The Flames injury decimated farm team has managed to extend their first round series with the Rochester Americans (FLA affiliate) to seven games, despite falling behind three games to one. With Kris Chucko, Carsen Germyn, John Armstrong and John Negrin out of the line-up indefinitely due to injury (and Jason Jaffray only recently returning), the team has had to make due with a hodge-podge of random AHLers to supplement the depleted line-up. Tyler Spurgeon, Shawn Weller, Mark Mitera, John Lammers, Carter Bancks and Jon Rheault were all added late in the season, so it’s something of a minor miracle that the Heat are even in this series.
Through six games, Abbotsford’s leading scorers are Brett Sutter (2g-5a-7pts), Mikael Backlund (1-5-6) and, surprisingly, Jon Rheault (5-1-6) who has garnered his 5 goals on just 12 shots on net. AHL rookie Mitch Wahl was a point-per-game player in the last few games of the regular season, but has fallen of the pace in the playoffs (2 assist in 5 games). I would suspect he’s not a playing a whole lot. As for the blueline, Keith Seabrook leads the way with 2 goals, one assist and a +3 rating.
The Heat’s goaltending hasn’t been notable in the first round thus far. David Shantz has played in all six games and his SV% is a ghastly .864, although most of the damage was done in games 2, 3 and 4 which the Heat lost by a combined score of 18-6. The good news is, he’s allowed just 2 goals in the last 2 contests. Leland Irving was thrown to the wolves for a period in the 8-4 thrashing in game 3, so his numbers are appropriately ugly – so ugly I’ll just mention them in passing. Matt Keetley hasn’t made an appearance yet.
The final game of the series goes tonight in Rochester. Those interested can tune in to the FAN960 to listen. Puck drop around 5pm.