The world of sports is an ocean full of great stories.
Matt Frattin goes down with an unfortunate injury the secure the advancement to the Calder Cup Finals for his team, doesn’t play again for nearly six months and then scores a pair of goals in his return. With all the focus once again turning on the offensive output of Nazem Kadri, the talented forward silences his critics with 10 points in four games. Paul Ranger takes a leave from the game for almost three years, returns as part of the Marlies and has contributed five points in 10 games.
Here’s another great story. A team’s season is cut short in the second round of the playoffs after an overtime loss in game five. They make a couple moves through the off-season, including bringing in a netminder who had left North America for a German league. This team starts the season collecting points of 13 of their first 14 games, rocketing up standings to the top spot. The returning goaltender has allowed only one goal against in four starts and has most recently registered three straight shutouts.
The team is the Abbotsford Heat. The goaltender is Barry Brust. And for the Marlies, Sunday’s game against their west coast opponents looks to be the biggest test they have yet to face this season.
Enough story telling, here are the facts (in game note form):
- Abbotsford defeated Toronto in the two prior meetings this season, outscoring the Marlies 7-2
- The Marlies powerplay has converted in five straight games
- The Heat boast a first overall penalty kill (94.7%) and a top ten poweplay (9th)
- Leading Abbotsford in scoring is 2011 first round selection Scen Baertschi with 14pts in 14 games
- Toronto has four players that are at least a point per game: Keith Aucoin (14pts in 14 games); Nazem Kadri (13pts in 13 games); Spencer Abbott (6pts in 4 games); Matt Frattin (2pts in 1 game)
- The Marlies are 1-0-0-1 in the third game of a 3-in-3 scenario this season
Carrying on in an impressive string of home games available to you on your television set, Sunday’s game will be broadcast on Rogers TV with all the action kicking off at 3pm. Tune in and listen to Jon Abbott and Bob McGill as they call all the action on the ice. If internet radio is your thing, AHL Live will have a free audio feed of Jon and Bob. If you’re outside the Rogers broadcast area, AHL Live’s video feed is available for a couple dollars
As of the end of Saturday’s game, Dallas Eakins had not yet decided if he would start Ben Scrivens or Mark Owuya on Sunday. Catch me on twitter (@chansler) as I’ll post lineup news and notes as they become available.
EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP
IN GOAL: #30 Ben Scrivens
Kadri – Aucoin – Komarov
Deschamps – Zigomanis – Frattin
Hamilton – McKegg – Scott
D’Amigo – Acton – Ashton
Gardiner – Kostka
Fraser – Blacker
Ranger – Holzer