Heat edge Americans
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- The Abbotsford Heat defeated the Rochester Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres) 3-2 in front of 6,172 fans on the second annual ‘School Day Game’ at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre (AESC).
Brett Carson and Ben Street each recorded a goal and earned an assist as the Heat increased their lead at the top of the North Division standings by three points. The Heat penalty kill neutralized eight Rochester power plays and Danny Taylor earned his team-leading 13th win of the season.
The Americans opened the scoring 3:50 into the game, but the Heat responded at 5:46 of the period with Carson’s fourth goal of the season. Tyler Ruegsegger earned the only assist on Carson’s goal.
The Heat took a 2-1 lead with a five-on-three power play goal at 18:52 of the first period. Street’s eleventh of the season was set up by Max Reinhart and Carson. Carson’s assist gives the defenceman seven points in eight games played with the Heat since his assignment by the Calgary Flames.
The Heat increased their lead to 3-1 in the second period on a Joe Piskula point shot. Piskula’s second goal of the season was assisted by Ben Walter with his team-leading 20th assist of the season. The Heat led by two after 40 minutes of play.
The Americans drew within one goal at the 19:50 mark of the third period with goalie Conner Knapp on the bench for an extra attacker. Despite the late goal, the Heat held on for a 3-2 victory and their league-leading 16th home win of the season.
Taylor made his eleventh appearance in the Heat’s last fourteen games, making 17 saves on 19 shots to earn the win.
The Heat power play scored once on three opportunities. Abbotsford’s top-ranked penalty kill stopped all eight Rochester power plays.
The Heat and Americans play again tomorrow night at the AESC with puck-drop at 7:00 PM PST. This weekend the Heat host the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche) in another divisional two-game set featuring games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at 4pm.