CHARLOTTE, NC -- The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Charlotte Checkers (AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes) 4-3 at the Time Warner Cable Arena to extend their season-high winning streak to five games.
Dustin Sylvester posted the second three-point game of his AHL career and Akim Aliu drew two assists, as the Heat won the first of two games in 24 hours in Charlotte. The Heat power play scored for the fifth straight game, and Danny Taylor picked up his sixth win in his last seven starts, with 25 saves.
Brett Carson gave the Heat a 1-0 lead at 5:55 into the game with his third goal of the season. Greg Nemisz and Sylvester drew assists on Carson’s goal against his former team. Carson has now scored a goal in each of his three games played this season after being assigned to the Heat by the Calgary Flames following training camp.
Sylvester made it 2-0 at 15:47 of the first period with his 8th goal of the season. Aliu and Mike Matczak earned assists on the play.
After Chris Terry’s goal pulled the Checkers to within one before the end of the first period, Brett Olson ended a two-month goal drought with his fifth of the season. Olson’s first goal since November 25th came at the 3:26 mark of the second period, with assists from Aliu and Sylvester.
The Heat extended their lead to 4-1 on the power play when Ben Walter netted his eighth goal of the season. Krys Kolanos and Ben Street drew assists on the play. The Heat have now scored one power play goal in each win of their five-game run.
The Checkers scored twice in 21 seconds midway through the third, and outshot the Heat 11-3 in the period, but the visitors held on to the 4-3 lead as time expired.
Taylor started for the fifth time in the last six games for the Heat and earned his eleventh win of the season, with 25 saves on 28 shots. The Checkers outshot the Heat 28-21.
The Heat power play scored on the second of two man-advantages, while the penalty kill erased all three Charlotte opportunities.
The Heat and Checkers face off again tomorrow at noon Eastern time (9:00 AM PST), before both teams break for the 2013 All-Star Classic. Heat Captain Quintin Laing and net-minder Barry Brust will be participating at the AHL showcase in Providence, RI on Sunday and Monday. The Heat resume play in Cleveland on January 31st where they will face the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) twice and the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings) once over a three-day stretch.
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