The Hamilton Bulldogs are in Hamilton to take on the Abbotsford Heat. The Heat started the year on a torrid pace with a quick start thanks to Flames top prospects like Sven Baertschi and Roman Horak who started the year on a scoring tear. Eventually they slowed down to their current position, sitting in 8th in the Western Conference with an 17-12-3-4 record.
In three prior meetings the Bulldogs have had success with the Heat, going 2-1 in the stretch. They also faced the Heat during the highest point of their season, handing the Heat their first regulation loss of the season after a 6 game steak that saw them only lose one shootout game (Oct 28) They also handed the Heat their first loss at home of the season on Dec 1st by shutting them out 3-0.
The Heat have now lost 2 in a row and are without Baertschi, Horak, Paul Byron, Chris Breen, T.J. Brodie, Steve McCarthy, Ben Street, and goaltender Leland Irving.
The Bulldogs will also host a wide array of fresh faces with a plethora of call ups in Montreal for camp. To check the new Bulldogs roster view the link below,
Ian Schultz should get a chance to prove himself in the AHL during this stretch, something he failed to do last year. Alexander Avtsin will also likely see some ice time, so if you've been waiting to see what he can do, it might be a good idea to tune in tonight.
On a side note, if you were a fan of the Hybrid Icing the AHL had put in place, you'll be disappointed to hear that it has ended. As for myself, I'm pleased, the less subjective rules there are the less the refs can impact the game with a missed call.