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Playoff peril for Aces' AHL affiliate

Doyle Woody,Adn Staff

The Abbotsford Heat, AHL affiliate of the Alaska Aces, finds itself in a tough spot just two games into the Calder Cup playoffs.

The Heat got throttled 7-2 tonight in British Columbia by the Grand Rapids Griffins, who seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. Grand Rapids won the opener Friday at Abbotsford, 2-1, in the final minute of double OT.

Tonight, the Griffins outshot the Heat 46-17, which must have been pretty tough for the Heat to take on their home ice, possibly for the last time, since the club will move to a new location for next season. The next three games in the series -- Grand Rapids might only need one of those -- are in Michigan.

In any event, Heat goaltender Joni Ortio, the former Ace, was yanked midway through the game, trailing 5-2 after giving up five goals in 31 shots.

If there's anything good in this, it's that two Heat defensemen, Kane Lafranchise and Zach Davies, are on the Aces' playoff roster. So, if the Heat are eliminated -- Game 3 is Wednesday -- those guys could join the Aces for the rest of the Kelly Cup playoffs.


By DOYLE WOODY, adn.com
Anchorage