Heat news and notes: Irving rock-solid in training camp scrimmage

Abbotsford Heat goalie Leland Irving tasted his first game-type action of the pre-season on Monday, and he turned in a solid performance during an intra-squad scrimmage at Calgary Flames training camp.

Leland Irving

CALGARY – Abbotsford Heat goalie Leland Irving tasted his first game-type action of the pre-season on Monday, and he turned in a solid performance during an intra-squad scrimmage at Calgary Flames training camp.

Irving was nearly flawless during his 30 minutes of action, highlighted by a nice pad save on Lance Bouma on a two-on-one break.

The lone blemish on his record came courtesy of T.J. Brodie, a teammate with the Heat last year. Brodie took a cross-ice feed from Alex Tanguay and ripped a picture-perfect shot from the top of the circle that rang in off the crossbar.

“It was a great shot,” Irving observed with a wry grin. “I talked to him after, and he was just trying to get it past the block out front. When it’s bar-down like that, there’s not a lot you’re going to be able to do about it.

“It (the scrimmage) went kind of how I expected. It was a little scrambly to start, but after I was able to feel the puck a little bit, things slowed down a little bit and I got a little more comfortable.”

Irving will get another healthy dose of NHL-calibre competition when the Flames take on the Vancouver Canucks in a pair of split-squad exhibition games on Tuesday – one at Vancouver’s Rogers Centre, one at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Flames head coach Brent Sutter said that Irving is slated to play the entire 60 minutes of Tuesday’s game in Vancouver. Miikka Kiprusoff and Henrik Karlsson, the NHL tandem, will split the goaltending chores at the game in Calgary.

“It’s exciting,” said Irving, named the Heat’s team MVP last season after leading the AHL with eight shutouts. “Any time you get a chance to step on the ice with this calibre of players, it’s a big challenge. It’s what we work all summer for.”

BRODIE FINDING FORM

Monday’s scrimmage was comprised of two running-time 30-minute halves – Irving and Joni Ortio tending the net for the white team, and Kiprusoff and Karlsson handling the chores for the black team.

The white team claimed a 3-2 victory, with former Heat centre Mikael Backlund scoring twice and Jay Bouwmeester adding a single. Brodie and Rene Bourque replied for the black team.

By his own admission, Brodie hasn’t gotten off to the start he’d envisioned in the pre-season. That’s why it felt so good to score a pretty goal with the Flames brass looking on.

“It’s always nice to make those plays – unfortunately it’s practice,” he said with a chuckle. “I thought I played better today. My legs are feeling better each day. I’m still trying to find the tape on some of the passes, and making the smart plays out there.”

Brodie will suit up for the pre-season game in Calgary on Tuesday.

“It’s a big game, and everyone’s trying to prove something and get a spot,” he said. “It’s an opportunity, and I want to take advantage of it and play the best I can.”

WARD EYES NEW PIECES

During Monday’s scrimmage, Heat head coach Troy Ward was keeping a close eye on newcomers who could end up in Abbotsford this year.

“There are a lot of guys I don’t really know that well,” Ward said, mentioning blueliners Clay Wilson, Derek Smith and Brendan Mikkelson, and forward Guillaume Desbiens. “I kind of wanted to figure out some other parts of the puzzle.”

Ward said that a group of players will be flying into Abbotsford on Thursday, with the first on-ice session slated for Friday afternoon.

Just Posted

One man in custody after heavily armed Abbotsford police units surround house while serving warrant

Police barricades blocked off roadway on Upper Maclure Road and Firhill Drive

Abbotsford school support staff vote 95 per cent in favour of strike

Teamsters Local 31 and school district negotiators to meet with mediator on Oct. 31

ELECTION HUB: Candidate profiles, voter information and news for Abbotsford’s ridings

We’ve collected our election coverage in one spot to help you decide who to vote for

City errs in posting boil-water advisory for Abbotsford and Mission

‘Draft weblink’ mistakenly goes live on city website Thursday night

Small, untested company behind plans for massive aerospace plant

Abbotsford was labelled a possible destination for a small company’s big manufacturing plans

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Most Read