While CBA talks are reportedly heating up (or at the very least occurring), the players in the Flames organization who can play hockey continue to do so. Once again, we’ve got a very busy weekend ahead, with only four prospects getting to rest up.
So, while John Ramage of the Wisconsin Badgers, Karri Ramo of Avangard Omsk and Markus Granlund and Joni Ortio of HIFK Helsinki enjoy some relaxation, check out what’s on top for everyone else this coming weekend.
BATTLE OF ALBERTA, AHL STYLE
After a very productive few weeks (with only one regulation loss), the Abbotsford Heat will head into battle in a pair of very important, “measuring-stick” games Friday and Saturday against the Oklahoma City Barons. You might remember the Barons as the AHL affililate of those dastardly Edmonton Oilers. Saturday’s game can be watched via Sportsnet, with Rob Kerr and Charlie Simmer calling the action live from Abbotsford. We will have BofA style cross-post here and OilersNation on Saturday as well.
The Heat continue to be lead by the dynamic duo of Sven Baertschi and Roman Horak, each of whom have 11 points. Horak is tops in the the American League in goals, which is just awesome to see from a guy who didn’t really find his footing in Abbotsford last year. Danny Taylor is expected to be back between the pipes for the Heat.
The Barons boast the likes of Justin Schultz (15 points), Jordan Eberle (11 points), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (10 points) and the rest of the Oilers’ highly-touted prospect base. They’re backstopped by the tandem of Yann Danis and Olivier Roy. Despite the stacked line-up, the Baby Oilers are hovering just above .500.
Meanwhile, the Baby, Baby Flames (the Utah Grizzlies, Abbotsford’s farm team) plays a pair this weekend against the Colorado Eagles, the ECHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. Mitch Wahl and Bryan Cameron each have 6 points in 7 games for Utah, while James Martin (4 points), Gaelan Patterson (3 points) and Ryan Howse (1 point) are also expected to suit up this weekend for the Grizzlies.
Fresh off a pair of appearances with Team QMJHL at the Subway Super Series, Ryan Culkin returns to the Quebec Remparts for a pair of home games this weekend. On Friday, the Remparts host the PEI Rocket, while the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles visit on Saturday. In the OHL, Patrick Sieloff and the Windsor Spitfires have a relatively quiet weekend, visiting the Plymouth Whalers on Friday night.
Fresh off holding the best team in the WHL (Kamloops) to a single goal, Laurent Brossoit and the Edmonton Oil Kings face off against the Prince George Cougars on Friday and Saturday in Prince George. The Red Deer Rebels and captain Turner Elson play once, on Friday in Kelowna, their only game until November 17.
The surging Portland Winterhawks play three in three: Friday they tangle with Brett Kulak’s Vancouver Giants (on Shaw), Saturday they visit the Spokane Chiefs, and on Sunday they host the Kamloops Blazers in a clash of the WHL’s titans. Vancouver closes their weekend with a clash at home on Sunday against Prince George (who will be at the back-end of three games in three nights).
And last but not least, the Swift Current Broncos and Coda Gordon play twice this weekend: Saturday they host Prince Albert, then they travel to Brandon to play the Wheat Kings on Sunday.
College prospects collide on Friday night in Boston, as the Boston College Eagles (featuring Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold) face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (home of Nick Larson). Sure, it’s a non-conference game, but it’ll be a nice showcase of how good the Eagles are. Or how good Notre Dame is, maybe. BC closes out their weekend on Sunday against Massachusetts.
Providence College, home of Mark Jankowski and Jon Gillies, plays just once this weekend, facing Massachusetts on Friday. Jankowski had a great performance last weekend, so hopefully he can keep it up.
Speaking of players who had good weekends, Michigan State forward Matthew Deblouw hopes to repeat his recent four-point outburst during a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday against Michigan.