The Barons head north of the border for the first time this season to Abbotsford, British Columbia as they take on the Calgary Flames affiliate Heat. The NHL rivalry between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers is one of the biggest in professional hockey, and it trickles down to the AHL level as well and even more so this season with the NHL still under lockout.
Abbotsford is currently tied for first in the North Division with the Lake Erie Monsters and is second in the conference when it comes to goal differential with a +14, trailing only Charlotte who has a +16. Leading the scoring for the Heat is Roman Horak and Sven Baertschi, each with 11 points. Horak is currently tied for the lead in the league in goals with 10, while Baertschi is tied for third in rookie scoring behind only the Barons' Justin Schultz and Houston's Mikael Granlund.
Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all return to Canada to play for the first time this season, and that has helped the Heat sell out the building for both games this weekend. On the line this weekend is the Barons streak of not having lost in the six times they've faced Abbotsford on the road, four times in Abbotsford and twice in Calgary. Nine of the 12 meetings between the two teams has been decided in the 3rd period or overtime as well.
In transaction news yesterday, the Barons signed defenseman Jordan Henry to a Professional Try-Out. Henry had signed with the Stockton Thunder last weekend after starting the season in Sweden. Last season, he split time with the Heat and the Chicago Wolves; and he was also the one to slash Antti Tyrvainen and break his wrist during a game last season that held Tyrvainen on the sidelines for a couple months.
Tonight's and tomorrow's games kick off at 9PM Central time from Abbotsford. Tonight, you can catch the broadcast on 1340 The Game, and tomorrow's will be on 96.1 KXY. And as always, I'll be live-tweeting the game on my Twitter account @AHLBarons.