January 18 2013 08:25AM
There is snow on the ground and hockey on the ice. It is probably a weekend of the year between September and March. For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy this brief overview of what is happening in Calgary Flames-related hockey action this coming weekend.
The National Hockey League begins its 95th season of play on Saturday with a lot of games. The Calgary Flames begin their 41st season (and 33rd in Calgary) on Sunday afternoon against the San Jose Sharks.
Dennis Wideman will make his Flames debut, Hudler might make it back for the season opener and Sven Baertschi will begin his first NHL season. Beyond that, it will be a very familiar Flames club on the ice.
There will probably be coverage of the NHL games somewhere on this site. I just have a feeling.
AHL & ECHL
The Abbotsford Heat will play Milwaukee on Saturday and Sunday. Heat will gain some bodies back from Flames camp – definitely Ben Street and Chris Breen, probably Brett Carson and Paul Byron, and possibly one or two of Roman Horak, Leland Irving and Henrik Karlsson. The Heat, despite missing most of their best players, have won twice in a row after beating Hamilton this week.
Oh yeah, Barry Brust will join Heat captain Quintin Laing at the AHL All-Star Game. Go Brusty!
The Utah Grizzlies will host the Bakersfield Condors on Friday and Saturday. Mitch Wahl was named to the All-Star Team, as was C.J. Severyn, a former Flames pick that plays for the Idaho Steelheads. Wahl's in Abbotsford, though, and may be replaced.
Laurent Brossoit (of Edmonton) and Turner Elson (of Red Deer) both play the same teams this weekend. The Oil Kings play Medicine Hat on Friday and Prince George on Sunday, while the Rebels face Prince George on Saturday and Medicine Hat on Sunday. Brossoit has been excellent lately.
Tyler Wotherspoon's Portland Winterhawks continue to hone their team for a playoff drive this weekend. They host Lethbridge on Friday and then visit the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. Michael Ferland and the Saskatoon Blades play Moose Jaw on Friday and Brandon on Saturday.
Brett Kulak's Vancouver Giants continue to basically play out the string against Victoria on Friday and Kelowna on Saturday. The Swift Current Broncos (and Coda Gordon) tangle with the Regina Pats on Saturday.
A clash of the QMJHL titans happens Friday in Quebec City. The Remparts (and Flames pick Ryan Culkin) clash with the powerhouse Halifax Mooseheads. It will be a battle of the league's best teams. After that, the Remparts welcome Rouyn-Noranda to town on Sunday.
And finally, Patrick Sieloff's Windsor Spitfires visit the London Knights on Friday and host the Sarnia Sting on Sunday.
The Boston College Eagles continue their quest for another NCAA championship this weekend. Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold (and their teammates) host Massachusetts on Friday and visit Northeastern on Saturday.
After a close 2-1 loss to U-Mass Lowell on Thursday, Providence College (home of Mark Jankowski and Jon Gillies) visit New Hampshire on Saturday.
The Wisconsin Badgers (and captain John Ramage) host Miami University on Friday and Saturday. Matthew Deblouw's Michigan State Spartans have a home and home with Ferris State Friday and Saturday. Nick Larson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish host Alaska on Friday and Saturday.
The Kontinental Hockey League is back after their All-Star Break. Karri Ramo's team visits HC Lev Praha (the team Roman Cervenka and Jiri Hudler played for during the lockout) on Friday and then heads to Slovakia to play Slovan Bratislava on Sunday.
Backed by Joni Ortio's goaltending and Markus Granlund's attempts to score goals, HIFK Helsinki have a home-and-home against HPK on Friday and Saturday. HPK is based in the city of Hämeenlinna, about 100 kilometers outside of Helinski.