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Dec 27, 2012 7:58pm
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ABBOTSFORD, B. Colin Kaepernick Jersey .C. – The Abbotsford
Heat are red hot with the playoffs right around the corner. Danny Taylor made 22
saves Friday for his team-high fifth shutout as the Heat defeated the Toronto
Marlies 3-0 in American Hockey League action Friday night. The Heat have
rattled-off six consecutive wins and are 9-1-2 in their past 12. With the win
the Heat clinched home ice advantage in the first round of the Calder Cup
playoffs but with one game remaining Sunday versus Toronto, Abbotsford still has
a couple things left to accomplish. “Coming into the playoffs on a roll is what
we want so I dont think were going to take the foot off the gas,” said forward
Hugh Jessiman. “Well manage some of our top players accordingly,” added Heat
head coach Troy Ward. “Weve got a lot of black aces and wed like to get some
players in but at the same time weve got good momentum going and want to keep
that.” Toronto, which had its six-game winning streak ended, has already
clinched the North Division title but is in a battle with the Oklahoma City
Barons for first in the Western Conference. They will likely be resting players
in preparation for the post-season, however. “Would we like first in our
conference? Sure,” said Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins. “But Im not killing
our guys trying to get it. We need to be prepared for the playoffs. Im still
auditioning people for who is going to be in the starting line up in the
playoffs. Weve got some guys banged up. You might see some more fresh faces in
our lineup just to fill some holes with our injuries.” If Toronto finishes
second and Abbotsford fourth it is not improbable that a second-round playoff
match-up between the teams could happen. “I dont think we look too much into the
future but you cant deny theres a possibility we might see them down the road,”
Jessiman said. “Were focused on the here and now but any time you play a team
thats ranked a little higher than you, you want to send a message.” The other
chore for the Heat will be to get their number one goalie back into action,
though their “option 1-B” has been lights-out of late. Taylor has made five
consecutive starts for Abbotsford, allowing just six goals over that span and
just 10 goals over his last eight games played. Top goalie Leland Irving has
been on the sidelines during the birth of his first child but is ready to get
back at it. “We celebrated and helped Leland through his family time and now its
time to get him back in there as a hockey player,” Ward said. “Well manage him
back into there and he deserves it.” Taylor was relatively humble about the
chance to thrive while Irving was changing diapers for the first time. “Ive been
pretty fortunate to get the starts that I have,” Taylor said. “Our teams playing
so well right now and has been for the last few weeks. The teams got confidence
in both of us. Weve both put up a lot of wins this year. The guys know if they
play a solid game, were going to win.” Jessiman had a goal and an assist, while
Jon Rheault and Clay Wilson added third-period goals in the third for Abbotsford
(41-26-8). Ben Scrivens stopped 20 of 22 shots for Toronto (44-24-7). “That was
the one thing entertaining about the game—both goalies were excellent,”
Eakins said. “Early in the first period (Scrivens) was excellent. He made a huge
save in the second for us. When we had our A chances, their goalie as there to
show Scrivens that he can stop the puck too.” Seven minutes into the game Heat
captain Quintin Laing hit Will Acton hard into the boards. After a scrum
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, not Laing, was sent to serve a five-minute major
penalty for boarding. Toronto failed to score on the extended power play, and
the best chance was actually a short-handed two-on-one for Abbotsford in which
Scrivens had to break up a give-and-go. Toronto, the AHLs worst power play, then
failed on another man advantage, giving Abbotsford all the momentum. “I thought
the guys in front of me did a great job on the PK,” Taylor said. “They didnt
really get much, and what they did, I saw. On a PK thats what you hope for.” The
Heat needed just one goal, coming in the first period on Jessimans solo effort
at 16:29. He swooped behind the Marlies net and stole the puck from Acton before
scoring on the wrap around. “I was just forechecking,” Jessiman said. “I think I
caught the guy by surprise behind the net, managed to get a little body on him
and used the reach around on the far side.” Taylors flashiest save was when he
robbed Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton in the third period when he stretched out
to snag a rising slap shot headed for the top corner to protect his clean sheet.
With just over five minutes to go in the game Rheault gave the Heat some
insurance. Ben Walter cut to the slot and backhanded a shot towards the net,
that Rheault redirected for his 16th of the season. Wilson added an empty net
goal. NOTES: Abbotsfords Krys Kolanos, the recently named player of the week and
player of the month, had his seven-game goal scoring streak snapped, in which he
had 11 goals and seven assists. Colin Kaepernick Game Jersey . Peter Crouch
gave Stoke the lead when he beat Joe Hart in the 15th minute, but Javi Garcia
scored on his debut for City by heading in a cross from Carlos Tevez to level
the match in the 35th. Garcia then almost scored a last-minute winner but
Begovic pushed his header from a corner onto the post and Shawcross chased back
after Edin Dzeko lobbed the goalkeeper in injury time. Patrick Willis Impact Jersey . Liverpool said
Monday that the 27-year-old Skrtel signed a “long-term contract.” The Slovakia
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. Grunwald has been serving on an interim basis since July, after Donnie Walsh
opted not to return. He acquired centre Tyson Chandler before the season to
become the defensive presence the team long lacked, and signed key players such
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2010, was about pure dominance—he led 155 of the 200 laps. This years victory
was about standing among the all-time greats.LOS ANGELES —Grant Hill is
following former Phoenix Suns teammate Steve Nash to Los Angeles. Only the
seven-time All-Star forward has signed with the Clippers. Nash signed with the
Lakers last week and he tweeted word of Hills signing with the other team in
Staples Center earlier this week via a photo of him frowning on Twi