What's On Tap...Turning Up The Heat

Labatt Blue
What's on Tap
This weekend, the Lake Erie Monsters travel to the geographically most western team in the AHL, the Abbotsford Heat, for the second and final time in the 2009-10 regular season. Abbotsford is one of two additions to the AHL this year, the other being the Texas Stars, and currently holds the third spot in the North Division with a mark of 32-25-6-4 and 74 points which would put them in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Lake Erie will become very familiar with the Heat in the remaining weeks of the regular season as five of their last 14 games are against their Canadian adversary with three being home and two being played on the road. Since each club is making a bid for the playoffs in the North Division, every game becomes crucial, especially for the Monsters who find themselves four points out of the fourth and final playoff spot.

It is more than likely that the two games this weekend will come down to penalties and power plays. The Heat and Monsters are on opposite ends of the penalty minutes spectrum. The Monsters are second to last in the league with 831 penalty minutes and the Heat are first in the league with 1,554 penalty minutes, nearly twice that of Lake Erie. Abbotsford has had difficulties dealing with all the penalty minutes as they rank third to last in the AHL in their penalty killing abilities, clicking in at a 79.4 percent success rate on the penalty kill.

One Heat player that has not been fazed by constantly being shorthanded is forward Jason Jaffray, who has found the back of the net four times while fellow players sat in the sin bin. Jaffray also leads Abbotsford in points with 51 (22G, 29A).

With the 2010 Clear Day rosters set, Lake Erie looks to finish their longest road trip of the 2009-10 season on a high note before heading back to Cleveland for a three-game home stand. The Monsters are back at The Q on Friday, March 19th to face the Hamilton Bulldogs for the last time in the 2009-10 regular season.

This weekend's games and every game this season will be broadcast on the Monsters flagship radio station, ESPN 850 WKNR.  Listen Live on ESPN 850 WKNR | Watch here via AHL Live

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