Friday, November 23, 2012

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Abbotsford Heat

Texas Stars
6-7-0-1, 13 pts
#12 Western Conference
v.Abbotsford Heat
10-2-1-2, 23 pts
#2 Western Conference
November 23rd at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Texas hopes to shake off the memories of Wednesday night's game against the Barons with a win over another top team in the Western Conference. The Abbotsford Heat come to town after four days off, last playing in a 5-0 loss to the Toronto Marlies. Prior to that, they had won six of their last seven and were on a seven game points streak.

The big story right now for Abbotsford is Barry Brust. Brust is currently riding a shutout streak of 231:41. In four games this season, Brust has allowed just one goal. He is 18:11 away from the AHL record shutout streak. If he plays and pitches a clean sheet in the first period tonight, he will break the record of 249:51, held by Johnny Bower of the Cleveland Barons for 54 years. Last year's savior, Danny Taylor, is 4-2-1 with 1.69 GAA and .938 SV%. Both tenders are outperforming the third man, supposedly the top prospect, Leland Irving. Irving is a respectable 2-1-1 but has a 2.94 GAA and .901 SV%.

If the Stars were hoping to continue any power play success they had this past week, this will certainly be the team to prove themselves against. Abbotsford has the best penalty kill in the league at 93.2%. Their power play is dead in the middle at #15 (18%). The Stars slipped a bit on the penalty kill themselves to remain in last place after facing the #29 team on the PK head to head, a good chance to move ahead.

Rookie Sven Baertschi leads the Heat on offense with 6-8-14 in 15 games. Ben Street and Ben Walker come in next at 13 points a piece. Last year's standout forward, Krys Kolanos, has 4-4-8 in 10 GP for the Heat.

This is the last in the gauntlet for Texas, as a trip to last place San Antonio will end the weekend on Sunday. It doesn't get much easier though as a trip to Rockford will come just before a two games against the #3 Grand Rapids Griffins.

Stars injury/call up report:
None.

Website: abbotsfordheat.com
Blog (unofficial): BC Local News: Abby News
Newspaper: Abbotsford Times
Twitter: @abbotsfordheat
Twitter (play-by-play): @RyanPinder

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