8-4-2-0, 18 pts
#4 Western Conference
11-4-0-1, 23 pts
#1 Western Conference
November 13th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
UPDATE: Cristopher Nilstorp to start. Expected forward lines after morning skate added to post.
First of all, let's get this out of the way: the last time the Texas Stars saw the Abbotsford Heat was clearly an anomaly. Road-weary from an overnight bus ride from OKC and with many callup players on the roster, the Stars shellacked the Heat in their last visit to Texas with a 9-3 score. That team is not the same team that will enter the Cedar Park Center tonight.
Having arrived Monday, the club will be well-rested and ready to defend their current seven-game winning streak. In fact, since playing Texas on October 20th, the Heat have lost just once, a 3-1 decision against Lake Erie in British Columbia. They have scored 32 goals in those nine games and allowed 23. Laurent Brossoit, the goalie in that 9-3 game, isn't even with the organization anymore.
So let's just get that out of our heads. This is far from a cakewalk.
Players to watch for include Corban Knight, leading scorer for the Heat, with 5-9-14 in 16 games. Former Grand Rapids Griffins defender Chad Billins has picked it up with the Heat, scoring six goals to lead the team and a plus-7 rating.
One area of weakness for the Heat is special teams. Texas ranks in the top 10 in power play and penalty kill. Abbotsford is middle pack on power play and bottom-five on the PK. Fortunately for the Stars, the Heat are one of the teams that has been shorthanded more often than Texas.
Finally, with Cristopher Nilstorp being in 'could have played' type condition this past weekend,
Here are the expected forward lines based on the morning skate:
Stransky will be the scratch.
Stars injury/call up report:
Morin (call up)
Campbell, Nilstorp (injured)
Blog (unofficial): BC Local News: Abby News
Newspaper: Abbotsford Times