season with four wins and three regulation losses and a .883 SV%, while Swedish goalie Christopher Nilstorp has largely carried the load, appearing in 17 games with two shutouts thus far, despite the fact that he is barely over .500 himself.
Between the pipes for the Heat, Barry Brust remains undefeated in regulation and could get the call again tonight; he and Danny Taylor are ranked one and two in the league, respectively, in goals against average through 24 games.
This evening's game will include a Teddy Bear Toss with the goal of donating 8,000 stuffed toys to B.C. children, and the Heat are also doing a 2-for-1 promotion this weekend where fans who purchase a ticket to this evening's game can attend tomorrow's contest for free--a great opportunity to get out and see some hockey if you live in the Abbotsford area!
Game time is at 7 p.m. PST/10 p.m. ET.
Go Heat Go!