Abbotsford Heat

AHL Abbotsford sets record with two goals in three seconds, continues to lose millions for city


The AHL’s Abbotsford Heat set a record Thursday night by scoring two goals in three seconds on Toronto Marlies goalie Ben Scrivens.

The first goal came courtesy Steve McCarthy at 4:28 of the third period. Then, right after the ensuing faceoff, Ben Street sent a long shot down the ice that beat Scrivens at 4:31.

Even more impressive? Both goals were scored shorthanded.

Considerably less impressive? Only 1,951 fans were there to see it.

In a related story, the city’s taxpayers will once again have to foot the bill for a season’s worth of the team’s losses, this time to the tune of $1.76 million.

From the Abbotsford Times:

The average attendance required to meet the break-even point is 3,905 paid customers; the paid customer base in 2011/12 was 2,653, according to the city.

The Heat ownership group has a 10-year supply fee agreement with the city that guarantees $5.7 million in annual revenue.

The 2011/12 shortfall follows a payout of $1,305,511 for the 2010/11 season and $450,637 in the team’s inaugural 2009/2010 year.

Considering Abbotsford is about an hour’s drive east of Vancouver, it’s not overly surprising the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames has struggled for fan support.

In August, it was reported that Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini was looking to purchase the Heat’s arena from the city and work out a deal to move Vancouver’s farm team (currently the AHL’s Chicago Wolves) closer to home.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?