Heat top Rivermen 6-2
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat completed an opening weekend sweep of the Peoria Rivermen with a 6-2 win Saturday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
The Heat had six different goal scorers and multi-point nights from Ben Street, Dustin Sylvester, Sven Baertschi and TJ Brodie. Brodie earned first star honours and led all scorers with three assists.
The Rivermen opened the scoring 1:53 into the first period. The Heat quickly responded 1:35 later with Lance Bouma’s first goal of the season, assisted by Street and Brodie. After a second Peoria goal, the floodgates opened as the Heat scored five unanswered goals. Ben Walter and Baertschi rounded out the scoring in the first period, after which the Heat led 3-2 and outshot Peoria 17-7.
At 3:13 of the second period, Roman Horak scored his second goal of the season, set up by Brett Olson and Carter Bancks. The assist was Olson’s first AHL point. Later in the second, Sylvester scored his first of the season on the power-play. Krys Kolanos added his first of the season and the Heat’s sixth goal of the game at 12:22 of the second period by outwaiting the Peoria netminder.
Danny Taylor stopped 17 of 19 shots for the home team, earning his second win in as many games. The Heat outshot the Rivermen 33-19, allowing just three shots in the second period.
The Heat scored on two of four man-advantages on the night, and are now three for nine on the power-play this season. The Heat were two for two on the penalty kill.
Walter played his 500th AHL regular season game and scored for the second straight night. Head coach Troy Ward said of the 28-year-old’s AHL success, “He ends up on the score-sheet, and doesn’t hurt you defensively. He trained really hard this year and is a model for young professionals.”
Next weekend, the Heat host the Chicago Wolves (AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks) on Friday and Saturday nights with both games starting at 7:00 PM PDT at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
Friday is the first of the Legends of Hockey series, featuring Cliff Ronning and Geoff Courtnall. Saturday’s game will feature the first of three post-game concerts as Fighting for Ithaca will take the stage.