The Milwaukee Admirals look to add to their perfect 3-0-0-0 record as they head to the great white north for a pair of weekend games in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Located just 2,020 miles northwest of Milwaukee and across the friendly Canadian border, Abbotsford is home to the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames (and arguably the most awkwardly placed team in the AHL). There are still 50 minutes until puck drop, so I thought I’d pass along some good-to-know info while you wait for the clock to strike 7:00 PST.
Here are a few fun facts about the great city of Abbotsford, you know, to really get the feel for where this game is being played. A quick shout out and thanks to the folks over at wikipedia for providing 100% correct and always accurate information (in other words, don’t shoot the messenger):
- Abbotsford is a Canadian city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, adjacent to Greater Vancouver.
- Famous Abbotsfordians, err, Abbotsfordites include Chad Kroeger, Evangline Lilly and Jim Playfair.
- The Village of Abbotsford was incorporated in 1892.
- Abbotsford is the largest municipality by area in British Columbia. It is home to the University of the Fraser Valley, TRADEX and Abbotsford International Airport, which hosts the Abbotsford International Airshow.
- Nicknames include “City in the Country”, “Raspberry Capital of Canada”
Onto the team. The Heat are coached by Troy Ward, whose name you may recognize because A) he’s a Wisconsin native, and B) He served as assistant coach for the Houston Aeros for three seasons. They are tied with the Oklahoma City Barons for first place in the West Division with 6 pts (3-1-0-0), and are led by captain Quintin Laing, a veteran forward who is in his second season with the team. Prior to Abbotsford, Laing spent time with the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks.
In goal for the Heat is Flames draft pick Leland Irving. Irving, who was drafted by Calgary in the first round (26th overall) of the 2006 NHL draft, is in his 4th season with the Flames organization (1 season with Quad City, 2 prior seasons with Abbotsford). In four games, he has a 1.76 GAA and .917 save percentage. Solid goaltender, I like him because he doesn’t rattle easy even if the defense in front of him is struggling.
Abbotsford has seen points from 11 different players, so keep an eye (or an ear since you’ll most likely be listening to this on the radio…) on Greg Nemisz and Brendan Mikkelson, who lead the team with 4 points each.
A quick announcement: for you fans of Raitis Ivanans (note the dramatic black and white picture they have on the website, way to keep it classy Abby), fret not, as he was reassigned to the Heat from Calgary on Thursday. Put your Ivanans jersey and celebrate his 79 games with the Admirals as you listen to tonights contest!
We’re down to about 20 minutes til puck drop, so you still have plenty of time to pop in a pizza or fill up the chip bowl. But before you do, raise your glass with me and cheers to making it 5-0 by the end of the weekend!