The Abbotsford Heat are hoping to break out the brooms at home tonight as they look for a series ending third win of their opening round best-of-five with the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators). Tonight’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal is the first action of the post-season to be played in Abbotsford after the Heat won Games 1 & 2 in Milwaukee, and all remaining games in the series scheduled to be played in the Fraser Valley.
Krys Kolanos enters today’s action tied for second in scoring in the AHL playoffs with four goals and two assists in just two post-season games. Kolanos scored a pair of goals in each of the first two games and was rightfully named a star in each contest. Prior to the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs, Kolanos had suited up in 29 AHL post-season games and recorded 16 points.
The Heat are the hottest team in the American Hockey League, entering Game 3 on a nine-game winning streak, which includes the final seven games of the regular season. The forth seeded club in the Western Conference also has just a single regulation loss since March 14th; a stretch of 15 games.
Danny Taylor has been solid in two wins this post season, and has been a big part of the Heat success of late. The Ottawa product has now won seven consecutive starts, and has three shutouts over his last nine appearances. Taylor has allowed just two goals in each of the first two games of the opening round best-of-five series.
The Admirals have struggled on special teams in the series to this point, having allowed three power play goals on 11 Heat opportunities; Milwaukee has a single power play goal on 12 opportunities thus far in the series, converting on a five-on-three man-advantage.
The visitors are hoping to see the return of Maple Ridge product and smooth skating defender Victor Bartley. The 24-year-old was injured in the final game of the regular season, and was described as “day-to-day” by Admirals Head Coach Ian Herbers in Milwaukee; they’re hopeful he’ll be able to play in the series. Bartley was named First Star of the Admirals lone win in Abbotsford this season on October 22nd.
The Heat remain the only professional hockey team in Western Canada still in action, and one of just two teams still playing in British Columbia with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL, currently participating in the Doyle Cup.
Today’s broadcast of Game 3 of the opening round best-of-five can be heard on Country 107.1 with the pre-game show beginning at 6:30 PDT. Broadcasts are also available on Country 107.1’s website, theAHL.com, and on the Rogers Radio App for your wireless device. If necessary, Games 4 & 5 will be played at the AESC on Friday and Saturday night at 7:00 PDT.